There’s not much that can rival the excitement of arriving in a new country for the very first time. Having stepped off the plane, you navigate your double luggage allowance through to customs who confirm your residency status and waive you through.
Yes, you’ve finally arrived in Australia to start your new life. So much to see, to do, and discover. At this point a couple of things might be nagging away in the back of your mind though.
You are homeless and you’re out of work.
This may sound slightly dramatic, but for many people who arrive here it can be the reality. Not everybody has a friend or relative to meet them or help them out when they get here, they have to fend for themselves and hit the ground running.
Where to live and how to earn money will probably be your first big challenges, so how do you overcome them?
Finding somewhere to stay in Australia
At the moment I’m not talking about the long-term solution or whether you should buy or rent, I’m talking about loading up your luggage into a taxi at the airport, giving the driver an address and him taking you to somewhere where you’ll have a roof over your head immediately.
Gumtree was established in Australia in 2007 and since then has become a household name, a treasure trove of stuff, not just here, but in many other countries including the UK. Check out their Real Estate section and you will find thousands and thousands of adverts most of which are offering rooms to share in houses all over Australia.
The few houses you might find available for rent on Gumtree are probably being rented out privately, that is without a rental agency. On that basis you may be able to negotiate a six-month term instead of the normal minimum 12 months, which will help you settle down until you know where you want to live more permanently.
This is the kind of property you want to be looking for if you are a family with children.
But mostly on Gumtree you will find that it is rooms to rent or house sharing. This may not be something you would normally consider, but when you’ve just arrived fresh in a new country with no contacts, I think this kind of accommodation could be perfect. People who rent out rooms in their houses are often friendly, talkative and helpful by nature and that’s just the type of person you need right now.
You can often tie up six-month contracts or less with these kinds of arrangements and that gives you enough time to settle in. During this period you can find your job, decide which suburb you would really like to live in and when you know exactly where you want to live you can think about more permanent accommodation.
House sharing and rooms to rent are the perfect solution if you have come here on your own or as a couple. Of course, you’ll need to secure your house share before you arrive here. I suggest you email, telephone, send photographs of yourselves, be chatty and friendly and offer to do a video Skype call or similar in order to tie up the deal.
Airbnb is also worth a look, and again, to keep the costs down I would be looking to share a house with someone for the same reasons I’ve given above. Within the menu you can select how many of you are coming split by adults and children, and then select the Private Room option. This will keep the costs down.
Homestay is another option, and again, worth a look.
Once you have been here a while, settled in and know exactly where you want to live, then realestate.com.au would be a better place to search, whether you want to buy or rent.
Finding a job in Australia
It’s amazing how quickly your money gets sucked out of you when you have no job. Expenses without income is bad, very bad. You may well have arrived with some good qualifications, skills and experience, but sometimes getting that perfect job takes a while.
Gumtree also has a jobs section, as does Trading Post who at the time of writing have been going for almost 50 years…
Between them they have thousands of job listings, whether they be full-time, casual, part-time or contract. The kind of jobs that take one interview rather than 3 to secure. Labourers, hairdressers, cleaners, chefs, drivers, salespeople, I could make an endless list here, it’s much easier if you go over and check out the listings for yourself.
If you want to start earning money now, rather than in three or four month’s time, then Google both these publications and check out their job sections.
It is worth remembering though that both Gumtree and Trading Post are community websites and most adverts are placed by private individuals. So never send anybody any money in advance for anything and be wary of anyone who asks, or you could up selling fake tans or useless health pills to your family and friends at parties.
And nobody wants that.
If you have come here though as a highly skilled person and need to stick to your career path, I suggest you check out my page called Getting a Job Sponsorships in Australia and Finding Work for those kind of options.