Finding work as you travel in Australia can be like opening an unexpected Christmas gift from a long lost relative. Until you look into it, you never know what you’ll find. You’ll find many experiences in this lifestyle are like that. How do we approach unwrapping this experience? We explain this in detail in our eBook ‘Be An Australian Nomad Adventurer’ available to download from our online store.
We work as we travel Australia, and over the last 7 plus years we’ve taken on various roles. These have included logistics, stores and warehousing, cafe, cardboard box making, deliveries, caravan park cleaning and maintenance, payroll, office admin and representative work with Hema Maps at caravan and 4×4 shows. Not to mention other ‘as we go’ research work travelling between destinations. From what we have learnt, and listening to other like-minded travellers, we have written this eBook.
Q. Is it easy to find work?
Q. How do you find the harvest trail?
Q. Is there anything else other than the harvest trail?
Q. What other type of work is available?
There are a myriad of questions that will go through your mind if you are thinking about finding work as you travel in Australia. Just as we are all different, there is really no one answer to any one question. However, some of the more pressing questions we are asked are about the range and availability of work, and those that question the ‘how to’ of keeping an unflappable belief that another job awaits some-where else out there after this one. We don’t have all the answers and neither will we pretend to. The following gives you some insight into what we have learnt and written about in ‘Be An Australian Nomad Adventurer’.
Finding Work as you Travel on the Harvest Trail
To some, The Harvest Trail means fruit-picking, or some sort of hard yakka in the paddocks. There is more to it. As a crop is harvested, it moves into a packing shed, or for some other form of processing. Someone has to do that. Transport from the field to the shed, sorting, labeling, packing, storing, loading onto trucks and moving to the markets.
Then there is the maintenance of vehicles and equipment, admin, payroll, order taking, weighbridge and processing. Some days may be long, hot and dirty. Others can be varied to shorter days pending on the time of season and the orders needed to be filled. Climate conditions will vary too. Hot dry days in the summer months of the southern growing areas to warm balmy days in the tropical north. As you can see, there is a variety of skills required and environments to consider.
That’s only one aspect of the harvest trail. With the influx of all these transient workers, the local community often need extra staff to assist with other services. Retail, logistics, trades and accommodation. Many caravan parks employ extra staff for maintenance, cleaning and office/reception work.
What about before the harvest starts? Weed control, thinning (grapes), chipping (cotton), machinery maintenance, pallet cleaning and maintenance, pest control and general cleaning. The grower cannot do all this alone.
After the season, there is other work to be carried out as well. Clean up, machinery checking and repairs, vehicle maintenance and maybe some last minute cartage. It’s all there to be done. What about a care-taking role. The farmers’ only option for getting away is after the season.
Be aware that The Harvest Trail is not restricted to farming of fruit and veggies or livestock. Salt and fresh water fishing industries also form part of this trail. Be it fishing offshore or aqua-farming salt or fresh water species, it’s all still part of this income earning trail.
Be realistic about your capabilities. Some positions are best left for younger bodies, while others suit the younger at heart. If you do have problems bending or standing for long periods, don’t let that put you off. The employer knows best the full scope of his worker needs. If he/she feels you are not physically suited to one position, they may well appreciate your maturity and life-skills. Many are willing to train the right person.
Other Opportunities for Finding Work as You Travel
They are out there! Getting away from the harvest trail, we frequently see job opportunities for short term construction projects, retail, bus driving, motel and hospitality, tour guiding, truck driving, forklift, stores/warehousing, promotional work, event staff, caravan park staff and farm/station work just to name a few. Caravan Park training is available from Belgravia Pro. Course details are available on the BelgraviaPro website
What about working on-line? Lyn does payroll for a Gulf based company via ‘cloud’. This involves ensuring that during the company’s seasonal busy times, we are in internet range for a minimum of three days each week – and we negotiate our travel plans around this.
You might even consider the rewards of some volunteer work. It’s a great way to blend into a new community and open up new avenues for networking. Blaizeaid brings much needed assistance to communities after times of disaster, and is well supported by RV travellers.
Landcare is active in most regional areas, and another helping hand is always appreciated. We’ve made some great connections through being involved in local working bees, and having assisted as volunteers at a Christmas luncheon for seniors and ‘orphans‘ in a country town, and the friendships we gained were a bonus.
Put yourself out there where-ever you can
The internet provides opportunities to advertise yourself. Sites like Seek and Gumtree give you the space to post your CV/resume for all to see. As a Workabout Australia member, you can use a similar forum to target employers looking for itinerant and short-term workers. Check out where you can put up a free ad on our Work Wanted page. Advertisers on our page have advised us of successful outcomes for them. Just follow the instructions on the page. To ensure on-going credibility for employers, please advise any editing and update to your entry as your situation changes.
One thing is for sure, believe it and you will see it – there is no shortage of opportunities out there
Consider joining Workabout Australia and Grey Nomad Jobs. Both seek out employers who are prepared to offer employment to travelling workers. The range of positions advertised is diverse and positions vary in type of work and length of time. We encourage you to include both of these in the network you develop.
Do you have your own portable small business or hobby? Can it turn a dollar or two without impeding too much on your new lifestyle? More to the point, will it fit within the confines of your rig? Look at your interests, can you turn any into a bit of income?
More work opportunities can be found on our Work Opportunities page
Read all of this and much more in ‘Be An Australian Nomad Adventurer’