Making the most of your Australian gap year - Planning for your Working Holiday Visa

Over 30,000 Brits apply for working holiday visas from the Australian government each and every year. With numbers continuing to rise, Nina Henry offers advice on how to get the most from a gap year in Australia and why it can help you get ahead in the world of employment.

Avoiding the obvious
With most working tourists heading straight for the obvious charms of Sydney, many are missing out on some of Australia's hidden gems. Additionally bear in mind flights into Cairns or Perth are often much better value than those into the city of Sydney. Coming in through the back door allows you to truly experience the vast expanse of the Australian landscape. So rather than flying between cities, renting or even buying a car is a possible option. However, if the thought of navigating the outback in a second hand car terrifies you there are a number of bus services that cover the length and breadth of the country.

Work prospects
You may have an idea of the work you want to undertake already or you may simply be hoping to 'fall into' employment. If you possess particular skills or are highly educated in a specific area, you should have no difficulty in finding paid work. However, even those with good qualifications can benefit from some forward planning and preparation. A chartered surveyor friend of mine got in touch with companies prior to his arrival in Sydney and therefore had work waiting for him. On the other hand, another friend who is qualified and successful teacher spent her time outside the city farming cabbages! Therefore, it is essential that you are prepared for more menial tasks if necessary.

Money, money, money
Although living costs in Australia are slightly cheaper than they are in the UK, it is important not to get carried away. Whilst on a working holiday there needs to be a balance between the two components   too much holiday and you will run out of funds very quickly, too much working and you may as well have stayed at home! And do not forget to calculate tax into your financial planning. Failure to do so can see nearly half your earnings swallowed up by the Australian government.

An employers' viewpoint
For the individual of course, a working gap year promotes personal development - In addition to experiencing other parts of the world as opposed to simply visiting them. But how can it help you leap onto the career ladder? The instant an employer sees that a candidate has participated in a work program during their gap year it speaks volumes to them. It shows courage to move away from the familiar and commitment in seeing something through: Two valuable characteristics when selecting employees.

If you have had a fruitful gap year, your skills will already be better honed and further developed than those you are in competition with. So planning ahead and making the most of your time is of paramount importance.
About the Author :
Nina Henry is a recruitment consultant, specializing in graduate employment. She writes regularly on how to improve CVs and interview preparation for a variety of publications. She recommends to students and graduates who are looking to widen their experience.

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  1. Its a nice article. Thanks for sharing the information .

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