Job Hunting In Perth

Trip Start Feb 28, 2010
Trip End Jan 28, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, July 15, 2010

It’s been a while since we’ve took time out to get down what’s been going on since we landed in Australia just over 3 months ago. The reason for that is a mixture of laziness on my part (Joe), but mainly because we’ve been working 6 day weeks pretty much flat out since we landed in Perth direct from Singapore.
Thinking about it we’ve done a heck of a lot, we managed to find a job, a new place to live, buy a car (we‘ve called her Olive by the way), buy a new wardrobe, get kitted up with camping equipment, save a fair bit of money and had a whole lot of fun and madness in between!
Arriving Down Under

Thinking back to 3 months ago when we stepped off the plane in our battered Asian summer clothes- I must have looked a right idiot in a pair of Hawaiian shorts, flips flops and a vest in weather that can be described as British like (about 12 degrees, windy and no sunshine!). We’ve really grown to miss Asia over the last 3 months but at the time we were really excited about coming to a country with a totally different culture and not having to have rice and noodles for pretty much every meal of the day!
The first thing that was a big shock about Australia was how expensive it was, the Australian dollar is wooping the ass of our wimpy British Pound at the moment and it really hits hard. We had expected and budgeted for Oz to be as expensive as England but the essentials such as a case of beer is generally twice as expensive (around 45 AUD/30GBP for a case) and getting the ingredients in for a nice meal is virtually the same as a decent main course in Lark Lane! Our original plan was to see the West Coast for a few weeks and then head over the more popular (but a lot more touristy) East Coast. After getting some quotes from travel agents on the best way to travel the vast distances involved in getting up and down the west coast (WA is bigger than Western Europe) we made the decision to look for work on the West Coast and continue the rest of our trip once we have lots of strong Aussie Dollars in the bank.
At this point we were not in the best of situations. After seeing our savings go down at a more than acceptable rate in Asia, suddenly, as each day went by our savings were disappearing quicker than the miniature bottles of Jack Daniels on our flight from Singapore (which were complementary as well by the way!) . We had no idea what the job market for backpackers was like on the West Coast , the West Coast is sparsely populated* and the bulk of tourists and backpackers go straight to the East Coast for typical backpacker work and touristy stuff such as Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef etc:
[*1.8 million people live in the whole of Western Australia (1.3 million of which live in Perth), per capita of population - it’s about as spacious as you can get on planet earth according to some tourist leaflet I read! ]
Job Hunting In Perth

After a few days job hunting , spending the bulk of out time in Perth State Library on the free internet terminals and eating Subway sandwiches (they were cheap!) we were feeling a bit demoralized. After one week in Oz we hadn’t seen anything of Australia except the centre of Perth and a job place called Aussie Jobs, which we religiously queued up at 5 days a week at 9:00AM along with a whole host of other desperate backpackers from across the globe. I can remember me and Laura going out for a few drinks one night with an Irish couple (Tommy & Karen) we had met in our hostel and we couldn’t stop laughing at our situation:

We were living in a dorm with five other lads, 2 of which insisted on sleep farting nearly every night (that’s when they weren’t coming in wasted waking everyone up at all hours), queuing up every morning at a place that can only be compared to the dole office but for backpackers and watching our travel savings disappear- doing absolutely nothing in a city we were not all that impressed with so far. Did we really risk half decent jobs back in England for this? For the first time since Laura’s bag got nicked in Kho Pa Nagen we were a bit low……..hats off to Laura for putting up with sleeping in one of the worst dorm rooms for 2 weeks though!!
After about 10 days in Perth we had basically bet all of our cards on finding work here, we were going to stay until we either got a job or ran out of money and had to come home. We made finding a job a full time job, every single day we were in recruitment agencies, searching the internet and ringing up numbers from the paper, then 10 days in we got a break. A call centre operation cold calling various promotions offered us a job, not the type of work experience you travel to the other side of the world to find but at least it was some paid hours for both us. Then out of the blue, the day we were about to start work in the call centre, a job came up at Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort with your accommodation included. It sounded perfect, and was exactly what we had been looking for- a job doing something totally different to what we’re used to, a totally new working environment (that it happened to be paradise was a bonus). It’s funny how one event can totally change your whole mindset, suddenly everything seemed like it was going in our favor, we got a phone call offering us another job (they were like buses), suddenly we could appreciate Perth for the great city it is and we were going to get to work in a place that was one of our ‘must do’ places to go and visit in Oz. We had a good few drinks to celebrate that night and the old sleep farting didn’t even bother us when we got in!
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