Johanne is a British citizen who worked in Australia. Find out how to have a successful expat experience in Sydney. Johanne worked as a business development director for an events company…
Why did you decide to go to Australia?
My partner is a teacher and he wanted to go to Oz and teach for a year, plus I always wanted to go so, It was now or never, so to speak!
What job did you do there?
I was a Recruitment Consultant.
How did you find the job?
I went into some agencies there and used www.totaljobs.com.
What was your day to day routine?
Part of my day to day routine in Sydney was placing candidates into full time positions whilst sourcing new candidates for jobs I had on. I also had to undertake at least 15 business development and marketing calls per day. I had to write my own job ads, check placements, interview potential candidates for jobs and go on client visits in the hope of getting in new partners. To be honest every day was different.
What was the salary like?
Very Good! And when you compare the costs for rent, food, etc. to the UK, it meant the salary was excellent.
Would you recommend this type of job?
Yes – Recruitment is great if you want to make money – The sky’s the limit with commission!
Do you need to be qualified?
I guess it does help although it’s mostly about interpersonal skills, you have to be able to adapt to different people, be diplomatic and honest, Oh and most importantly you must be able to sell – You’re selling people and you have the chance to change their future, so you have to be good at it!
Did you find accommodation easily and was it expensive?
It took us a couple of weeks to find somewhere nice, the rental market in Australia makes it hard to find somewhere nice, you see it is totally different over there. Unlike the UK the estate agents don’t drive you around and show you place’s like they do here, everything is done by viewings with other people and you can often find yourself being one of many people there to see the place. (it’s then a bit like an auction, people bid for it!)
There are loads of personal ads about; you get them on billboards, lamp posts and at the traffic signals all over town. I don’t believe renting in Oz was overly expensive. It depends on what you want and where! Coming from London nothing could match the prices we were used to paying. All in all it seemed very reasonable.
What’s the night life and social life like?
Great! I had the time of my life and some amazing nights out in Sydney. Once I had found myself some very good girlfriends, life became a ball! There are some great bars in Sydney, which are so much more relaxed and easy going! I spent many a good night in PJ O’Brian’s, dancing the night away! There truly is something for everybody.I was very lucky that my partner plays rugby as that became our social network, I became an official WAG! Seriously we found the best way of meeting people was to join a sports group. Don’t be afraid they don’t bite!
What’s so good about working and living the expat life in Oz?
The work life balance…Unlike the UK people work to live and not live to work. Very few people find themselves working till 9 or 10pm like we do in the UK, (unless you choose that kind of profession). In fact most people go home at 5-5.30 and try to hit the beach for the last couple of hours in the day…much more fun!!!
Are there any negatives?
It can be hard as you are setting up a new life all over again, don’t be prepared for an easy time, as not everything comes easy all the time. (You need to go with your eyes open!)
There are a lot of highs and lows but you need to remember why you are there and stay focused on your goals and what you want to get from your time there!
Tell us the 3 best and worst things about the experience working in Sydney?
1. I learnt so much about myself. I guess it was finding that work life balance and taking time out for myself
2. The people I met, that are now good friends
3. I had the chance to work in an amazing role, I was very lucky that I made some good money which helped to support our travels around Australia.
1. Working whilst in such a gorgeous place, especially when the weather’s so good.
2. Finding the job in the first place, it was hard going. (Not everyone wants employees who are there short term)
3. There is no 3rd thing!
Life is what you make it, the more you put in the more you get out…cheesy I know but it’s very true!
Do you feel this experience will help you in your future career?
I feel that it will help me with every element of my life not just work. The things you learn you take with you. The experience really was ‘a once in a life time’ one. It’s a real eye opener!
Any tips for our readers?
Put in the effort, remember the things in life worth having don’t come for free! Be prepared to talk to and meet other people and remain open minded. You may often need to be the one who starts the conversation but you never know who you could end up making lifelong friends with, just like I did. You don’t know till you try!