Job searching in Australia

I decided that I’d rather search for a job when I get there. A lot of people have been telling me that it’s best to just figure it out once I’m in Australia rather than have everything planned out before arriving.

Getting an amazing-paying job to benefit my resume is NOT on my priority list. I want to travel and soak in the culture, and whatever job I find (whether it be retail, childcare, office-work etc.) that will cover my expenses and other miscellaneous costs is fine with me.

I decided it’d be best to leave with a 4 or 5 resumes/CV’s, all customized to highlight the type of work experience that compliment the type of job I’ll be applying for. I’ll also be freelancing on the side. Won’t bring in much money but every little bit helps! 🙂

Here are a few options I’m/you may be considering:

Hospitality: hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, cafés etc:

If you’re looking for work in a bar, you’ll need an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) Certificate. A simple Google with what city you’re in will do the trick. I’m told that the course can take as little to complete as 3 hours and ranges from $85-$130 AUS, depending on the level of certification.

This would seem like a good job to work out flexible hours, hang out with the locals and meet other backpackers. And the tips! 🙂


If you’re used to an office-type work environment, then this type of work may be something to consider. Keep in mind the type of hours you’d like to work… whether it be the standard 9-5 or part-time/casual.

It may take a little longer to get an office job compared to work in a bar, but you could find plenty of postings on sites like Seek or Gum Tree. You could also check out a local employment agency to help filter out your best options.


I’ve been seriously considering this type of work. The least I’ll do is put up a post on Gum Tree as a casual babysitter/tutor.

An au-pair position provides you with free accommodations (and most times an added weekly allowance) in exchange for child-minding, housework, cleaning etc. This would be a great position for those wanting to stay in one city for a longer time.

It would also help to be First Aid/CPR certified if you’re interested in working with children. I’d recommend you get this before leaving to Oz. For a basic certification, it costs about $150 CAD and takes up one weekend (mine was Sat/Sun 9-3p).

Farm-stay/Harvest work/Fruit picking:

This would be an awesome opportunity to meet other backpackers in the same boat. Apparently you could make a lot of money if you’re willing to work through the hard physical labour. Most places offer cheap accommodations (approx. $150/wk) or bus transportation from a specific location to the farm everyday. Harvest Hoppers seems like a good site to check out these opportunities. You could also check out the listings on Gum Tree.

For 3 months work, doing a farm-stay/fruit-picking would also make you eligible for a 2nd Working Holiday Visa if you choose to return to Australia after your first year.


I wouldn’t mind working retail one bit: flexible hours and generally easy work. It’d be great to socialize with others I work with and meet customers. This would also provide the minimum $ needed to cover rent/groceries and other costs.

What type of jobs have you worked will trekking abroad?


23 thoughts on “Job searching in Australia

  1. justpatmedamnit

    I also stumbled across this site for farm stay visits
    It basically offers free accomodation and food in exchange for work on the farm. May not be what you’re looking for but i thought it sounded interesting!


  2. Daisy

    Retail isn’t always all the flexible but it really depends on where you work. Nanny/au pair/babysitting is always fun work and you can sometimes sight see with the kids if they are old enough!


  3. crankyjo

    I was in Australia about seven months ago for Christmas. It was awesome!!! If I had the opportunity to move there like you did, I’d jump at it! You made a great decision, enjoy the adventure!


  4. judlaw

    My son is an arborist so he took his gear with him and had no problem getting a job. They even agreed to let him work two weeks, then take a week off to travel!


  5. bonezay


    Great Blog, your post on the Aussie bank accounts was most helpful. I myself have booked a flight to Melbourne from Vancouver in a month and a half. And will be busing to Vancouver from Ottawa as it is cheaper than flying from Ottawa to Melbourne… significantly cheaper. On the subject of employment I actually sent out a couple resumes to restaurants in Sydney one of which replied back for an interview for when I land! Sadly though I’ll be starting in Melbourne instead as it’s a bit cheaper and there are more restaurants. But it could help to send out some resumes before or even as your leaving, Even if you don’t get a message back you can always follow up when you land shows good initiative and ability to follow through 🙂

    Keep up the blogging! I’ll definitely stay tuned 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s