Looking for a bit of a shake up on the Aussie job scene? Once you've tried your hand at some casual work during your year abroad (theme parks, offices, outdoorsy jobs - it's all up for grabs!) it can be cool to try something a little different out, like au pairing. Check out Becky's guide to au pairing below...
For my last six weeks in Sydney I worked as an au pair and loved every second of it! If you like kids and have some experience working with them then this might be the job for you while in Oz. Au pairng jobs vary depending on the family but basically you are looking after their children while they are at work. Usually accommodation and food will be provided at their home and, depending on how many hours you work, a wage on top of that.
I found lots of jobs through babysitting agencies but almost all of them require a commitment of 6 month, so with only 6 weeks left this was not an option for me. They also usually require you to have a first aid certificate, drivers licence and a criminal record check as working with children is a big responsiblitiy. Sometimes you are required to have your own car but a lot of families give you access to the family car to do school drop offs and pick ups, some even give you use of the car in your spare time.
I found my job on www.Gumtree.com.au, it is the easiest place to find pretty anything in Oz. When i was searching for a job i was spoilt for choice, with roughly 10 new adverts being uploaded every hour. When looking for a job i would definitely recommend buying wifi so you can be checking the website regularly. It definitely pays to be the first one to apply to an advert as most families want someone as soon as possible. Once they have read your resume, the parents may want to meet you in a cafe somewhere to get to know you better and see if you are a right fit for their family. Parents dont always ask for a criminal records check so they need to know they can trust you so first impressions count! Your safety is just as important though, you do not know who the person is until you meet them so I would suggest talking on the phone first and meeting in a public place.
I managed to get myself a job with a really lovely family in Bondi beach for the 6 weeks. They were looking for someone for a trail period to see if the set up was right for them, I was the first to reply to the advert and met up with the family the next day and moved in a few days later. They have two daughters aged 4 and 5 and my role was to get them ready for school 7-9am monday to friday, then I would do housework and food preparation for few hours. I worked for 20 hours a week roughly and had weekends off. This was in exchange for food and accommodation only due to number of hours. I had my own floor of the house to myself so I was able to enjoy my spare time without the children disturbing me. The family were very welcoming and I think that was one of the main reasons I loved it so much. It was a very flexible role, if I wanted the morning off in advance that was easily swapped with an evening babysitting for example. They also welcomed my sister to stay when she visited for two weeks which was great!
If your good with children then I would definitely recommend Au pairing to fund your travels. Its very easy to carry on sightseeing in your spare time and the parents are often very good and telling you the best places to visit. If you can only find a part time position but need more hours, try asking the parents if they can recommend you to their friends who live nearby- I did this and it was great to have the extra income.
If you would like to ask any questions, just tweet us @Ultimateyearout