Travel jobs in Sydney Australia, how to make money in Australia with travel
By: Richard Steel (justin) 2012.01.04
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There is no motivating factor like desperation. I had been traveling
for some time through travel jobs in Sydney, Australia
to extend my stay. That meant Work. A Job. The Daily Grind.
Of course, working in Sydney was never a grind, in fact, the jobs I held
during my year Down Under were some of the best and strangest I have ever
had. Finding a job was easier than I thought it would be, and you can
benefit from my experience because there were some snags along the way
that you can avoid. For those of you who think that you have to save up
for months in the U.S. before starting your journey, don't wait. Throw
some clothes in a bag, buy the ticket and just leave! Of course, be ready
for desperation, just in case.
The variety of jobs I found astounded me. What linked them all was my
flexibility. I worked as a waiter in the oldest restaurant in Sydney.
I taught little kids how to swim three mornings a week in a pool overlooking
Bondi beach, the world-famous surf spot, and spent a few weeks packing
wine for a merchant in Double Bay (the Beverly Hills of Sydney) where
we savored a few rare vintages in our spare time. Considered an expert
simply by virtue of my Americanism, I was chosen to coach a softball team
and led them to the championship game. For several months I tended bar
at a pub, serving to and drinking with the locals. I also worked as a
tour guide in the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere for a while.
Seeing the bewildered faces of the visitors as they tried to figure out
what an American was doing up there was just too good, not to mention
the view from my office. All this was borne of desperation and accomplished
in a few fleeting months.
Granted, none of these were career-track positions but as a way to not
only visit, but really experience Australia, it was a fantasy come true
for me. If your goal when traveling is to gain an appreciation for the
culture, the people and their way of life, you must surround yourself
by them in the working environment.
As a working traveler, you should plan to stay in a city or town for
at least a month if you want to work. Most travelers who work in Australia
start in Queensland, the North-Easternmost state in the country (where
there are many farm and laboring opportunities) and work their way south,
along the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, and finally reach Melbourne. Before
this working journey can begin, there are some points to take into consideration.
The big problem is that Americans can't work in Australia without a prearranged
visa. Well, not legally anyway. The Australian Government requires visas
to enter the country. These electronic visas (which allow the visitor
to remain in Oz for three months) can easily be obtained free of charge
from your travel agent when you buy your ticket, but do not permit work
of any kind.
If you arrange a job from the States and the employer secures a visa
for you, they will still ask any non-Australian if they have a tax file
number (TFN) as well. This important tax information is only used at the
end of the fiscal year (June 30) but must be produced before your first
payday, so plan ahead. A TFN is a nine-number code broken up into groups
of three digits. You may apply for one at the Australian Taxation Office
only after your arrival in Oz. The office is located at 100 Market Street
GPO Box 9990, Sydney NSW 2001. They can be reached by phone at 132 869,
fax (02) 9374 8150.
Do not let these regulations deter you in planning your Australian working
holiday though. There are, as with any regulatory restrictions, ways around
Jobs that pay under-the-table (Aussies refer to them as cash-in-hand
jobs) are the only easily attainable work if you only hold an American
passport. Professional and skilled positions are typically difficult to
get visas for, as in the European Union (EU). As usual, if you have any
contacts in Australia, use them! Also, don't be fooled into thinking that
cash-in-hand positions are limited to the jobs that no one else wants.
Laboring, child-care, restaurant or bar (pub) work, farm work, and any
businesses that have odd-shift hours are all good bets.
If you can stand hard work and the heat of the Australian sun, laboring
is the best way to earn great money fast. They will usually pay a flat
rate of one hundred dollars per day (about $65 U.S.), but forewarned is
forearmed, so remember laboring work starts at 7:00 am and is backbreaking.
To find this type of employment, your best bet is to go to the closest
pub any weekday between three and four o'clock in the afternoon and look
for the dirtiest men in the place. These are the guys you'll need to speak
with. The Aussies love a schooner at their local pub after work, and usually
frequent them every day. Remember too, that it is best to establish a
report with anyone before simply asking for a job. The division of work
in the laboring trades is typically spread between painters, general on-site
day laborers, and brickkies (masons). You might easily find work with
any of these tradesmen.
If gritty manual labor is not your cup of tea, try the pub route. Australian
pubs are open all day until the early hours of the morning, so there are
usually split shifts available as a Barman or Barmaid, (the p.c. terms
have not made it to Oz yet). You could also apply as a cellerman and take
in the day's orders of beer, wine, and spirits - all by hand, though.
There are usually shifts available in the gambling booths (known as the
TAB) which are the mainstays of Australian pubs. Gambling is legal in
Australia, and the horse races are broadcast to the pubs via satellite
TV all day long while punters (gamblers) place and loose their bets. Another
service industry you might consider is the restaurant business. There
are usually many restaurants willing to hire travelers as long as they
can handle a tray and know their drinks. Since tipping is not required
or even common, the hourly wage for restaurant and pub work is between
11 and 15 dollars per hour.
Still not satisfied? If you have worked with children in your life,
you will always have a marketable skill. Put this to work for yourself
in Oz. The greatest concentrated source of potential earning is in the
classroom. If you can coach a sport, teach an activity, or just be a responsible
caregiver and make a healthy lunch, you will find cash soon enough. Parents
are always on the lookout for babysitters and tutors. Since there are
no language barriers in Australia for English speakers (unlike most of
the rest of the world), almost any job available in the States can be
found on Oz.
Besides experience, friendship, and culture, of course, there's money.
Pay rates in Australia are higher than in the United States, which make
for a generally higher standard of living for the working traveler. Affordable
things like rent, modest dinners out, drinks at the pub, and taxis all
combine to make for an increased level of comfort and happiness. Australia
is a very livable society. There is a large working class, and an infrastructure
in place to accommodate this class. Rent is paid by the week, as are you.
The Aussie dollar fluctuates around 65 cents to the U.S. dollar but constantly
figuring out the difference is pointless; when earning and spending Australian
money, you soon learn your budget.
Whether you look to establish a career in Australia, or simply fund an
extended excursion, there is work waiting for you. The red tape and bureaucracy
are worth the payoffs for the visa-holding traveler, and the challenge
of finding cash-in-hand work only enhances the adventure for the traveler
without a work visa. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the
culture while having the time of your life than to work with the Australians.
I found that I learned the most about their attitudes and values through
the daily interactions of working together. There are very few sure things
in life and rarely any while on the road, but one thing I can guarantee
the working traveler is a great time Down Under.