Working Holiday Visas: The World of Temporary Work Downunder

Why working in short-term roles can have surprising benefits

So you’ve taken the plunge and left your job, flown across the world to Australia and are in possession of a treasured Working Holiday Visa. You’ve travelled the East Coast, hit the Red Centre, attempted to stand on a surfboard and seen a kangaroo. What next? Well after checking your wallet and finding it empty, the realisation hits hard that it's time to get a job to pay your way through the next few months.

In Australia to qualify for a WHV you must be between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive). You can work up to a maximum of 12 months and it's important to remember that you can only spend a maximum of 6 months with one employer.

Whilst this might initially be a concern for job-seekers not used to working in short-term assignments, the good news is that ‘temping’ can have a lot of benefits and advantages in ways you might not have considered.

Here are a few tips that might help when you start to look for that first opportunity in Australia.

Embrace short-term roles
Use this opportunity to try new industries that you haven’t worked in previously. Gaining exposure to different business cultures and companies will mean you keep current in fresh and modern ways of working. You’ll bring new ideas and won’t be ‘stuck in your ways’ when you return to longer-term work.

Gain lots of new skills
In short-term roles, you’ll be able to learn new skills in different areas of work, use new systems and technology and therefore build out your CV for the future.

Grow your network in a new country
Increasing your business connections in Australia will lead to more networking opportunities. The stronger your network here, the more likely you'll hear about the most interesting jobs before anyone else.

Want to make new friends?
In a temporary role, you will meet like-minded individuals who could become your mates in no time.

Want to travel?
A temporary role lets you have the flexibility to take control of your work-life balance. You can organise your schedule to go on trips around Australia and beyond during your time here.

Rediscover your work mojo
Returning to the workforce in a short-term role will give you your confidence back especially if you’ve been travelling and haven’t been in a ‘work’ mindset for a while.

Improve your cash flow
A temporary role pays weekly or fortnightly rather than monthly - allowing you to manage your finances consisently. All the better to fund your social life!

Gain a local reference
Australian employers highly value detailed references. Receiving an outstanding reference will put you in a much stronger position than the competition for highly sought after roles.

Be the ‘Top Temp’
Successfully completing short-term roles will ensure that recruitment consultants know they can rely on you. They’ll recommend you to their clients and consequently, you'll hear about more opportunities.

Not ready to go home yet?
After 12 months Down Under, there's every chance you won't want to leave. After working in a variety of interesting and varied temporary roles, HR professionals that I've worked with have gone on to secure a 2nd Year Working Holiday Visa after completing 88 days of specified work in regional Australia. Others have even been offered sponsorship on a 457 visa.

For any additional insights or questions about the world of temporary work in Australia, or to chat about your Human Resources job search please get in touch.