Rachel Hart is a Senior Talent Consultant in our Client-side Marketing Recruitment team. Rachel shares her own experience having moved to Australia and her advice for those thinking about making the move from the UK to Australia.
1. Why did you decide to move to Australia?
Ever since I was young, I had always wanted to live overseas but it seemed like such a big move and never the right time. As I got older, I found myself travelling abroad so often with friends and for work that I decided to take the plunge and do it. I was keen to travel somewhere English speaking as I felt this would make the transition easier, especially as being English, Australia is about as far away as you can get! I had heard great things about Sydney, and I just knew that it was one of those things I would regret not doing. I figured if I hated it, I could just go home.
2. What did you need to prepare before the move?
First things first, I had to get a visa. I did some research and found I was eligible for the Working Holiday Visa and applied through the government website. It was really easy to do and I was lucky to have the visa granted within a couple of days. Once the visa came through, things started to feel more real! I booked my flight, resigned from my job, updated my CV and arranged to say goodbye to family and friends. I also did research on accommodation, finances and employment so I knew what to expect.
3. What did you do when you arrived?
During my first couple of weeks, I tried to be as productive as I could to ensure everything was set up. I found somewhere to live through a shared accommodation website, went to the bank to open an account, applied for a Tax File Number, registered with recruitment agencies, got an Australian mobile number and applied for my Medicare card. I’m quite an organised person and ticking things off really helped me relax.
4. Did you get homesick?
Yes – and the time difference makes it hard, however, with today’s technology, it is so easy to keep in contact with people. I made regular calls to friends and family and shared photos and videos of what I was doing. I also had some friends come out and visit me which was lovely. Within weeks I felt really settled. Even though I am quite shy, I found it very easy to make friends. Australians are generally very friendly by nature and you will also find lots of ex-pats who are in the same situation as you and it helps you to bond.
5. How did you find a job in Australia?
Finding work was really easy. I sent out my CV to a few recruitment agencies and they were all so helpful. I found a job within 2 weeks and working helped me meet people and find a circle of friends. As I wanted to travel, I did a lot of short contracts and then took breaks between each one. Remember, you don’t have to work in hospitality like a lot of people assume, there are lots of corporate roles available. I didn’t go to Australia to advance my career but I actually ended up getting a lot of really valuable experience.
6. How did work life in Australia compare to the UK?
From my experience, Australians have a great work life balance and they work smart. I found that the companies really took into consideration of employees’ mental health and would ensure that people were being productive but also taking care of themselves. I remember being encouraged to take a full lunch and leave on time. I found the majority of places I worked had a positive culture where I felt part of the team, even though I was just temping.
7. What advice do you have for anyone considering a move to Australia?
Just do it! As humans, I believe that we thrive most when we are out of our comfort zones as it pushes you to dig deep and succeed. Ensure you do plenty of research before you go and get organised so that you know exactly what you need to prepare on arrival.
Make sure you have enough savings, Australia is expensive and although jobs pay well (the minimum wage is considerably higher than most countries), you want to ensure that you can feel comfortable financially until you find a job. Remember that Australia gets cold! The summer is hot but Australia is seasonal so if you are coming out in winter, you will need warm clothes.
Put yourself out there, introduce yourself to people and get involved in things. Moving to Australia was the best decision I ever made - I liked it so much that I returned to live here for good!
If you’re interested in moving to Australia and have any questions I could help you with, please reach out anytime for a chat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Handy information for you when making the move to Australia on a visa
Finding the right visa for you
Start by exploring your visa options on the Australian Immigration website. If you’re between 18 and 30 years old (or 35 years old if you’re from Ireland, France or Canada and soon to be expanded to include UK citizens), the easiest and most common visa is the Working Holiday Maker Visa (Subclass 417).
Where to go to find a job
Register with a recruiter (like us!) and start your job search before you even leave home. It’s very common for video interviews to take place before a candidate has arrived in Australia, so then you can hit the ground running already set up with a job when you get here.
These are also popular websites to search for a job:
Where to look for rental properties or shared accommodation:
Also make sure you check out local Facebook groups once you know what area you’re interested in moving to, often they’ll be advertising rental properties.
Enrol for public healthcare
Citizens of the UK and Ireland (and a few more countries – you can check if your country has this here) have a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with Australia so are covered by Medicare, which is the Australian equivalent of the NHS. Find out how to enrol with Medicare.
Open an Australian bank account
Although you can open a bank account before you arrive, you will still have to go into the bank when you get here to confirm your ID and pick up your bank cards. Here is a great article with all you need to know about banking in Australia.
Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)
Once you have arrived in Australia you can apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) - this is the same as the UK National Insurance Number and you will need it for any job you work in.