A New Life In Australia: My 5 Top Tips For Success

Written By:
Matthew Mayes
Senior Consultant
At the end of 2021, I graduated from the University of Surrey with a First-Class Honours Degree in Law. Although delighted with my achievements, I was lost for what to do next. Should I study for my Masters? Should I go straight to work?    
With all this in mind, I decided to do what any post-graduate would do, go backpacking in Asia for five months! The lessons I learned during my travels have been invaluable to my personal and professional development, ultimately leading to my move from the UK to Australia.  

My decision to move to Australia was rather spontaneous. I applied for a visa in Bali, which was (to my delight) granted within one day! For those who are thinking of coming to Australia and are worried about the Visa process, I found the process relatively straightforward, contrary to what I had previously heard. For current visa wait times, check out this website - https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times.  

In the middle of July 2022, I landed in Sydney without a job or a support network in Australia. Fastforward almost a year and I've landed a great role at Sonder Consultants legal recruitment agent in their stunning Barangaroo Sydney office.  

Here’s some tips that helped me transition to a new country, find my new career (and life)!

1. Socialise and Network!  

My first top tip would be to network with the people around you. This may mean taking yourself outside your comfort zone, but everyone is so friendly you really have nothing to worry about. Doing so allows you to meet new people from different backgrounds, and most importantly, it creates new opportunities.    

For instance, I began playing football again and quickly made new friends through the team. I found my current job at Sonder through networking and connecting with Matt Hart (Director of Sonder Australia) on LinkedIn. I stayed in a few hostels when I first got here and met people in similar situations - all of whom have helped me along the way. Utilising networking skills has made the transition to a new country much easier.  


2. Maximise Your Skillset  

My second top tip is to maximise your skillset and use this to your advantage! This is not limited to just holding a degree but showcasing skills you have learnt during any work experience.    

For example, some of my friends who have also moved to Australia found excellent jobs onsite with labouring companies, all because of their experience doing similar things back home (and they mention the pay is much better!).  

Skills are both directly and indirectly transferable, be sure to know what you have to offer to an employer. It is essential to understand that jobs in Australia across many services are in high demand, and thus your skills are too. There are many opportunities in Australia, and with relevant experience and qualifications, you will stand in a strong position when you arrive. Make sure to display these skills during interviews and applications.    


3. Embrace the Unknown  

My third tip would be to embrace the unknown and push yourself out of your comfort zone. There is no better way of doing this than when coming to a new country. Try things you wouldn't do at home. When I arrived in Australia, my first job was selling Solar Systems across New South Wales. Initially, the idea of beginning a door-to-door sales role made me feel uncomfortable, but I developed a lot of confidence through this role that has become transferable to this new role at Sonder.  


4. Set Goals  

A tip I strongly advise is setting goals for when you move to Australia. Of course, these goals can change, and they don't have to be set in stone, but having a picture of what life in Australia may look like allowed me to create a clear path. Is it to travel the east coast? Is it to work and travel? Is it to find a job that can be a platform for a long career? Seeing my long-term future in Australia when searching for jobs allowed me to streamline my applications and have a goal I wanted to work towards.    


5. Enjoy Your Time  

Lastly, enjoy your time in Australia!  

Make the most of the weekends but also the mornings, the sunrise beach walks, the walks in the park, and the bars at Bondi. The list is endless, and I can't recommend enough getting out there and exploring all Australia has to offer.    

For those who find themselves in Sydney, a trip to the blue mountains is a must, and be sure to check out the Tutti Fruitti ice cream shop at Bilpin. It serves fresh fruit ice cream picked from the fruit gardens behind the store!    

My first picture when I landed in Sydney!


So, when should you make a move to Australia?  

Now! From an outsider's perspective, it seems a lot is changing regarding immigration. The most significant obstacle that has previously been in the way for foreigners is the Visa requirement, but these once-strict requirements are seemingly becoming relaxed. This is demonstrated in the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed but has yet to enter into force.  

New arrangements for Working Holiday Makers are expected to be implemented within two years of the FTA entering into force. The new arrangements will allow UK citizens to:

  • apply for a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa up to the age of 35 years
  • be granted up to three Working Holiday visas (not including any "COVID-19 affected visa") with no requirement to undertake any 'specified work'.  

This new agreement will have a massive impact on the retention of UK workers in Australia! Currently, those up to the age of 30 can apply! Those who move this year will likely be able to reap the benefits of the new agreement eventually.  

Are you interested to learn more about making a move to Australia? I'm always happy to discuss the process with fellow brits and meet for a beer after the long journey.  

Contact me by email on matthew.mayes@sonderconsultants.com or through LinkedIn.