Each year, thousands of people pack their bags, buy a one-way ticket and move to Australia. Whether it’s to travel and work for a few years or with the hopes of settling permanently, the desire for sunny weather, endless beaches and time spent outdoors sees many people saying their goodbyes and setting off to the other side of world.
But as exciting as the prospect of a new life might be, moving overseas can be a daunting experience…especially somewhere so isolated from the rest of the world! So before you head anywhere, take the time to research how to find a job and somewhere to live.
Getting a job
The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself before you move to the other side of the world is, Am I going to be able to find work? In order to work in Australia, you’ll need to have the right visa–and trying to figure out which one is best can be pretty confusing. Just about anyone under 31 can get a working holiday visa, which allows you to travel Australia for a year picking up jobs along the way. But if you’re a bit older or more settled in your career, you’ll need something more substantial.
For expats who want to stay for an extended period of time, the most common is the temporary skilled visa (subclass 457). This visa allows you to work for up to four years in your chosen profession as long as you have a sponsor (your Australian employer). But there are a host of different visas available so the best thing to do is head to the Australian Department of Immigration’s website and see which one is right for you.
If you’re serious about staying in your current profession ,then you’ll want to start job hunting before you move; this will help give you an indication of the demand for work in your field and which options are available. Check out job listing websites like Seek.com.au and Gumtree to keep an eye on opportunities in your line of work. But of course, not all positions are advertised, so it’s a good idea to also start growing your LinkedIn network and introduce yourself to relevant contacts in Australia. You might also want to reach out to a few recruiters.
Things to note: In order to work in Australia, you’ll need to set up an Australian bank account and apply for a Tax File Number–this is a personalised number allocated to you which allows you to receive income and pay taxes.
Where to live
Australia is a large country that experiences all kinds of weather from tropical monsoons to hot, dry weather and even snow in some areas, so if you have a particular climate preference, you’ll want to choose your city accordingly. Generally, however, the weather is warm and temperate across most of Australia, particularly in the coastal cities. And although there are a number of locations from which to choose, expats will tend to migrate to either Sydney or Melbourne, Australia’s two biggest cities.
Both Sydney and Melbourne are vibrant, busy cities full of culture, food and work opportunities. However, Sydney and Melbourne are also the most expensive cities–and not just in Australia; they’re among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world. Renting is no exception–if you want to live in an inner-city suburb with good transport and plenty of entertainment options, be prepared to pay for the privilege. So if you plan on choosing Sydney or Melbourne as your new home, make sure you save enough to live off while you’re getting set up.
You’ll likely choose your city before you move, but you’ll want to save choosing your suburb until after you’ve arrived. Both Sydney and Melbourne have a number of great suburbs, each with their own unique vibe, which is the kind of thing you can only get a feel for in real life. The best plan of attack is to book cheap accommodation for your first month and give yourself time to explore your new city and find your niche.
When it comes to renting an apartment, you’ll either go through a real estate agent or directly through a landlord. A larger number of properties are available through real estate agents, however, you’ll often get a better deal if you lease privately. Websites such as realestate.com.au and Domain are good to find properties managed by agents, while Gumtree’s your best option for private listings and share-houses.
Things to note: To secure your apartment, you’ll need to put down a security bond (around four weeks’ rent) in addition to four weeks’ rent in advance. You may also need to pay one-off set up costs for utilities, Internet, cable, etc.
There’s really nothing like the experience of living and working overseas–it opens your mind to a new culture, new experiences and a completely different way of life. And of all the places to choose to live, Australia is about as good as it gets! There’s always going to be a lot of preparation with an overseas move, but once you’ve found a job and a place to live, you can kick back and enjoy the experience, however long it may last. One thing’s for certain–you’re not going to regret it!
This post is sponsored.