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My experience of working in Australia!
Temping Work in Australia
Member Name: Ames123
Temping Work in Australia
Advantages: Earn for your travels, meet locals and live as one
Disadvantages: None really
You need a tax file number before you can start work, this is really easy to apply for and can be done on the Australia government website.
I had a list of temping agencies and set about emailing them all my CV explaining what work I was looking for etc. My flat-mates were working for an agency called Employ and I would never have actually found this one without them telling me. I emailed several times and phoned up telling them that they had been recommended to me. I may have even gone into them personally. I was eventually set-up with an appointment to see one of the consultants where we had an informal chat and I took a typing test. They said they would ring me when anything comes up. It took three weeks from that appointment to them offering me the job. I called them regularly to make-sure my name was in their minds and this I believe with my eagerness was what got me the role.
In the meantime I was handing out resumes to anywhere that was advertising (important note here, make sure you have your correct phone number on!) and scouring seek.com.au and other job websites. I got a trial with a little sandwich place in the CBD which didn't go too well. I went there and was being pro-active asking the girl there questions about making the sandwiches etc but I got told off! My job before leaving the UK was working in a deli where making sandwiches was a main part of it but I don't think they believed me here! Anyway I was glad when I left the trial.
The job I was offered was working in the accounts department of a pathology firm in North Sydney. It required travel each day by bus and later by train when a new station opened, but it meant I got to go over the Sydney harbour bridge every day!
My role here was dealing with payments that came in from health funds for patients and helping in the allocation which involved a lot of computer work. I also opened some mail, did filing and helped the other staff members. I enjoyed working here. When there was lots of work I could happily sit there, though it was often monotonous and there were days when there was not much work. The staff there were lovely and really welcoming and we had treats and they got me a present when I left after three months. My wage was excellent, it was almost double the minimum wage here and I was able to save a certain amount each week after paying rent. Agencies normally pay weekly which is great. I am not sure if it is all agencies but they do not pay holiday.
I left to go travelling around the country for six weeks and came back as I needed more work. I moved back in the second flat (I moved flats) and it was just over a week before the agency found me some work. This time is was central, right in the CBD, you couldn't really get anymore in the middle. It was ironic really who the company was. It was one of the big health funds that we used to moan about when I worked in the other job. Here I worked in the department where all the mail was sent to. I opened the envelopes and put them in the correct file to be sent to the relevant department. I also did a bit of computer work and helped empty and fill the bags that were to sent to each branch of the company in Australia. The pay here was slightly less but I could walk to work so that made up for it. Again the staff were lovely and one of the lads here was the boyfriend of one of the girls I lived with in the first flat!
I left here after about three weeks but as with the first job I could have stayed longer. I think this is an important thing to remember. That although when they offer you a job they may say it is only for X amount of weeks, it is likely that if you are ok then they will ask you to stay longer.
I enjoyed my time working in these places; though at the time I couldn't wait to leave as I was eager to travel. The wages were great, the people lovely and the atmosphere was casual. It seemed to be that as long as you got the work done, you could take it as your own pace. Uniform also was more casual, at least in the departments I worked in. Although I recommend turning up in black trousers and a smart shirt on the first day like I did but if it was like where I worked I could just wear nice trousers and a plain t-shirt!
What I will say about looking through job adverts is that emails are pretty much useless. Of course send an email too so that they have a hard copy but if there is a number then call them. They get so many emails that they can just delete them, but speaking to them they are more likely to listen.
Working here meant I met and integrated with Ozzies and enjoyed life as one that lives in Sydney rather than one that is visiting it.
So my tips for finding office work:
- Be pro-active, phone instead of email or even better go in person
- Keep in regular contact with the agency
- Don't dismiss short assignments
- If there is a number phone it!
So that was my experience of office work. If you are still reading then well done. Of course there is much other work to be sought from shop work, childcare and bar work. Though for bar work you will need to have a RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate which can be obtained easily by completing a short course.
The reason I left the second office job was that I needed to complete my three months seasonal work to qualify for my second year visa. The normal route is fruit picking work however there are a few different options as long as the area you are working in counts. Check on-line but it is generally any rural area, but do check first. One such option is volunteering using either the Wwoofing, www.wwoof.com.au, or HelpX website, www.helpx.net, in which you volunteer your time a few hours each day in return for accommodation and meals. The majority of these places will count for your visa. You can browse on each site but you do have to pay to be a member on the first to contact places. With this though you do get given a book with all those looking for helpers which would be handy on the go. I used the second site as it was free and after looking at pictures and reading reviews organised a one week stay in a town called Alexandra a few hours drive from Melbourne.
The owners had a cottage on site which was rented as a B&B. They had ducks, chickens, sheep, a calf and a pony. During my time there, which I extended to two weeks, I slept in a little caravan and helped for 4-5 hours each day doing a variety of tasks including: mucking out the sheep, cleaning the B&B, mowing the lawn, painting the little house they were in the process of doing up and sanding. I learnt many new skills and even got to hand feed Molly, a lamb we were looking after for someone. I was not alone here, I worked alongside Yan, a lovely girl from Hong Kong and we would spend our time off walking into the small town going to the library and then eating dinner with the family.
My next stop after going back to Melbourne was the town of Mildura, about 12 hours away on a coach. Getting numbers from a backpacker magazine in the hostel, I had contacted numerous working hostels and found one who told me there was work.
This hostel in Mildura had the most facilities out of the few there with a small swimming pool (too cold until my last week there to go in though), a little lounge and kitchen. For the first five weeks I probably had about nine days work. One day was spent cutting buds off vines twigs that would then be planted and another I marked out in the soil where each plant was to be planted. About seven of these were spent wrapping silver pouches/ foil around almond trees/twigs in the ground. I didn't actually mind this one, however the work finished after those days.
After five weeks I eventually got onto the one everyone was after - orange packing. Make sure you keep asking for work and making your name known, be persistent! People were told that there was work available before they came when there sometimes wasn't so do be careful.
Working here 6 days a week (7-7 most days) I earned $14.50 an hour. This was absolutely fantastic if you compare it the other jobs I worked which were mostly paid by piece, ie. so many cents per tree. The fact that there was little time to spend my wages meant I could save the majority. We got there by mini-bus each day, one of us drove it, and $6 a day was added to our rent for this.
The first two weeks were agony on my back, I was massaging my back during every break we had but thankfully I then got used to it and was pain-free. I worked in a huge factory where the majority of us packed oranges into boxes. Others worked on the juice line (really bad oranges to be sent to another factory to be made into juice) and sorting (all the oranges coming in from the orchards were initially sorted). On each line were loads of bins above a conveyer belt where the oranges were dropped into. Picking them up to place them in the box we had to quickly judge whether they could go in or go to juicing. I learn a lot about oranges and when I was back home in the UK I would often look in the fruit bowl and say things like 'this ones got sunburn (yes that's right!)' or 'that's too soft that would never go in'.
We had to pack them in a specific way according to how soft they were. It was pretty easy but so boring. You weren't really allowed to talk so it was basically you and your mind for 12 hours. After planning your next travel or trying to think of all the songs by your favourite band you quickly run out of stuff to think about!
Most of the boxes went abroad but we also packed crates for the supermarkets in Australia.
Some harvest work you will live on site, others you will find your own accommodation or there is the option of a working hostel, the hostel will find you work and you live there with other backpackers working.
As I mentioned I lived in a working hostel in Mildura. It could be a good laugh in the hostel as everyone is in the same boat and on the Saturday night you just want to let off some stream. Mildura was sort of the big town in the area. I say big, but everything was within a five to ten minute walk, from the shops to the lovely Murray river which is great to swim in in the summer! The library and leisure centre was literally two minutes walk away which I took a lot of advantage of borrowing books and DVDs and swimming in the evening after work.
Fruit and veg that were in season whilst I was there asparagus, oranges and garlic and when I left it was apricots and grapes were coming up.
I wish I had stayed longer at my job but it is easy saying that now. Although I did enjoy some sides of living in the working hostel I would have had a much more enjoyable experience if I was there with a friend. I stayed in the same room the whole time, which just happened to be the largest dorm, so there were a lot of new people coming and going. Some were lovely and some did disgusting things which I will not even mention. But in all it was worth doing and enabled me to save for the last part of my trip.
You need to decide where you are going to try find work based on the harvest trail, working out where the demand for workers will be at particular times of year.
www.jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail will advertise jobs in each area. It is best also looking in backpacker magazines such as TNT which is found in most hostels, looking on hostel notice boards and contacting working hostels in the area to find out what the situation is.
Work is available piece rate, paid for the amount you pick etc or by the hour. Some will pay cash in hand others into your bank. An important piece of advice I will give is that if you are after work for your second year visa then make sure before you undertake any work that your boss will sign your form or you. I did one job for a week but couldn't get my form signed for it.
Working on the harvest trial is a lot of hard work. You will often be working long hours, outside in the hot sun or in back-breaking work but if you get in the right job it can be great way to save for your next part of your trip. Be prepared to work your way up the ladder if you are at some hostels, doing the bad jobs first before you land the golden one. This paragraph sounds exactly like some backpackers guide but it really is true. If you can get the right job you can get long hours, live in a beautiful rural area and have no time to spend your wages!
===Work in Australia===
Any job is Australia can help you extend your trip and live in this beautiful country. There are lot of backpackers looking for work but if you put the effort in you should be able to find something. I highly recommend travelling and working in Australia as new and exciting experience and a way to fund the rest of your trip.
Summary: Live in the sun for year