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Kristin Ernstsen
26, from Norway

What made you decide to work in Australia?

I wanted to do some travelling and needed a job to finance it. As you do.

So, what is it you do now?

I’m currently working in a bar in[Paddington],[Sydney].

And how did you land your new job?

I just walked in to a few[pubs and bars], and handed in my application where it seemed to be good to work. I had experience and all the papers and qualifications, so getting a job was easy.

What was your job back home?

I worked as a graphic designer.

And how does it compare to working in Australia?

The pay in Norway is a lot better and the work conditions are often better as workers have more rights compared to[Australia]. Australia has the best weather and with that comes a much more relaxed lifestyle. And it’s cheaper to live here, so it evens out.

How’s the pay?

It’s quite good for a job in hospitality. As long as you work in a bar that offers the minimum wage, and even has the decency to add points for age and experience, you get paid okay as a bartender. You also get to choose as many hours as you want, so you pretty much decide your own pay. Plus there’s the tip money, as long as you work in a bar with people who tip (you’ll get more tips in a cocktail bar than in a backpacker’s pub).

What are the good points about your new job?

The best thing about working in a bar is the flexibility. In most bars and pubs you only commit to one week’s roster at a time, and you can choose when you want to work. You also get to meet a lot of cool people, and most people working behind bars are fun people to work with.

Are there any bad points?

Late nights and drunks. People spitting when they try to order their 50th drink.

Where in Australia have you been so far?

I’ve been to[Melbourne],[Perth],[Darwin],[Tasmania], all over the[Gold Coast] and pretty much everywhere between Surfers Paradise and Sydney on the east coast.

What would you advise other travellers considering your job?

Only apply in bars that look like places you could survive working in. Don’t work in a pub where the customers have no teeth and spend their entire dole cheques on bourbon and coke while listening to country music – unless you’re into that sort of thing. For any bar jobs you also have to get an RSA certificate.[Search live jobs now]