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Finding a job in Australia

As most of you may know, Rusty and I came to Australia together on Rusty’s 457 work visa. Meaning, of course, that he had a job when we got here. I, on the other hand, did not. The fact that I was jobless was only a minor stress to our financial situation, but it was a major stress to my life situation–I am not good at not working! I’m one of those people that needs to be really busy. I like to have my hands in a couple different things at all times. I’m most used to being a student with two jobs and time-intensive athletic hobby. Needless to say, finding a job was definitely at the top of my to-do list once we got settled in to our new apartment.

If you’re looking for a job in Australia, there are a couple ways you can do it.

If you know the company or organization at which you want to work, you can go directly to the employers’ websites and look at their job boards. The employer job boards were easy to find and easy to use. I was looking primarily for university positions when I first started my job search, so I went directly to the job boards for the universities in our area. Once I expanded my search to non-profits and law firms, I went directly to some of the employers I knew were involved in international business with the United States. Of course, this is not very helpful if you do not know which employer you want to work for.

If you know the field or industry in which you want to work, I highly recommend checking out the jobs boards used by your professional organization or organizations. Wanting a job in a library, I periodically checked the job boards for the Australian Library and Information Association, the professional organization for librarians and information specialists in Australia. The job boards on the ALIA’s website were very helpful. I also recommend checking into your professional organization from your home country–there might be members who live in Australia who can help you make connections.

If you have only vague ideas about where to start your job search, check out I spent a lot of time on this site. In my experience, it is a fairly comprehensive collection of the jobs available. I can only really speak to librarian and information specialist positions in the Sydney area, but probably 90% of the jobs that I saw advertised on individual employer job boards or on the ALIA job boards eventually showed up on as well. I made up the number 90%, but I think it’s pretty close. is easy to search and easy to sort, and I highly recommend it if you’re just beginning your search and want to start broad.

A quick note about applying for university jobs: The information packets for the jobs will have a list of selection criteria, and these criteria have to be systematically addressed in your application. The application procedure for each university is different, but it will be clear from the application where you need address them. For some schools there are boxes in the electronic application for you to type your answers to each criteria, and for some schools you can just include it in your cover letter. If you have any questions about the application, there is generally a contact name and email in the information pack.

I tried to take my time, apply for jobs thoughtfully, and consider all of my options, but that plan failed slightly. I only survived a couple weeks of unemployment before I started losing my mind, and I took the first job in my field that was offered to me. Good thing it was a good one!

I currently work in the Central Business District (CBD) at a non-profit organization in my field. It’s nice to be downtown. Part of me loves working in cities.

I don’t think that Rusty and I will always live in urban environments, but it’s certainly nice for now.


About theacademicsabroad

Rusty and Ali are a couple of nerds who moved to Australia to go on adventures. Oh, and work. :)


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November 2012
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