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SophieTheSoph

Sydney: first 2 months

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We've finally got our broadband up and running, so it seems like a good time to do an arrival report for you good PIOers!

 

Background: I got my PR visa about 5 years ago, validated, then met my boyfriend in the UK while waiting to move over to Aus. Decided to stay, and to cut a long story short early in 2011 we decided to give Aus a go together and applied for his defacto spouse visa. The condition of grant was that I had to be in AUstralia when his visa was approved, which meant that I arrived a few weeks before him, but that wasn't too bad in the grand scheme of things. Anyway - he got a subclass 100 (perm) straight off, so that was great.

 

I arrived in late September, and stayed with friends in Bondi for a few weeks while I got over the jetlag and waited for the boyfriend to arrive. Was a bit surprised by the cost of some things (booze, some food), but soon got used to it.

 

Accomodation: As we moved over here with no jobs lined up, finding an apartment was extra challenging for us as we didn't have any proof of earnings. To try to get around this we offered a copy of our bank statement with rental applications and did an intro letter offering 3 months rent up front. To be honest, the rental market where we were looking (the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney) is insanely competitive - one open house I went to had 30 applications before they even opened, and had queues going down the street to view - so regardless of having a job or not it seems like a slightly random system to me! Basically for anything half decent at a decent price you'll be competing with a lot of other people, and most places go for a lot more than advertised (friends mentioned this, and rental agents confirmed it). I kept my eye on Gumtree, and in the end something that sounded good came up, direct with the owners, so I emailed back with a bit of info about us, got the first viewing appointment I could and jumped at it once I'd looked round. Luckily the owners were really nice, an very understanding about our situation and were happy to rent to us at the advertised price with 2 months upfront rent. So, we're in a lovely 1 bed apartment in Clovelly (where I have lived before about 10 years ago), near the beach, good shops, good transport but pretty quiet and civilised for the Eastern Burbs. Rent is $460 which is a fair bit, but significantly less than many of the places I viewed with agents, and compared to trying to live in short term rentals or hostels is pretty competitive.

 

Work: We both came out here without jobs, so have been starting from scratch really as no recruiters in our feilds wanted to discus jobs until we were in the country. Its been a bit of a slog getting out CV's right - they love the super long CV here with LOADS of detail - no restrictions on the amount of pages! I've had a few interviews and come second for a few, but have been fairly selective about what I apply for. My area of work is fairly niche, so there aren't masses of jobs (and its not a job on the SOL) so I am being patient and just trusting that something right will come along soon. Worst case scenario, I will get a temp or retail job over x-mas time to pay the bills while I keep going for 'proper' jobs. My boyfriend is in a similar position, so at the moment we're both spending our days looking online, applying, then finding fun stuff to do that's free, so lots of swimming and walking and exploring the city. It's a bit of a strange limbo time - not working, but not being on holiday - but I'm sure as soon as it comes to an end we'll really miss it!

 

Best things about Australia so far: $1 avacados, friendly people, great asian food, Pure Blonde lager, waking up to the sound of exotic birds, seeing wild kangaroos (in Canberra), catching up with old friends and family, wearing flip flops all the time, different shops, amazing coffee (large weak skinny flat white for me please!), spectacular storms, the wonderful floral smells... I could go on!

 

Tips:

 

 

  • Setting up a bank account before we came was easy (we used NAB but loads of the banks do it).Meant we could look for the best exchange rate and move some money before we arrived.
  • We've been using Moneycorp to move our cash about and they've been fine and fairly quick.
  • Carry your passport around with you for the first few weeks - I seemed to need it for everything!
  • Registering for Medicare was simple, but queueing for my turn at the office took a while - you have to take a number and wait. But then it was just one form.
  • We are still waiting for our shipping which left the UK nearly 3 months ago. Try to time your boxes to arrive when you move into your rental as otherwise you end up having to buy stuff while you wait.
  • If you're going to be looking for a job, its worth expanding your CV out to suit the Aussie market - I needed to include more detail on what I had acheived in my roles.

 

 

Anyway - that's it for now. Good luck to everyone trying to get visas and hoping to come out soon. Looks like its going to be a lovely summer....And feel free to ask questions.

 

Sophie

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You seem to be settling in pretty well, apart from the job and Clovelly is a nice spot. It used to be my favourite beach until I 'discovered' the harbour beaches of Neilsen Park & Redleaf this year.

 

Since returning to Sydney from 12 years in the UK, I've struggled to find a job too. All I get is a bit of casual data entry. Just waiting to hear from an agency today about a job up unitl Xmas working at OZ Post.

 

I have not bothered about a long and detailed CV but maybe that's why I don't have much luck on the job market!? I did do a cover letter for a while but I got bored with them. I guess that I have lost my hunger for a career.

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I can understand that MARYROSE02 - applying for jobs is pretty tedious after a while! There's only so many times I want to tell you how great my attention to detail is and explain which computer packages I can use before I just get bored!

 

A friend of mine who's lived here for a few years and used to work alongside recruiters gave me some coaching on getting my CV right - PM me if you want me to pass any info on.

 

Also, with the cover letter, you're supposed to use it like a first interview to explain how you meet each criteria (yes - very dull!), so using each criteria as a heading then doing a paragraph on each.

 

I have it on good authority that come early Feb the job market is going to pick right up again, so if you can temp until then I'm sure you'll be fine.

 

StS

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Still waiting, at 10 to 5, to hear if I've got the job at OZ Post, although I won't give up until late Monday as it's to start at 2030 that day.

 

I wonder if my age - 57 - is starting to tell against me? I did used to joke that it might help because the companies I applied for would have to fill a quota of 'oldies' to meet Govt regulations.

 

I was devestated when I lost my last big Sydney job in 1996 after 15 years - just like the sudden end to a relationship - Hell! It WAS my relationship. The ironic thing was that the 'relationship' angle only really hit me a few years later on a singles harbour cruise when the boat went past Garden Island where I'd worked.

 

Then again, I got right back onto that horse and scored a job with Royal Mail in Southampton within a couple of weeks of arriving back.

 

5pm so I guess my recruiter is getting ready to go down to the pub! That 's one of the best things about working, not going home but going out with your workmates. My best friends in OZ are still the ones that I worked at Garden Island.

 

Hope you are right about February!

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Great post Soph... really useful to read 1st hand experiences :) x I'm sure it's not a walk in the past but it definately is worth it!


Lodged 175 April 11, CO 26 Oct 11, Meds finalised... 4 Nov 2011, Grant... 7 November 2011 :wubclub:

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What a great post! Really useful for me, I'm in the UK and a British gal, my OH is Aussie so will be getting a spousal visa when we move over there in 2013. I loved your 'Besties' and your tips are excellent; more updates soon!


309/100 visa lodged 04/02/2013, living in Aus since 01/07/2013, visa granted 02/09/2013!

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All sounds definatly positive to me , good luck with the job hunting , and from my applications alone i picked up on the Aussies loving long winded ( detailed) cv's .

 

Soooooooo glad the coffees good out there , how do u rate the americanos , extra shot and cream ??? beleive me it's important :-)

 

Keep us informed and all the best for the future .

 

lee


IELTS 08/10/11 8.5/8.5/7.5/9...8.5 O/A, VETASSESS 15/11/11,level 1 pass 19/12/11,practical 25/02/12, results 21/03/12, WA SS 04/04/2012,Approved 30/04/12,DIAC 18/05/2012, CO 28/05/12, PC's 30/05/12, meds 01/06/12 PCC 19/06/12 , VISA Granted 21/06/12......

 

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I did do three weeks work for Aussie Post before Xmas, made about $1700 I think, just enough to cover my VISA card for December.I liked the work, similar to what I did for Royal Mail a few years ago but I'm just not fast enough at keyboarding. I might be asked back next Xmas though. I made my usual error of allowing the bare minimum of time for driving there (Centennial Drive, Strathfield from Surry Hills) and each night I was anxiously looking at the clock on the old Grace Bros tower on Broadway. Before 10pm usually meant I was OK - 18K and 33 sets of traffic lights on Parra Road plus a few more on Cleveland St. I never learn and I was the same going out to Kingsgrove - always got delayed in the M5 tunnel. Same in England, Marchwood to Soton Airport, 12 miles, 21 minutes with no traffic so that's what I allowed every day - dumb, dumb, dumb. All I have to do is to leave half an hour earlier and relax in the canteen before work.

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Hi Playghirl

 

Sorry fo the delay in replying. I got a job and started just after new year, so have been on super relaxation mode in the evenings to make up for the shock to the system after going back to a 9-5 after so long!

 

I think we must be 4 months in now, and as I mentioned I have found a permenant job, which is great. The pay is good, and the people seem nice and luckily for me its only a 30 min walk from our appartment (in Clovelly) to work (on the UNSW campus in Kensington). I found and applied for the job myself - the recruitment people I spoke to seemed to be all talk really! Not very good listeners, though to be fair to them I guess the few months pre-xmas were fairly quiet. Anyway, its always nice to get a job from your own hard work, plus to know that noone is making a commission off you!

 

My partner is still looking, and has been assured by recruiters that the market will start to pick up in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.

 

We're generally loving Sydney life - beachy x-mas, watched the Coogee 9pm fireworks from the Clovelly carpark with a couple of beers and a pizza (best new year for ages in my book!), lots of swimming and a great day out at the (free) launch of Sydney Festival yesterday. I guess we'll start to feelless like tourists now I am working and have the normal working week routine.

 

Glad to hear you're doing ok too Mary.

 

StS

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I have soft spots for both UNSW and Clovelly. I lived in New and Warrane Colleges on Anzac Parade over Xmas/New Year in 1978/79 when I first came to Sydney - got my first job in Neutral Bay so I moved there. Just looked in my diary for 1979 to see what I was doing - Sunday 7th Jan - at both La Perouse and then later at Maroubra. I rarely go to the beach during the day now. I did a degree part time at UNSW which took me over a decade between '82 & '93. I used to say that I started off as a mature age student and ended as an old-age student. That's a good walk from Clovelly to UNSW, hilly too, can remember walking to Coogee a few times from Anzac Pde. I always thought that UNSW would be a nice place to work with all the facilities on site. The food has improved since I went there, lots of good Asian food compared to typical stodgy canteen fare.

 

I thought about going to Clovelly on NYE as all the harbour beaches were difficult to get to or booked for NYE fireworks. I didn't know they had fireworks at Coogee, would have been good to see. I went to Malabar baths for a swim on Long Bay, nice there too, don't think I've ever been there before. In my first stint in Surry Hills I did not have a car and used to get the bus to Coogee, walk via Gordons Bay to Clovelly then get a 339 back to Surry Hills most days or evenings after work. Now I drive to Redleaf or Neilsen Park, sometimes to Watsons Bay, Clovelly or Bronte. I'm scared of the surf, never used to be.

 

I do most of my job hunting on Seek just taking 'pot luck' with my resumes. Sometimes I get a casual job quickly, sometimes it takes months but I'm not very 'pro-active.' One of my friends told me about a data entry job at Matraville so I'll probably put an app. for that. It's working 0730-1530 and I am stuck in the night shift groove, did not get up until 15.30 today.

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PS I was re-reading your initial post. Your feeling of being in limbo is what I've experienced for the last three years - four casual jobs lasting about a month to six weeks each and what have I done in between? Not very much more than Hugh Grant's character in 'About A Boy.' Perhaps I should expand my own CV from its present one page of A4 and / or start to be 'creative' with what I've been doing since December, 2008? 'Practising for retirement' is what I sometimes say.

 

I've got a small income - about $300 per week, and no rent to pay as I own my unit in Surry Hills. If I was paying your $460 per week rent I probably would not have much more than $300 per week left from the sort of work I've been doing, assuming I was working full-time. When I was doing that degree at UNSW I was working horrendous hours then going to the uni after work and at weekends. I'm not interested in putting myself through that kind of regime any more but a regualar 20 hours per week would be nice.

 

If you have not already done it, register your bank details with Medicare so you don't have to go in the office to make claims - and try and use doctors who 'bulk-bill' +/or charge the Medicare basic rates.

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Guest EJTAYLOR

Hi There, it was great to read through all of these threads following the great article at the top. We are an Aus/French COuple living in the uk for the last 12/30 years and I applied for a partner visa 480 granted in 2008 and have to arrive in Aus by May 2013 so the plan is now for a move in Dec 2012. I am excited / nervous but mostly concerned about getting a job over in Aus. We plan to move to Sydney, and with my partners family living in Miranda have somewhere to arrive to but want to plan for getting our independance ASAP. I will write a more full first post some time soon. Thanks again all of you... Ethan

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