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My experience working in Australia

by Charlie Burch

I worked in Australia, 3 years ago now. It started by booking on with Gap 360 – and now I work here!!!

I chose the Absolute Oz Jobs package as it included so many activities in the first week. I was thinking that as long as I met loads of people then everything else would be alright, as I’d have friends to chill out with or do activities with.

Everyday I am asked the following 2 questions about our Absolute Oz Jobs Package…

How easy it to find a job?

I met the jobs team on the second day with our group. We all had our CV’s on a USB stick, and got talking to the jobs team, shown the database and told which jobs were available. We were also told to apply for anything we see, which I think is good advice. For me I think it’s about attitude, if you apply for loads of things then you’ll get a job, if you are looking at jobs and thinking “I don’t want to serve coffee” then you are reducing your chances.

I found it very easy, and the friends I met also did. I had a little previous experience as a waiter, which helped me secure a waiting job. I did mainly breakfast shifts, which started at 5.30am and lasted until 11am, but I did the occasional lunch and dinner shift as well. I could have turned this down as not many travellers are keen on a 5.30am start, however I saw loads of advantages. I got a decent wage, tips, and could also eat the hotels food, usually breakfast and lunch if I hung on for a bit after the shift! I also got the rest of my day free to do what I wanted. Of course I was hungover half the time, but I loved it!!!

Hotels are also great for meeting people, there were over 60 staff, and we were considered a small hotel. There was also a great social scene with fellow workers, and even a cricket team (sounds so typically Australian).

Where will I live and how easy it to find accommodation?

I was a bit lazy on this one, I ended up staying in the hostel for about 6 weeks – I was just having such a great time!

The hostel is really centrally located, has a bar downstairs and is so sociable that you can meet people all the time. The hotel I worked for was central and I didn’t want to travel from out of town until I had settled in.

I quickly realised, that this was a terrible excuse, all I was doing was having such a great time that I didn’t want to give it up!! After 3 weeks working at the hotel I realised I was spending too much at the hostel bar and being very unfair to everyone in my room by waking up at 5am each day.

I’d spoken to some people at work about where they lived and it was a complete mix!! I ended up getting together with a couple of people from the hostel and from the original week, we were all in a similar boat with slightly different jobs.

We had a list of potential places to rent, and rang around and booked appointments. By being in a building at the right time we managed to secure a 3 bed apartment in the Pyrmont area, only about a 15 minute walk to work for me!! We were paying around £100 a week each, our wages easily covered this so we signed up to a short term contract.

I hope this gives you a bit of an insight into the two main questions we get asked. To cut a long story short, I ended up working for the hotel for 5 months and then myself and my two flat mates toured up the East Coast, spending all the money we’d earned!!

That took us about 2 months, and then I thought it might be a good idea to come home! Another bit of advice would be to stay for as long as possible, it’s a fantastic experience and I’ll always think I should have stayed for the whole year of my Visa.

Everyone has a different experience so it may be different for you. There are loads of jobs available and loads of accommodation so get involved and go and have the best year of your life!!!

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