I get a lot of questions from readers about how to get a job in Australia. I wish there was a magic pill to that dilemma because I want it too. However, I do know what people did to make the money to make life in Australia possible. (Note that I didn’t say get a job). So want moolah to make your life in Australia possible? Here are some of the ways you can do it:
1. Get a job the traditional way
Send your CV to the resume cloud in Seek or Career One. Hope that it’ll hit. Somehow. I know people who have sent hundreds of resumes but did not get a single interview. It can be a tough slog as Australia is a very competitive market and there’s this whole “no local experience” thing that Australian employers are hung up about.
It’s a Catch-22 situation, but not hopeless. If you’re just off the boat, network immediately by volunteering at organisations that have “jobs” that you hope to land one day.
For example, I recently found a volunteering position with St John’s at Seek Volunteer. I’m seeking to get into media and marketing, and the role was perfect for it. By volunteering, you’d be able to network and get that precious referee. (In Australia, referees can make or break a job application.)
I know a lady who volunteered at a nursing home, and when she applied for a Lifestyle Coordinator position, she was accepted because of her long service in the company. So, while sending your resumes to the resume pool, keep yourself busy by volunteering. You can never know what may come your way.
This is what I did. For one, this was in line with what I wanted to do. In many ways, coming to Australia was a career break of sorts. I was toying with the idea of going into healthcare, so I thought that I could try my hand at being a personal carer (nursing assistant). The Cert III Aged Care training was short (two to six months), cost only $2k (though, thanks to Skills for All, I only paid $200) and would equip me with skills I would need to be a nurse. Also, being a carer was an excellent way to see if nursing is a viable career path for me. (After two years, I decided that it wasn’t, but that’s a story for another day).
What course should I take? If you want to go down the practical route (and there’s no shame in that), look up Skills for All’s report on South Australia’s growth industries. Health Care and Social Assistance, which I’m in, is fortunately one of these. So if you choose to retrain, do your research carefully and see what’s the course that will land you the job.
- You may end up in a career you love!
- Although you may not adore you new career, if you choose your industry well, you will have the income that you need to survive in Australia.
- Time & Cost for retraining.
- Breaking into a new industry with zilch experience can be challenging. Again, try to volunteer first to network.
3. Create your own job by starting a business
I did this too. When I first landed in Adelaide, one of the first things I did was to do some freelance writing and web consulting. I had clients in Malaysia and Australia. However, I decided to close it and just jump into my aged care thing. Since I was time crunched (I had to work 35 hours per week for a year to fulfil my visa requirements) and wasn’t exactly swimming in cash, I didn’t have the luxury to hunt for clients while I eat beans and rice. It was fun, however, to be my own boss. I had name cards and invoices and even an ABN number! Now that I have my PR and am free of the constraints of the 475 visa, I’m going to restart my writing business again. 🙂
What can you do? I have met migrants who sold Malaysian food online and some who repaired cars on the side. A friend told me about the story of a man who went door to door doing chores for homes!
Anyway, besides going freelance (or being a sole trader, as they call it here), I know some friends who bought cleaning franchises and worked as cleaners. You may go, “Euw, cleaner?” But let me tell you there’s absolutely no shame in doing this. Better – you may earn quite a decent amount of dough! Who cares what people think when you can use the money to pay the bills!
Anyway, if cleaning doesn’t rock your boat, there are other franchises (with varying price tags) to choose from.
- You don’t have to wait around for a job.
- You can be your own boss.
- The capital can be high. A franchise can come with a $15k or more price tag.
- Having to deal with business and tax laws.
- Dealing with business matters such as finding clients and managing staff.
There you have it. It’s by no means a definite list, so if you have any other suggestions or ideas, be free to chime in at the comments section!
Photo by TALUDA.