88 days later, physically and mentally exhausted, covered in cuts and bruises, hat in tatters and boots in two, I cannot express how proud I am of Farley and myself for completing three months of rural work and achieving a second year visa into Australia.
Although I probably wouldn’t choose to go through it all again, at least any time soon, it hasn’t been all that bad. The journey has been fun, exciting and a huge learning curve. I’ve learnt new skills that I never knew I was capable of! For example I can now fix a car, I can build a fence, I can muster cows by myself, I can drive a tractor and so much more. The whole experience has been an incredible journey.
Now that the gruelling 88 days are over, I wanted to share some of my very own top tips with you in case you’re in the same boat as me and want to earn a second year visa into Oz! So here goes…
1: Do it sooner rather than later…
You have no idea how relieved I am now that the 88 days are out of the way and I still have 7 months left of my first year working visa! Therefore my advice to you is that if you want to do it, then get it done pronto!
Not only will it mean you can relax and enjoy travelling more, but if you end up not liking your job then you have the option to change and find something better. I have met people out here that are coming to the end of their visa and are rushing to get their rural work done. It’s safe to say they are rather stressed and not exactly enjoying themselves. If you’re rushed for time, then it’s likely you’ll settle for the first job that is thrown your way. This leads me onto number two of my big five.
2: Look around and explore your options…
Please don’t just go for the first opportunity that comes along, as tempting as it may be, make sure it’s right for you. I’ve heard some real horror stories of how people are treated by their employers and let me tell you it doesn’t sound fun!
We researched jobs directly, through online job boards, word of mouth and social media platforms. Going directly to employers didn’t work at all. It was a waste of time. I was ignored mostly and if I did manage to get a reply it was a big fat NO! In the end we found the best platform to be good old Facebook.
We’d joined a number of Facebook pages before leaving the UK to get a feel for what jobs are out there. The best pages we came across and used were Australia Backpackers, Australia Backpackers 2018 and Backpacker Jobs in Australia. Endless amounts of adverts are posted each day, some of which are real no gos but others that may actually appeal to you.
We checked the pages every few days and sooner than we thought, a job popped up that seemed genuine and we applied. Within a few hours and after a short phone call we’d been given the job and were due to start in a week. Facebook works wonders.
We’ve been working just us two, for a couple on their cattle farm. The job differs each day which suits us because who really wants to be stuck doing the same old thing day in day out. Some days we are building a fence, other days managing the cattle or working the horses, or even working events in the local town.
If you can find a cattle farm job, go for it, you’ll have a great experience. I’ve heard solar farming is also pretty great and it pays well! In my opinion, I would strongly suggest avoiding fruit or vegetable picking. It’s tough, draining and extremely repetitive. You’ll get sick of it pretty quickly. 3: Look for something full time and a job that pays by the hour…
Working for an employer full time means that every day, even your days off, will count towards your 88 days. It’ll be over before you know it! There’s no risk in an employer ‘screwing’ you over saying there’s no work or sending you home before your required hours needed each day for your visa are met. It also means you’re guaranteed an income!
As well looking for a full time job, look for something that pays by the hour. It may be tempting to go for something that ‘pays by the bucket’ but I cannot stress enough how much better off you’ll be with a hourly wage. The buckets are huge and the work needed to fill them is tough so unless your Mr Muscle you won’t be earning nearly as much. 4: If you’re going to work, get a car…
88 days rural work means RURAL WORK. It’s highly likely you’ll be based in the middle of nowhere, which if you don’t have a mode of transport to get out every once in a while you
may will loose your mind.
The farm we’ve been working on is 16,000 acres, 40 minutes drive to the local town, 1hr 30 minutes to the supermarket and 3hrs from the cinema. I’m not sure what we’d do without our car.
Having a car will open up your options and let you look further a field for opportunities. It also opens up a whole new world to travelling after you’ve completed the work! We are currently building a bed in the back of our car and are soon going to set off on the ultimate road trip ever. I cannot wait! 5: Prepare for a rollercoaster and believe in yourself!
It’s not going to be an easy ride. It’s a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows. I’ve had good days, and I’ve had bad days and I’ve had really really really bad days. I’ve been happy, I’ve been sad, I’ve laughed and I’ve also cried. It’s been an experience that I won’t forget.
Your body will be pushed to its limits, physically and mentally but you’ll learn so much. You’ll do things wrong, you’ll break things and you’ll have days when you want to give up but don’t, because you’ll get there and the next day will always brings something new.
Work for an employer that respects you and will treat you fairly. There are days that I get grilling from my boss if I do something wrong and it’s horrible, but most of the time we have interesting conversations, we have a laugh, we make jokes and we work well together.
No matter what job you choose to do, it’s going to challenge you in every way possible. You’ll learn so much, you’ll become stronger and it’ll be one of the most memorable adventures you’ll ever go on.
Good luck and have fun achieving your second year to Australia!