Living the dream: Moving you and your career to Australia
Beautiful beaches, gorgeous weather (when you’re not in Melbourne or Hobart in the winter!) and a laidback lifestyle – for many people, living and working in Australia is the dream. If it’s your dream too, but you’re not really sure where to start or how to go about shifting your life overseas, you’re not alone – it can be pretty overwhelming.
What better way to learn about it than from someone who has done it themselves? We spoke with Molly Langley, who moved herself and her PR career from the UK to Australia a couple of months ago and picked her brains on why Australia, what the process was like, how the job hunt went and her bits of advice for anyone landing on Aussie shores.
Congratulations on the new role! What are you doing and where?
I’m a PR Account Manager for The PR Group. I’m based in the Sydney office, but we have offices in Melbourne too, so if I ever wanted to move to Melbourne, I could make the switch. My focus is on business and tech PR.
What inspired you to move from the UK to Australia?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I feel like it’s such a classic step for a young British person to want to live in Australia and I was definitely one of them! I originally came over to Australia at the beginning of the pandemic and I landed in Melbourne. Unfortunately, we all know what happened – Covid shut everything down, I couldn’t find a job, so sadly, I decided to cut my losses and return home after just three weeks.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and now I’ve come back with more experience and a clearer idea of what I want from my career, which definitely helped the move be less stressful and made the career transition easier.
The past winter in the UK had been really miserable and bleak and I had enough of that weather – which you get a lot of in Melbourne! So while I arrived in Melbourne in 2020, this time around, my partner and I decided on Sydney and we’re so happy we did. Who wouldn’t want to leave rainy, drizzly England for somewhere that’s sunny and by the beach with a laidback lifestyle?
What was the process of moving your career and life out to Australia like?
With any career change, it’s always a bit daunting starting somewhere new. Specifically with PR, something I was wary about was jumping into a new media landscape and new market and learning how that all works, because that’s such a big part of the job. Having in the back of my mind that they’re hiring an expat, so they knew I wasn’t well versed in the Australian media and PR scene and didn’t expect me to know everything from day one helped a lot. Beyond that, there’s not much you can really do to prepare for that, other than having confidence in your base skills, you’ll pick up everything else you need to know from being in the role.
I was at a point in my career where I could have moved up to the next level, however moving out here, I decided to stay at the same level so I didn’t feel like I was jumping in the deep end, which I feel like has helped me settle in a lot easier.
In terms of moving my life, I was so excited to move to Australia, I was looking at houses way in advance – which is a little pointless because the market moves so quickly! There wasn’t a whole lot we could do beforehand, we just had to wait to get here to do it. Literally the day we landed, my partner and I sat in a cafe in Bondi Junction at 7am and did all of our life admin there – applying for a tax file number, applying for a bank account and booking in rental inspections. Because both my job and my partner’s job started two weeks after we landed, we needed to get everything organised ASAP and luckily we were able to.
What visa do you need?
I’m out here on a standard Working Holiday Visa, but my contract says they will sponsor me once I pass my probation. When I was searching for jobs, that was the provision that I was after, to have sponsorship in my contract as I knew I wanted to stay. My workplace takes care of the process, so it’s pretty easy.
How easy/hard was finding a job, especially since you did it from the UK and not in Australia?
The easiest way to find a job is to go through a recruiter as they have your best interest at heart, they have loads of contacts and they know the businesses that you’ll be suitable for. Plus, they’re doing a lot of the heavy lifting and organising and it makes it so much easier.
Before getting in touch with recruiters, I did check out a few PR agencies that I liked the look of, but in the end, going through a recruiter just made sense. They were able to flag agencies that I could work with and some of them were the ones that I had looked up back in the UK, which worked out well.
Any tips for people looking to make the transition?
It’s such a classic tip that everyone says, but it’s true: if you’re struggling to get a job before you come out, you will find one when you get out here. It will happen eventually, so there’s no point stressing yourself out about it.
In terms of housing, it can take a while to find one because the market is so tight. They’re essentially on a first come, first serve basis, so you need to get in quick. Apply before you even see the property, because if you’re first on the list, your chances are a lot higher and you can always withdraw your application if you don’t like it in person. I read loads of articles online about the rental situation in Australia, so I was ready for it. For those who have lived in London, it’s a similar experience to the rental market in London, so prepare yourself.
Final piece of advice: There’s no need to bring loads of household goods and furniture from home. Kmart is cheap and has everything!
Have there been moments when you question whether this was the right decision?
Not at all. However, I do get very bad fomo and right now it’s British summer and everyone’s going on trips to Europe and Glastonbury, and I’m looking at all of my friend’s Instagram feeling a bit jealous. However, I don’t regret it because I’ll be laughing when it’s winter and cold and horrible for eight months of the year in the UK.
What do you miss the most?
I do miss family and friends the most. Thankfully it’s so easy to keep in touch with friends and family, it’s just the timing is a bit awkward between the UK and Australia. I spend a lot of my spare time video chatting with people back home but I get FaceTime fatigue, when I have three or four chats in a row!
Besides family and friends, I miss my pets so much. Back home I have dogs and cats – dogs at my dad’s and cats at my mum’s. I know everyone says this about their pets, but my cats are the most perfect animals. People who don’t like my cats, absolutely love my cats. They’re so friendly, they’re almost like dogs!
I’ve seriously been considering putting up posters around my neighbourhood and offering my services as a dog walker. If someone wants me to walk their dogs, get in touch!
To chat with Molly about her experiences moving to Australia or take up her offer of dog walking, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.
And if you’re looking to move your career out to Australia and you work in the creative/marketing/digital space – we can help! Get in touch today at email@example.com.