When I arrived to Australia’s west coast in September 2015, my wallet and I were full of hope to make some money in order to save up to fund some travels around the country. Like many others, I had heard about the Australian dream and how the minimum wage is double that of Germany.
Coming from South East Asia, it hit me hard when I realised just how expensive Australia is, so thats why the minimum wage is so high!
I needed to get a job asap so I could stop worrying and start enjoying the country and its famous drinking culture ;p
In Perth it was crazily hard to find a job, not just my experience, most of the backpackers in our hostel were struggling. The mining boom was now a dip and it was an employers market. Not much you can do about that, however there are a few things you CAN do to make the process of finding a job in Australia a little bit more streamlined.
To help backpackers/travellers who want find work I created the following guideline.
What to do to before you can get started
After you made your self comfy in your hostel and caught up with the latest gossip or had a beer with your new roommates it’s time to set you up for the job market. Three things you usually have to do before looking for legitimate work are applying for a TFN, setting up an Australian bank account where your employer can pay your weekly salary in and last but not least you need an Australian mobile phone number so your employer/boss/recruiter can contact you in case they have a job for you.
What is a TFN?
The first thing to do is applying for your Australian Tax File Number (TFN). Click here (https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn/foreign-passport-holders,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application) to apply. Without a TFN you get taxed a huge 47% on your salary making any kind of work feeling like a massive rip off. You have to have a postal address where the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will send you a letter with your TFN to. Most backpackers use their hostels address which works out fine. Just ask somebody at the reception how they handle backpackers mail. Although the ATO’s website tell you it can take up to month before you receive a letter I got mine within 2 weeks after I have applied.
What do I need an Australian bank account for?
You have to have an Australian bank account in order to receive your weekly salary from your employer. Also using your credit card from home can result in withdraw fees and shitty conversion rate the banks apply. Instead of loosing out money every time going to an ATM it’s better to choose on of the four major Australian banks to go with, which are:
ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, WestPac (add Links!)
Those 4 banks have by far the best coverage of ATMs Australia wide. If you consider travelling to smaller towns in the outback it’s likely to happen that you’ll find at least on of those 4 banks there. They usually have deals for people on a Working Holiday Visa such as no account keeping fees for the first 12 months. Check out their websites for latest information.
What SIM Card shall I get?
Last step before you ready is to get a SIM Card. Again there heaps of providers in Australia with different data and international call bundles, check their deals online. To keep it simple, I’ve chosen Telstra(link) which is known as the best when it comes to coverage, especially in more remote areas, the outback and the West coast of Australia.
That’s it! Now you are ready to take on a job in Australia.