Working Interstate

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Ever thought about dragging yourself and your backpack to a new town and working there for a while?

Well, join the club. Every year many of us move from one part of Australia to another. It's a big country and there are lots of new places to go.

Planning to work interstate

Let's assume you're not a professional looking for a high-powered role. Instead let's say you're willing to have a go at anything, and that you're happy to roll up your sleeves and take part in a new experience.

There are two questions to ask before you plan your new life:

  • Where are you going? The kinds of jobs on offer really depend on where you'd like to spend time. You're obviously much more likely to land a ski resort job at Thredbo, than, let's say, Cairns.
  • And when? A lot of available work is seasonal. Even if you turn up in Thredbo, there's not much chance of you landing that ski job if you arrive in December.

In other words, it's worth thinking hard about the kind of experience you'd like to have and plan your trip around that. Then again, you might be the kind of person who lets fate decide, and you'll do whatever's going at the time. Up to you.

What kinds of jobs are available?

If you work for a company with interstate offices, you might be able to arrange a transfer. This is an easy option but it may mean you'll end up working in an environment that isn't all that different to home.

If you'd like to try your hand at something new, there are lots of choices. Here are some common ones:

  • Hospitality - the staple of any young adventurer. Bars, pubs, restaurants and caf├ęs can be found wherever people meet, especially tourist areas in high season. You'll get to meet lots of new people and have fun, but the hours can be a drag. Think about doing a bar/waiting course to further your chances.
  • Labouring and construction - worth a shot if you're physically fit. Make sure your conditions are acceptable and you have the right safety gear.
  • WWOOFing - this stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms (new window). This is where you live and work on an organic farm, usually with a family or community. There's no pay as such but accommodation and meals are provided.
  • Retail - another common choice. Shop assistant work is relatively easy to get and can also be found in places where tourists don't go.
  • Nursing - a great option but you need to be qualified.
  • Office and clerical work - otherwise known as 'temping'. Generally good conditions but you won't get much of a tan.
  • Fruit picking - naturally, this is seasonal work. You'll be out in the sun so don't forget to slip, slop slap! But conditions can be hard and the pay low - do your research on potential employers.

A word about conditions

No matter where you work, your employer is legally obliged to provide you with decent working conditions. If you think you might be short-changed on safety, pay or benefits such as super, or you're subject to workplace harassment, contact the WorkCover body in the state you're in. Our 'Employee Rights' page is a useful starting point.

Where to find jobs

You can look for a job in person or online. Once of the best options involves contacting job agencies in the state you're in. Our 'Jobs & Careers' section has a heap of pages to get you started on the job search.

How to land a job

Here are some really basic tips:

  • Dress neatly and be polite to prospective employers
  • Leave them with your contact details. Include your mobile phone and email address, especially if you're moving around a lot. Business cards are a great idea.
  • Keep electronic copies of your CV on hand for emailing to employers or for printing out
  • Register with a job search website - you can easily set up your profile to email you when a possible job comes up
  • Check the local classifieds
  • Be flexible and available
  • Ask people everywhere you go - a large number of jobs are never advertised

Links for working interstate

WorkCover Victoria - Worker Information
Find out about your rights and responsibilities as a worker in Victoria, or follow links to other state WorkCover agencies.

Centrelink - Job Seekers
Variety of information for Australian job seekers on services, payments and training options provided by this Federal Government agency.

Jobsearch - Job Network Services Finder
Search this online service for a Job Network provider in your area. Covers all of Australia.