The Truth about Finding Work on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV)

I’ve been in Melbourne, Australia for about 8 weeks now and finding work really hasn’t been simple. Here I’ll tell you the truth about what it really like to be here and trying to find work.


Don’t trust the online perception of the Working Holiday Visa, it’s very easy to be tricked into what it will be like and how ‘easy’ it will be to find work. I spent quite a lot of time looking at work online, and reading blogs before we came out here and I thought I was prepared, but truly its even shocked me how hard it is to find work.

What’s Tom experience been like?

Let’s start with Tom, who’s definitely had the best experience. Back in the UK Tom has been an experienced chef for quite a few years. He’s the main reason we have decided to move out here as last time we came out to Australia people were telling him how easy he’d get employed, and how much better the rates would be out here for chefs compared to the UK – they were definitely right. Within the first week he was offered interviews, and within three weeks he’d accepted a great job. He’s happy, and enjoying work. He works long hours but is doing very well, and I’m so proud of how well he’s managed to adapt and take care both of us financially, without him I’d of been a flight home by now!

Whats my experience been like?

I haven’t had quite the same experience, and its been quite mentally draining. Back in the UK I’m a designer and developer, and when I left the UK I was pretty certain that I wouldn’t be able to find that type of work out here – but I thought I’d be able to at least find something. I’ve been applying for all sorts of jobs from Cafe Assistant, Cleaner roles to Freelance Designer roles – with a specified/adapted CV for each of these roles. I’ve had good feedback on my CV but generally just been told they’d don’t employ Working Holiday Visa’s.

My next route is to see what January brings, and if that still brings no look then to move out of Melbourne for a few months to do some farm work while Tom finishes his current working contract.

Final Words

Please don’t come to Australia expecting there to be endless roles, if you are like me and have been working in a professional career oriented environment for many years then the chances are you’ll find it very tough.

If you are coming over here as a confident young person, willing to take any role then you’ll probably find it a lot easier than me. But if you’re like me and have been in a career for several years, lack confidence in the workplace and generally easily get anxious or depressed then maybe rethink and just come for a holiday!