Some tips on how to be prepared for your transition to Australia.


Do your research before the move!

We strongly encourage you to do your research before coming to a new country. Doing some research and understanding your move to Australia will help you to decide if it is the right move for you and also give you a wealth of information to help you answer questions at interviews. A hiring organisation in Australia will want you to quickly transition into the new role and not be slowed down by a lengthy transition for a new recruit.

Here are some suggested research activities for someone considering a move to Australia that will seriously improve your chances of being hired and secure the right role:

  • Network with people who have worked and lived in Australia and find out what challenges they faced and how they would describe their new home, work life etc, different to your current location.
  • Use your personal network or reconnect with your alumni, business professions or contacts on LinkedIn to get first hand information of working in Australia. This might also include attending advents run by Australian organisations such as the Australian embassy or expat community.
  • Research the skills in demand for your chosen profession by state and nationally. This includes qualifications that will be recognised and any extra studies you may need to take to be recognised in Australia. Useful websites for more information are Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and The Department of Employment.
  • Talk to international recruiters in your chosen profession who work across different job markets to see where the skill demand/supply exists. Whilst Melbourne and Sydney are the two largest cities, your particular expertise may be in demand in outback Queensland or smaller cities such as Adelaide and Perth. These recruiters will often have career advice, blogs or white papers on topical recruitment subjects or even salary information, that will help you to understand the culture of the Australian job market. Two examples of recruiters who work in China and Australia are Morgan McKinley and Hays.
  • The Australian business community really values local experience. If you are considering studying in Australia, find out more about the possible career paths, industry links and opportunities to gain local experience through internships or projects. You do not want to complete a course that will not help your employability. Also, do not expect the education institution to supply you with a job at the end of your course. They are providing you with education, not a job!
  • Avoid saying anything that you think the recruiter wants to get your first job. Unfortunately, many candidates do this and fail in their job search. Why? Because it is not obviously inauthentic and demonstrates that the candidate is not prepared or  desperate. This is a big turn off to recruiters.
  • Be flexible on how you get your first break. Think of your first role in Australia is a testing ground for you and your hiring organisation. One of the reasons that Australian companies value local experience is that they know you are committed to the long term in your chosen career.
  • Consider the different ways you may be engaged in work that will be valued by the hiring organisation and get you worthwhile experience. For example, completing a short-term project or working on a casual or contract basis. Also consider a variety of stepping stones might get you to where you want to in the long run. This might mean working at lower level that your role you left at home.
  • Find out your work rights. Immigration is closely monitored by the Australian Federal government with the view of protecting work opportunities for local citizens first. As Australia has a federal system of three year terms, the rules on immigration will change quite often!
  • Learn about the culture of the organisations and country you plan to work in. Investigate how the cultural preferences match or do not match, your values. What does this mean for your career or choice of location or lifestyle? See the work of Geert Hofstede on his 6 Dimensions model to help you describe culture. Click on this link to see Hofstede’s description of Australian culture.

A useful resource that can help you to understand recruitment, how business is done in a range of countries is Going Global. This site has free and paid resources to help you understand some basic facts on working in your new country.

For information on East2West career coaching services including online, interactive courses, free resources and how to contact us, go to our website east2west careers.


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