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Cadas

Sydney.....one month in living and working

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hi,

 

Thought I´d give a bit of feedback on starting new life in Oz.

 

We got our visa´s back in April, state sponsored by ACT. After trying to find work from offshore for a couple of months with no success, I took the plunge and came down leaving family back in Europe saying goodbye to friends and family.

 

Our first choice was ACT, then maybe Adelaide, but within 24hrs of arriving I had a good good offer in Sydney. Through gritted teeth I turned it down thinking I´d hold out for ACT, etc. Two weeks later not even an interview elsewhere and I´m starting to worry.....then Sydney came back with better offer and what could I do? By the way DIAC don´t care that ACT sponsored me, I´ll explain later...!

 

So moved to Sydney, found a cracking short term flat right on Bondi beach front for six weeks while I looked for something permanent.

 

House hunting was not as bad as some of the stories I had heard. I only saw one house on an open day and it wasn´t great so didn´t stay long. I looked at ten other properties, all empty, view at any time, no competition. Demand isn´t great at the moment if you pick the right areas.

 

Should explain house hunting....for me I had a limit of 500 a week, but on arrival and seeing some in this range, it went to 750....500 gets you crap in commutable areas. My method was to do a search on Domain for any house anywhere for budget with right beds, etc. then overlay the train map and narrow down the choice to those houses within 10 mins of stations. That gave me 20 or so houses in about 6 areas and they were the one I focused on.

 

As I said, demand is low....I had nothing ready, but gave all details, refs, etc., but I know they rang my work and left message but never followed it up, so in the end I got a lease without any refs or backup. Really odd.

 

Then I started work......to set the scene, I am a Partner level project director in the property industry.

 

Sydney is a long hours culture....be under no illusions what so ever that you will be breakfasting on the patio and strolling to work then hitting the beach on the way home......never going to happen. Couple of my collegues swim on bondi before work...at 5.30 til 6 am....in a couple of weeks it might be daylight. For me the day starts at 5.30 and I get home at 7.30-8.00.

 

Base hours are 8 til 6..... and you work them all, and some.. Culture is different as well, it is quite a macho environment and that includes the women ( about 40% of office are female) so the quiet english reserve needs some work.

 

On the good side, this company supplies breakfast and I get a fruit basket (!!) daily plus papers, coffee shop and other stuff..... and on Friday afternoon, they open the beer fridge.. and you get free drinks for a few hours. Very social, the whole office stays and it is a great way to unwind and build office spirit. Works better then different groups hitting the pubs on a friday.

 

Other stuff....credit cards and car loans were straightforward. Only big hassle so far has been driving licence. NSW RTA will not give you a licence without a sticker in your passport. DIAC hate them for it but RTA will not use the electronic system and will not accept your grant letter...sticker or nothing. And you have to do it as the driving licence is almost the most important piece of ID you will own.

 

So had to get sticker.... went to immigration office by central station, and it took 15 mins. Chatted with officer about moving to NSW, even changed address to Sydney and they were happy. Said that the 176 visa had no restrictions therefore they were not interested. Happy I had found a job.

 

All in Oz so far is pretty good. It is expensive, and when you understand the long hours you understand why some things are as they are. Just waiting for the family now.


ACT SS Application 30/7/10, ACT SS Approved 31/8/10, application lodged 29/11/10, CO appointed 27/1/11, Med & PCC Req 11/2/11, Meds finalised 6/3/11, PCC´s submitted 7/3/11, Wifes Meds finalized 29/3/11...VISA GRANTED 7/4/11

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Guest siamsusie

Great post and thank you for sharing.

 

I have seen this about the Driving licences in NSW.. apparently DIAC are aware of this and trying to over come the problem lol.

 

I hope you enjoy your life here in Australia.

 

Susie x

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Thank you for the update, glad Sydney came back with a better offer. How long before your family come out?


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Guest Hatton

Great post, telling it as it is.

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I reject that long hours culture and I refuse to be defined by my job! I've done 3 months work in three years. The only way I know it's Monday rather than Sunday is that the beach is less crowded.

 

In my defence I did work those mega hours in the 80's and 90's until I paid my mortgage off.

 

I HATE 'dress down Friday' too - typical crap imposed from above ie 'you WILL have fun at work.'

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The hours were the biggest shock to the system. I'd been working from home for the past year and before that in the middle east when we only went to work because we were bored and fancied a change.

 

Family hopefully arrive at the end of September, still waiting for furniture, etc. Everything is also taking longer as we didn't sell a uk house, I've had to fund the move off savings and what I am earning. The costs of setting yourself up here are high, and it hasn't been easy.

 

When you add in flights, accommodation for 6 weeks, that adds up to around 4k.

Then a house, with bond and rent, budget another 4k. Then furniture, 5k, plus the stuff I had to buy here, bedding, mattresses....for me another 5k.

 

By the time I fly the family and the dog out, plus buy a car (cheap!!) I won't get much change from 30k all in less than three months.

 

And it's not like drowning your sorrows helps.....6.50$ a pint.


ACT SS Application 30/7/10, ACT SS Approved 31/8/10, application lodged 29/11/10, CO appointed 27/1/11, Med & PCC Req 11/2/11, Meds finalised 6/3/11, PCC´s submitted 7/3/11, Wifes Meds finalized 29/3/11...VISA GRANTED 7/4/11

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Thanks very much for the insite. We are about 98% sure we'll be in Sydney by October at the latest. Nice to here from someone a few months ahead of where we are in the whole move process.

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This is a great post mate. I am in a similar situation in that I have just been Sydney for over a month. The difference is I am 26 and don't have a lot of the same responsibilities and out lays that you have compared to myself.

 

You do have to work hard Monday to Friday but for me, if I get to spend my weekends surfing and enjoying the nice weather then for me it's worth it.

 

Hope it all works out for you mate.

 

All the best,

 

Kev

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kevin - that's exactly the mindset. you get out what you put in

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I HATE 'dress down Friday' too - typical crap imposed from above ie 'you WILL have fun at work.'

 

As far as I'm concerned, if it's ok to dress casual on Friday, why isn't ok the other days? And if you're expected to dress smart because of the impression it makes on any clients who may be in the building etc, then why doesn't that apply on Fridays?

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As far as I'm concerned, if it's ok to dress casual on Friday, why isn't ok the other days? And if you're expected to dress smart because of the impression it makes on any clients who may be in the building etc, then why doesn't that apply on Fridays?

 

It's all about being a PRO-ACTIVE (I HATE that word) member of the team and the 'dress casual' still has rules. You don't turn up in board shorts & thongs. They do business with other companies with the same philosophy.

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Great post, very informative. I see you mention the long working hours in Oz. Did you find it any different in the UK?

 

No doubt, at your level, you would be getting the rewards for the hours you put in, so I guess you've picked your career path and you have to take what comes along with it. If you want high powered jobs and a big salary then you will also probably have to put up with longer working hours/less time for family, relaxing.

When we came over here I was determined to spend as little time at work as possible whilst still getting enough to live on.

 

I have avoided and turned down a couple of "career" moves simply because my priorites are to have maximum time off to enjoy my surroundings.

 

I have been working at the same company for 17 years now and have 17 weeks long service leave to come and about 4 weeks annual leave to take. I very rarely work longer than 38 hours a week and the company give us a bit of time off in lieu if we have to work longer.

 

I've worked in the IT, comms and Defence fields ever since I finished Uni back in the early 80's. Always tried to stick to decent hours both here and the UK. No company has put pressure on me to work longer.

 

I guess it depends on the industry you are in, not whether you live in Sydney or not. The company I work for has its head office in Sydney and the guys over there don't work any longer than I do. In fact they have more flexible working times so they can miss the traffic. Maybe a bit longer commute though.

 

If you want the big salaries, big job titles and more disposable income then I guess you will have to be prepared for the longer hours.

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It's all about being a PRO-ACTIVE (I HATE that word) member of the team and the 'dress casual' still has rules. You don't turn up in board shorts & thongs. They do business with other companies with the same philosophy.

 

I've never known a company force people to "dress down" though. If you don't want to don't do it. Turn up in whatever you feel comfortable in.

 

I've found the dress code in Oz more relaxed than the UK to be honest. Suits me fine as I'm a jeans and T-shirt type of guy. Would hate to have to wear a suit every day. Only have one and that's the same one I got married in.

:cool:

 

If I were the original poster when he mentions the drinks on Friday and the "team building" element of that. I'm guessing that there's not a lot of work being knocked about Friday afternoon.

I wouldn't be hanging about drinking with work colleagues, I would be off home asap to get down the beach or something. I guess he might change when the family get here.

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I've never known a company force people to "dress down" though. If you don't want to don't do it. Turn up in whatever you feel comfortable in.

 

I've found the dress code in Oz more relaxed than the UK to be honest. Suits me fine as I'm a jeans and T-shirt type of guy. Would hate to have to wear a suit every day. Only have one and that's the same one I got married in.

:cool:

 

If I were the original poster when he mentions the drinks on Friday and the "team building" element of that. I'm guessing that there's not a lot of work being knocked about Friday afternoon.

I wouldn't be hanging about drinking with work colleagues, I would be off home asap to get down the beach or something. I guess he might change when the family get here.

 

Actually, I do miss going down the pub on Friday arvo - 'Rockers' aka The Wooloomooloo Bay Hotel. It was like NYE every week of the year, Two hours of Tooheys New on an empty stomach, everyone off their faces by 6pm and ready for the famous Wooloomooloo Burger.

 

'Six by Six' I seem to recall was the acceptable standard ie six schooners in two hours and no cheating with Tooheys Blue.

 

I don't mean to be cynical and negative (RE-active?) about work. It's just that I wore myself out in the 80's and 90's, working back till 10pm, coming home stressed out. Downsizing, people having to do the work of two, going to work when they are sick.

 

Now they have this cult of 'presenteeism', everyone scared to go home 'early'.

 

I admit I've gone too far the other way now but I am determined never to be so stressed out again.

 

I just wish I could think on my feet. This agency rang me back about my CV, not good enough she said, 'what about these long gaps, send me a new CV', me mumbling and stammering (and feeling guilty because I was at the beach) young Pommie Sheila too, should have known better. 24 hours later I knew what I should have said to her. 'I came out here to retire. I work when I need to, not when I have to.'

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Hi, home fairly early tonight so catching up on posts!

 

In answer to one post, yes I used to work very long hours in the UK and in my late 30's I took a sabbatical and worked for a lot less money and often from home, so I've seen both sides.

 

I knew what I was getting into here and have no problem with it. It's a career choice, I am well rewarded and for the next few years at least, this is what I do. My grumbling was simply the response of a body more used to the beach and lie-ins than getting up in the dark and having to shave every day! Spent more on razors in a month than I spent last year.

 

The after work (in office) beer on a Friday is well attended out of choice. On friday, work stops at five, you can either join colleagues for a beer or continue working until normal finish at six. Most choose the former! It's very relaxed, all levels are there and it is one of the most effective team building, interactive things I have seen in an office.

 

We don't do dress down Fridays, but I've found that dress is more relaxed than when I last worked in an office in the uk 8-9 years ago. I still wear a suit, but no one wears ties and there is more freedom on shirts, etc. Not sure if that is OZ generally.


ACT SS Application 30/7/10, ACT SS Approved 31/8/10, application lodged 29/11/10, CO appointed 27/1/11, Med & PCC Req 11/2/11, Meds finalised 6/3/11, PCC´s submitted 7/3/11, Wifes Meds finalized 29/3/11...VISA GRANTED 7/4/11

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