Strange as it may sound, often the best way to appreciate a new country is to do exactly what you would at home. That way you get to notice the subtleties, the little differences that don’t jump out quite so blatantly. Therefore, seeing as basically everybody nowadays seems to have worked in an office, they seem a logical place to start.

Luckily for anyone looking, it is also pretty easy. 
Geoffrey Nathan is one of the companies helping to place thousands of travellers in Aussie offices.

“Basically we assist working holiday makers secure employment and also introduce tax-free allowances which means candidates take home more money each week,” says candidate manager Mandy Bayrami, who is on a Working Holiday Visa herself.

“People can email us their CV and then we’ll call them back and get them to come in.

“We get most people interviews within a few days. Sometimes the same afternoon.

“Plus, we have offices in London, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, so if you register in one city we can help you find work in another.”

Firms are generally looking for positive, switched on individuals with at least six months office experience. But with it being a candidate-short market, a good personality can be almost as important.

Experience will most likely determine what sort of role you can land, but there’s plenty ofpositions to choose from, whether it be receptionists, data entry operators, customer service reps, call centre, administration, clerical, PA’s, legal secretaries, to name but a few.

How much hard-earned cash you get to stuff in your wallet will obviously also vary depending on the type of role you get. But as a rough estimate you could expect to earn at least $18-19/hour for call centre work or $20/hour for receptionist jobs.

That could easiliy escalate to $25/hour and above for more skilled positions, such as in banking. There is also a good chance that the firm you are placed with may offer you some training.

If you’re a skilled worker, or end up in a managerial role, there’s even the possibility you could get sponsored and end up staying on to earn the big bucks.

Interview with an Admin Assistant

Edward Friswell – 28, UK

What do you do?
I work in the head office of a private community nursing company. I am providing general administration cover. My duties are varied and include one hour a day covering reception, some data input, sorting out the nurses’ weekly pay sheets, placing job adverts in local press and internet and ensuring stationary supplies are sufficient.

What did you do back home?
I recently qualified as a clinical psychologist. I’m just taking a year off before I get stuck in to the career.

How does your new job compare to your job back home?
It’s completely different.

How did you land your job?
I signed up with an agency who circulated my CV to recruiters all over Sydney. I was called in for interviews immediately and I started work the next day.

Was it hard finding a job in the office/ admin sector?
Too easy. I had three other job offers by the end of the day.

What are the good points about your job?
I am always doing different things, and they keep me busy so the time goes quickly. It is not merely mindless data entry, which I was prepared to do. The other staff are all friendly. Also, I get more job satisfaction working for a company that is providing a useful service to people in need, rather than merely selling my soul to a company to help them make more profits. And I have good views of Sydney.

How’s the pay?
I get $25 an hour. It’s far less than what I was earning back home, but it seems quite good considering I landed a job in less than 24 hours. 

Any advice for other travellers considering a job in this sector?
Do it. Save as much as you can. Each hour I earn as much as I spent in two days travelling in Pakistan! Use an agency. They send your CV to lots of people – you’d be a turnip not to get a job within days.