There is a common misconception that people on working holiday visas are undertaking unskilled work. There is also the common misconception that only unskilled work is available for those on working holiday visas.
In some cases, this may be the reality but it is completely dependent on your skills, aptitude, attitude, flexibility, CV-writing skills and interviewing skills. Not only that, but it also helps to have good interpersonal skills when working with global teams and different types of people. You get an added bonus for being able to obtain skilled work if you’ve had previous industry experience in the field, if you’ve attained education (including certifications), your ability to prepare for the job market in the area and also the job market in that particular area.
Skilled work is also not in any specific domains. Some people will say that technical roles will land you the most opportunities but I’ve found cases that span across other many industries – the arts, not-for-profit/charities, travel, entertainment, media, advertising and more.
I’ve done highly skilled work on the two working holiday visas that I was on – one in marketing in the UK which led to an award for the work and a lot of industry/global experience. Another in software SaaS for a US/Canada company while based in Toronto and after doing a career and industry change. Both opportunities also included additional educational opportunities – paid courses (including a paid course offered by University College London) and ability for me to easily attend meetups and industry events. On my 3rd working holiday visa (Ireland) I was interviewing for skilled work opportunities before settling on my current role which is closely aligned with my professional interest and I am also currently pursuing certification in the field also.
In all the countries, I’ve had no issues getting interviews for the skilled work though some didn’t want to talk further once they find out that my visa was temporary. Ireland was challenging because Australians can only work for 6 months but I came across short term contracts in software companies. Germany may have the additional challenge of being able to speak German but so far I don’t see this as a dealmaking obstacle.
It’s all about preparations
There’s a few ways to start reaching out and do your job search before the move to give yourself a head start:
In addition, make sure to also read up on my other entries on other ways that you can prepare – such as housing, banking and more.