After a brilliant first month of frolicking and exploring what seemed a significant portion of Australia’s stunning east coast (actually a tiny speck on the map) my funds were non-existent and I started job seeking.
Working Holiday 417 Visas specify that the holder may work for a maximum of 6 months for any one employer. Working as a mental health professional in the UK, I wanted to continue my career here. However, I wasn’t prepared for how tricky the 6 month restriction would make my ambition (mental health funding is usually for a year so rarely are there 6 month fixed term contracts on the market). Employers quite rightly take right-to-work rules incredibly seriously. Have a read of this blog to get an idea of how stringent employers must be: http://www.hrgurus.com.au/right-to-work-in-australia
But never fear, it all comes down to your profession and doing the right research – numerous professional friends have found 6 (or less) month contracts in their field of work easily (e.g. architecture, beauty therapy, graphic design, mechanics) through industry-specific recruitment agencies, Seek.com.au, Gumtree.com.au and actually going into businesses with their CV and a smile.
My tip to the prospective professional Working Holiday maker – before you arrive, research your industry in Australia to impress prospective hirers. Email organisations with expressions of interest for short term contracts, so you know what to expect when you get here. Take some time to identify industry-specific agencies and read their candidate testimonials, so that you can plan who to contact and arrange some meetings when you arrive. Even if the agencies you contact cover a broad range of professions, you cannot underestimate the value of finding a recruitment agent who will take your professional experience seriously and help you find shorter term contracts in your preferred field – so clue yourself up on how your industry works in Australia, read up on those testimonials, contact those organisations and you will be en-route to bagging yourself a career-progressing job down under.