The best things in life are free, some bloke sang back in the day. The problem is that a lot of the really good stuff is far from free. In fact, if you’re not careful you’ll soon find your savings haemoraging and your credit card screaming for mercy.

You may even start doubting some of those apparently “genius” saving tips, such as only buying yourself jugs of beer as “it will work out cheaper in the long run”.

The day of horrible realisation often hits travellers desperate to stay longer, so work becomes a necessary evil. But if you have to work, you might as well make it as easy as possible and have a laugh while you’re at it.

Kitchen and bar staff are always in demand, especially at this time of year, and jobs can be picked up fairly easily in any of the major cities. Just make sure you hold on to your last few weird-looking bank notes before you bite the bullet, as you may have to cough up for a training course.

You won’t get work in an area where alcohol is served in New South Wales and Queenslandwithout a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualification and employers in most other states and territories prefer it.

The good news is that it only takes a day to get one.

The bad news is it’s unlikely to be an adrenalin-fuelled, action-packed day and it costs about $65-75. Plus it only applies to the state you are in.

That said, once it’s done you can sign up to an agency and be working in no time.

“Jobs in demand include waitstaff and kitchen hands,” says Lisa Pratt of Zenith Hospitality. “We are currently employing in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”

Plus, if you’re desperate to catch your favourite band at an upcoming festival, but have no chance of finding the readies in time, then why not try and see them from behind the bar.

“We have lots of events such as music festivals, sporting events, etc and demand peaks at those times,” says Lisa Pratt.

“We need people with a passion for hospitality.

We employ waitstaff and kitchen hands with a minimum of one years experience, a mobile phone, a great personality and presentation skills.”

“We have lots of events such as music festivals, sporting events etc and demand peaks at those times,” says Lisa.

“We employ waitstaff and kitchen hands with a minimum of one years experience, a mobile phone, a great personality and presentation skills.” But the she says there’s still plenty of opportunities for willing workers who lack experience.

“If people have a positive attitude and work ethic they can pick up jobs in smaller venues to get experience initially,” she says.

Average pay for hospitality is $17-$18/hour. “Plus more for weekend work and late night shifts,” she says.

Interview with a DJ Karaoke Host


What job did you have at home?
I was an entertainer in a holiday resort in France in summer and I worked in a clothes shop in winter.

Where do you work?
I work as a DJ and karaoke host. I do it all over Sydney.

How did you hear about this job?
A friend got me into it; he saw it advertised in a magazine.

Three words to describe your job?
Too much fun.

Do you meet many interesting people?
I meet all types of people, from the courageous, to the pissheads – after a few drinks everyone thinks they’re Robbie Williams or Joss Stone.

What are the good points of your job?
Lots of free drink, food and the occasional phone number.

Are there any bad points with your job?
Highly intoxicated people who think they are Pop Idol winners. Oh please!

Do you have any funny stories to tell about your job?
Me and my mate did a private gig in Darling Harbour, during which we got the whole restaurant, including passers-by, police officers and people in the queue, singing “Summer Nights” from Grease. Classic!

Do you see this job as a career?
Yes. But I’m sure TV presenting is not too far away.

What wage are you on?
I get $120 per gig, which can range from four to eight hours.

What are you doing with the money you earn here?
To fund my travels around Oz.

What are you going to do when you get home?
I’m going to out-do Robbie Williams and conquer the USA with my voice.