How I found work in Perth, WA.

Hi!! Firstly, I should probably mention a little background about my work experience. I’m a qualified spa & beauty therapist by trade – but I haven’t worked as a therapist since I was 19/20. I got into recruitment administration during the oil and gas boom in Aberdeen, Scotland for 3 years before being made redundant when the boom went bang… I then worked as a compliance administrator for an animal pharma company who manufactured veterinary products (no testing I promise!) for 9 months to then be made redundant again due to the company moving overseas for cheaper manufacture prices (typical American company) That’s when I decided that enough was enough and bought a ticket to travel. First stop, Australia!

How I found work in Perth, WA.

Cutting a long story short I arrived in Perth, September 15th 2016 and didn’t find work until October 10th.

4 weeks without any success can be pretty grim and can seem forever, especially when you have moved to Perth to settle, save and chill for a few (6) months before setting off on your travels again. Being a recruitment administrator in 2 previous positions I thought my recruitment and CV knowledge was pretty high. I thought I would be able to find a position pretty easily… I applied to various online sites Seek, Indeed and updated my Linked In. I applied for recruitment admin and general admin positions in the beginning, then reception positions then it got really ridiculous and I started to apply for part time positions – up to 20/30 a day with no reply. What was I doing wrong??? Now I realise I was being impatient. Perth isn’t as busy as Sydney and Melbourne so I was probably up against a few others applying for these positions and what usually happens is your CVs just disappears into a recruiters trash. I wasn’t looking for bar work or call centre work, I probably could have found those type of jobs if I looked for them.

I had applied to recruitment company’s too – Hudson, Kelly Services and Page Personnel. This was where I found more success. After maybe 2 weeks I started to hear back from them. Please remember that you should hound them (really) at least twice a week to keep your name on the top of the pile. Build a rapport with them by emailing them every Friday just to remind them that you are still available and ready to start straight away. Recruitment companies usually get calls on a Monday morning from clients for urgent day cover positions for employees who have called in sick and if they open an email from you from the Friday before you will hopefully be the one they call!

Hudson was the first agency that contacted me, I went in to register with them so the recruiter could get to know me. Their office is the CBD on George St. Unfortunately, nothing really came from them. On the same day I had an appointment to register with Kellys too. It’s a good idea to register with a few companies on the same day to get them all looking for you at the same time. I wore slim cropped black work pants, black pumps and a blouse nothing too fancy but smart and professional. Even though I’m more than comfortable wearing heels, I have never worn heels to work so I didn’t want to come across as false, or even better – fall flat on my face. A few days later I got a call from Page Personnel asking me if I would be interested in a recruiter position with them, which meant sponsorship!! I was so nervous about this and I prepared so hard for the interview. I don’t have much sales experience apart from small closes with beauty products when I worked as a spa therapist in my teens. There were a few questions regarding sales which I really messed up on. I was very prepared to learn but I think the company was looking for someone with more experience, I was unsuccessful anyway. Looking back on this was I really ready to give up my adventure after only having left home 7 months prior? Probably not. Everything happens for a reason and it was good interview experience for me… I then got a call from Kellys with a position starting on the following Monday – no interview required (I KNOW?!) at an insurance company as an administrator (soon to find out it was an underwriter position) at $27 an hour for 6 weeks. So I said I would take it. During this time Page Personnel contacted me again and offered me an ongoing position with Kleenheat (an Australian gas company) in their call centre making “warm outgoing calls” I told the recruiter I had accepted a position elsewhere and she wished me all the best.

Although I was looking for something more long term as myself and Rhys had just signed a lease for 6 months on an Apartment in Joondalup, I’m writing this on the 2nd of February and my “6 weeks” contract is still ongoing, so a little reminder to not turn something short term down when it could possibly extend a lot longer! Chances are that my contract will end pretty soon, but I will speak to my recruiter at Kellys and hopefully I will get something that will take me up to April which is when we plan to leave to go travelling again – South East road trip to Melbourne, I will see you soon!

My advice to my fellow backpackers stuck on where to start looking for a job, be patient, it will happen and keep in contact with the recruiters to show you are keen and ready to work! I hope this helps you a little! Good Luck!

Thanks for reading! – A Long Way From Home

Recruitment Agencies in Perth Mentioned & Links:

Kelly Services – 2 Mill Street

Hudson – 11 St Georges Terrace

Page Personnel – 167 St Georges Terrace

Job Sites Mentioned & Links:




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