There comes a time when every backpacker’s money runs low and they have to re-enter the real world and find a job.
Our top tip when it comes to looking for employment in Australia is to properly target your job search. The Working Holiday Visa restricts you to a six-month limit with each employer, so there’s no point applying for permanent posts. Your best bet is to search for temporary / seasonal / contract work. Many of the backpackers we speak to successfully find work with temping agencies or in the hospitality sector.
Before commencing your job search, we recommend re-drafting your resume to suit Australian employers. You’ll find plenty of resume templates online or, for approximately $100, you can pay someone to professionally edit it for you. Depending on your English language proficiency, this might be a good investment.
Be upfront with employers, let them know that you can only work with them for a maximum of six months.
Job Search Sites
Many backpackers find short-term, casual positions on Gumtree. Hundreds of new ads pop up every day. You can also use Gumtree to advertise your services to employers.
You may also wish to sign up with a few recruitment agencies. There are agencies for most sectors and, if you prove yourself to be reliable and hardworking, you should find that you get a steady stream of work. Most recruitment agencies also have a section dedicated to temporary staffing.
If you’re struggling to find work in the city then consider looking further afield. Pubs, hotels and road houses in remote areas often hire backpackers, as do farmers and fruit growers. A lot of hostels also have work desks and job boards, so keep your eyes peeled for ads. You’ll also find plenty of Facebook pages dedicated to jobs.
If you plan to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa, you will need to complete three months of recognised work in a regional area. It’s not a good idea to leave this until last minute. As farm work tends to be seasonal, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a job in one place for the entire three-month period, so you need to allow time for chopping and changing.
Read more about completing your regional work here.
Tax File Number
Your Australian employer will request your Tax File Number and Superannuation details. We recommend applying for your Australian Tax File Number (TFN) as soon as you arrive. Bear in mind though, you will need a postal address as the number will be mailed out to you.
In most cases, you can apply for your TFN online. If you start work without a TFN and fail to provide your employer with it within 28 days, you’ll be taxed over 45%.
Apply for TFN here. There are companies that will apply for a TFN on your behalf, for a small charge. This can be beneficial if you need to begin work but don’t yet have a residential address. They will email you the TFN number, rather than post it. The Australian financial year runs from July to June. At the end of the year, you’re required to file a tax return.
It is compulsory for Australian employers to pay money into a retirement fund on your behalf. Super is paid for workers who earn more than $450 per month before tax and work over 30 hours a week. Your employer will ask you to nominate a fund for your super to be paid into. If you don’t specify a particular fund, your employer may pay the money into a default fund, which you can change at a later date.
Minimum super payments are currently 9.5% of your salary. For example, if Clare earns $50,000 per year, her employer will pay at least $4,750 into her super fund.
This money is not generally accessible until you retire. Backpackers can request to withdraw the funds upon leaving Australia if they do not intend to ever live in the country permanently; however, the sum will be taxed.
Find out more here.
If you haven’t yet applied for your Working Holiday Visa, True Blue Migration can assist you. For a low fee, one of our Registered Migration Agents will manage your application for you. Learn more here.