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I Spent a Year Working in Australia: Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Year Working Work Australia Abroad

As gap years become more and more popular, it’s not just students that get to enjoy them.

For people that want to have the adventure of working abroad without necessarily committing to emigrating to living overseas for years and years, a gap year is the perfect solution.

In order to enjoy a year working abroad, you don’t have to go through an organisation or get onto an official programme, you can just decide that you’re going to go for it, and go for it!

This is what Kate French, 24, decided to do when she was not able to find the type of permanent employment she was looking for in London.

Making a Change

Kate told us, “I was getting really disheartened because I had been looking for work for two years since I graduated and I’d only got temp jobs. I studied economics at university and, naively, I thought I would be able to walk into a good job in the City, but I just kept going for interviews and nothing really happened.”

Kate decided to have a total change of scene and go to Australia for a year, where she has family based in Sydney.

She continued, “All my friends were forging ahead with their careers and I was starting to feel like I would never find a job because I was feeling so negative. My aunt suggested I pay her a visit and I thought I would stay for a whole year. I bought an open return flight so that I could come back if I wanted to, which stopped me feeling a real pressure. I was lucky to have family to stay with at first, so I went over as soon as I could.”

Looking For Work

As soon as Kate arrived, she asked her aunts friends if any of them knew of any work available. One friend owned a bar in the popular tourist district of Rock and offered her a few shifts.

Kate explained, “I had worked in the student union bar so I was able to hit the ground running. As the bar was in a popular area, I met loads of people really easily. It was just what I needed – a confidence boost. I got talking to a lady that ran a recruitment agency for the financial industry and she offered me a part time job as a recruitment consultant. It gave me the chance to get to know the banking sector from another angle and I felt sure it would help me when I got back to London.”

The job was also perfect for improving Kate’s CV. Her boss reviewed her CV to help Kate appreciate why she was not getting any offers back in the UK and she thought that the amount of unrelated temp work since leaving university was stopping potential employers from taking her seriously.

A New Opportunity

After six months working at the agency during the week and the bar at weekends, Kate saw a contract position at one of the financial institutions she recruited for. She spoke to her boss and asked if it was possible if she could be put forward for it. As the agency would gain a fee if she was offered the job, her boss agreed as long as she would help to train a replacement consultant.

Kate concluded, “Having gained six months of relevant experience, updated my CV and had a considerable confidence boost, I was able to present myself far better at interview. Working in recruitment had also taught me a lot about interview techniques. I was offered the job after the second interview and I know that the experience I have gained will really help me when I get back to London.”

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