What you NEED to land your first job in Perth
Oh hey there young capitalists. You want to make some dollar dollar bills so you can afford that top-shelf fancy goon? Well you're going to need a job my friend, and this blog post will guide you through what you need to do before you can start stacking them pineapples.
A Sim Card
No, that hipster dude from the cafe you've been harassing for a barista job is not going to call your German mobile number. If it doesn't start with '04' you're CV is dead to him. Do this:
- Get a cheap pre-paid sim card. Don't bother with a contract. F*ck contracts. You're a backpacker. You're carefree. Contracts are lame. Sim cards are available at the cigarette counter at all the supermarkets for $2. Better yet, Billabong Resort has them for free.
- Pick a network (or two). Telstra is the only carrier that will work properly in the countryside. You'll need it to call your mother when you're crying yourself to sleep after a long day picking mangos. BUT it's not the cheapest network. Work the system, get two numbers. Having 2 numbers is kind of exciting. City you is all about those cheap bundles. For example - check out this fully sick deal from a new company called Jeenee. I haven't tried them, but if it works I'll be switching over (www.jeenee.org.au for more good stuff).
A Tax File Number
DO NOT (under any circumstance) pay for your TFN. Lots of companies will try and charge you a fee for assistance. You've made it all the way to Australia. You're independent, fearless, intelligent and you've got a great taste in blogs. WE BELIEVE IN YOU!
- A Tax File Number (TFN) is the number the Australian Tax Office (ATO) gives you so they can track what companies have paid you and what taxes they've paid on your behalf. When you leave Australia you'll do a tax return, where you and the taxman work out what you should have paid in taxes versus what you've actually paid. If you've paid too much you'll get a refund. Winning!
- That hipster from the cafe also won't hire you unless you've got a TFN. If you're waiting for it and he needs you immediately, you could begin work and get it to him before the first pay day. He can't legally pay you without it so it's pretty important!
- You can't apply for this from outside Australia so don't sweat it if you haven't landed yet. However do allow yourself 10ish days at the start of your trip while you wait for it as processing times can be a bit slow. Once you shake the jet lag it's a good idea to get onto this one.
- Apply online here: https://iar.ato.gov.au/IARWeb/default.aspx?pid=4&sid=1&outcome=1
- You've then got to make an appointment to go to a post office with your passport so a real Australian person can make sure you're a real foreign person. Nice.
If you're going to work with alcohol or on a construction site you'll need a RSA and/or a White Card (read all about them below). To do these courses you'll need a Unique Student Identification Number.
- Don't panic. This takes 2 minutes and doesn't mean you're an international student, it doesn't change your visa to a student visa and you won't get to tell your parents you're studying abroad.
- Go to www.usi.gov.au/students/how-do-i-create-usi for all the low down and to apply. It really does only take a couple of minutes. Just have your passport to hand.
Responsible Serve of Alcohol
I know you're a very responsible young backpacker. You never use an empty goon sack for a pillow. But unfortunately not everyone is as chill as you. That's why the Australian government has a rule that anyone who has a job serving alcohol must complete a crash course in how to do this responsibly so you don't kill the customers.
-The Responsible Serve of Alcohol (RSA) certificate is the prize they give you for winning the course. You're bar manager will ask to see this before they let you near the taps.
- Do it online. They send you the PDF straight away so you can start slinging pints immediately. There's a million companies that offer it. Simply google RSA Online Course and pick the cheapest one. Make sure you have a solid internet connection for a few hours and a quiet space. The State Library is a great place to mooch free Wi-Fi in a sophisticated setting for $0. It will probably be the only time you'll be in a library this year so soak up the culture.
This one is not a joke. It's the safety certificate you need to be allowed to work on a construction site.
- We recommend to do this course at a training institute. It's a little more expensive than online but there's two advantages:
1. You'll learn more. If you've never worked construction before it's not something you can wing. The safety instructions are massively important. Whatever they're paying you is not worth taking any unnecessary risks for.
2. You get the card immediately. Unlike the RSA, the White Card is a physical plastic card. If you do it online you'll be waiting by the post box for a few days, getting more and more frustrated as you're friends head out to live the Australian dream each morning. Get your card at the end of the course, look after yourself and work hard! Paragon Training on Newcastle St. have a good rep for these courses!
You need somewhere for you're money to rest before you spend it. Don't give your employer any excuse not to pay you. When you start they need to know where to send the money!
- There's 4 big banks all around Australia: Commonwealth, NAB, ANZ and Westpac.
- Pick one. They're all pretty much the same. I choose NAB because I liked their colours. Maybe see if any of them will give you free stuff. Unless you plan on making serious coin while you're here the fees are pretty much negligible.
- Note: Australian ATM's often charge you $2-$5 to take out money from an ATM if the machine is not your own bank's. So pick a bank that has lots of ATM's.
- Check, Savings or Credit? I've been here 3 years, much of that time running hostels and I still don't fully understand why I have to choose Savings for my card to work. Ask your banker what account you should choose when using you're card and avoid the blank stare the first time they ask you!
- Are you a nerd like me? Check out your new bank's mobile apps before you commit. You'll use it a lot, and a good one will save you time. NAB's is pretty awesome, and you can do cardless transactions by tapping your phone on the card machine. It's so satisfying.
CONGRATULATIONS: YOU'RE AN ADULT
You've got a TFN, USI, RSA, WHITE CARD, SIM CARD AND BANK CARD. Now all you've got to do is find an awesome hostel with free parking, a pool, en-suite rooms, free breakfast and very beautiful staff... hmm