My first two weeks in Sydney were a fantastic holiday. I drank a lot, traveled, met new friends, didn't worry about money, and just enjoyed myself. As we drove back to Sydney after surf camp it became apparent to me that the holiday portion was over for now and the real hustle was about to begin.
Our old hostel, Wake Up! had no room left for me and my friend and we therefore spend the weekend in Base Sydney. Although quieter, the rooms left a lot to be desired and my roommates were very quiet. It left me wanting a home of my own ASAP and determined to be in my own place by the end of the next week. We had two friends who stayed behind in Sydney whilst we went to Surf Camp. They had found an apartment for themselves and for the boys. They had also found a three bed for me and Katherine but we needed to find a third roommate. With the girls moving in on the Sunday and the Boys moving in on the Monday, me and Katherine were keen to find our own place fast. We used flatmates.au and gumtree but found our place on flatmates. Things move quick around here and within a few hours I had some apartment viewings.
The first house we viewed was a 9 bed share, in which me and Katherine would share our own room. It had a new modern kitchen but with so many people in such a small space it would have felt more like a hostel than a home and neither of us were particularly keen. Our second viewing was in the apartment complex next door to our friends. It offered a pool and a fantastic balcony with views of the Opera House. It was a 7 bed share and me and Katherine would be sharing the master room with another girl. Whats more, the beds would be on the floor with no bed frames! The third flat we visited was in the center of town and offered a shared room for me and Katherine in a 6 share. It was clean and homely however it had no outside space. In the end, we chose the second flat. Although the living situation is not the most glamorous, it is cheap, we pay $190 a week which for the amenities and location is a bargain. I can sunbathe by the pool in good weather and we use the balcony as our living room space. Its the perfect place to relax after a long day. Our flatmates are pleasant and it's become home for me now.
We viewed this apartment on the Sunday and moved into it on the Tuesday. We left the hostel on the Sunday night and stayed the Monday in our friends new apartments and then spent the next night in our own place! We had to put down a deposit but signed no contract, however, we've been told that this is normal for Australia and short-term flat shares.
We were both so relieved to have left the hostel life for a bit and to officially move our things into a wardrobe. Next came finding a job. I had a good feeling about inquiring about Billabong as I used to work in a shop that sold their clothes when I was 16-18. I got an interview and was offered a job starting the week after as a casual sales rep. I was really excited about the prospect of working there and planned to get another job in the evenings to make up the hours. As I settled into the idea of starting work the next week I got a call a few days later from Short Story, a giftware brand opening a pop-up store in Sydney. I had applied online using Jora on the weekend and was surprised but happy to hear back from them. I was offered an interview and agreed, deciding I would compare their offer to Billabong's. Things quickly escalated and by Sunday I was helping to set up the store to open officially the following day. I was offered the job and decided to pick it over Billabong because it felt more secure and less competitive. I also have more hours here, I work at the moment around 30 hours a week and don't need to get an extra job. In the course of a week I had found an apartment, been offered two jobs and fully secured myself in Sydney. I guess I was lucky with what I was offered but I think my determination to settle in Sydney allowed me to find what I needed as quickly as I did.
My friends have had various success with job hunting. Two have left jobs because it wasn't a pleasant environment and moved on or are looking for new employment. Others have secured bar work. One got a job in a cinema and others have just started the job search after wanting to extend their holiday mode a little longer. I'll let you know how they find the job hunt.
I really enjoy my job so far, and although I work the store on my own currently, I'm looking forward to when it gets a little closer to Christmas and another member of staff will need to be present. The only catch for me is that the store closes in January, meaning I'll need to find a new job in the beginning of next year. I'm hoping that the height of summer will mean more restaurant staff are needed. I"m not thinking about my prospective unemployment just yet though, and am all about forming a routine. Yesterday I joined a gym and I can once again plan my weeks. Although I love the spontaneous life, I'm ready to settle for a little while. After February I won't have a settled life until August!
Job sites I found useful were Jora, Seek and Indeed. Travellers at Work, the site given to us by Ultimate had limited listings and wasn't worth much time. Handing out CVs in person has a lot of sucess and it's how I got the Billabong interview and how my friends secured bar work.
I'd say if you're determined and willing to compromise, finding an apartment and work in Sydney is fairly easy. I never thought I'd be living in a room with two other girls sleeping on a mattress on the floor but it works!