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Working Holiday Visa: How to Find a Job and Work Abroad

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Have you ever wondered how to find a job or secure employment while on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV)? Discover the steps to take to find a job during a WHV, the types of work you can pursue, and the best resources to assist you in your job search.

If you’re a Canadian between the ages of 18 and 35, you have the opportunity to travel and work in over thirty countries through the International Experience Canada programs. With this visa, you can spend one or even two years in your host country, legally working and earning money to extend your journey. Learn more here!

Athena, a native of Ottawa, who completed a Working Holiday Visa in Scotland, and Sandrine from Quebec, who successfully embarked on a WHV adventure in New Zealand, both worked abroad and now share their best tips on finding a job and working abroad.

© Sandrine Martineau-Pelletier/ Nomad Junkies

1. Is it necessary to find a job before arriving at the Working Holiday Visa destination, or can you start the job search once you’re there?

Well, it’s entirely up to you and what you aim to achieve.

Be proactive if you’re determined to continue your career without a significant break.

Reach out to recruiters, enhance your LinkedIn profile, and line up job interviews before your departure. Consider having your resume up-to-date with relevant experience at the ready, just in case.

This way, you’ll be well prepared for your job search once you arrive. It’s not an absolute necessity, but if you’re keen on pursuing your career abroad, getting a head start can be a smart move.

For instance, if you decide to undertake a Working Holiday Visa in Scotland, you can take a page from Athena’s book. Before leaving, Athena Skyped with recruiters and set up job interviews. She even carried a printed copy of her resume with her waitressing experience, just in case. Athena’s experience serves as a reminder that it’s possible to be prepared and find job opportunities even before you set foot in your destination.

On the other hand, if you’re up for a more spontaneous adventure, follow your interests.

For example, if you go to New Zealand, you can buy a Lonely Planet guidebook. Leaf through it, and you might discover unique opportunities.

Sandrine, for instance, found Hobbiton, a famous touristic site from “The Lord of the Rings.” She embraced the unexpected and contacted them directly, eventually securing a job. Her experience serves as proof that you can find employment during your Working Holiday Visa even if you didn’t plan it in advance.

The decision of whether to find a job before arriving at your Working Holiday Visa destination ultimately depends on your goals and how proactive you want to be. Your journey, your choice, and your opportunities to explore!

© Sandrine Martineau-Pelletier/ Nomad Junkies

2. What are the steps to take to find a job during your Working Holiday Visa?

Once you’ve secured your Working Holiday Visa and are eager to find employment in your destination country, here are some valuable steps to make it happen:

Online research: Begin your job search by researching opportunities online. Visit the career sections of companies or organizations that interest you. This is the initial step in getting your foot in the door.

Craft an impressive email: Write a persuasive email expressing your interest in the job and the company. In your presentation letter, emphasize your passion and motivation for the position.

In-person visits: Taking the initiative to visit potential employers in person can be a game changer. It allows them to get a sense of your personality and enthusiasm, making a significant impact on their decision.

Start with any opportunity: Be open to starting in a role that might not be your ultimate goal. Sometimes, the only available positions may not align with your initial plans. Starting with a smaller role can be a stepping stone to your dream job.Your proactiveness, persistence, and passion can lead to exciting job opportunities, making your Working Holiday Visa adventure a memorable journey.

Get your Working Holiday Visa now!

© Athena Eleni / Nomad Junkies

3. What are the best resources available to help people on a Working Holiday Visa find a job?

You may wonder where to start when it comes to finding the best resources for landing a job during your Working Holiday Visa adventure. Here are some advice:

Hostel networking: Engage with people staying at hostels in your destination. Conversations with fellow travellers can be incredibly valuable. Simply ask others about job opportunities or local work. Hostel staff, who are often well connected, can provide information about both tourist activities and job openings. Some hostels even have bulletin boards with job listings.

Local billboards: Many cafes, hostels, and community centres in popular Working Holiday Visa destinations have bulletin boards with job advertisements. These boards can be a treasure trove of job opportunities. Also keep an eye out for these boards in the places you stay.

Social media and online groups: Utilize social media, including Facebook groups specific to your destination. Local communities often use these platforms to post job openings. Joining these groups can be a great way to stay updated on job opportunities and connect with employers.

LinkedIn: For those seeking professional positions, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool. It’s a platform that allows you to connect with recruiters and apply for jobs.

Don’t forget to mention on your profile that you have a work permit and specify your destination as your place of residence. Be sure to emphasize your skills and experience, and if necessary, be open to additional training or certifications.

Local recruiting agencies: Consider reaching out to local recruiting agencies, particularly if you are pursuing a career in your field. They can guide you on job requirements and any necessary qualifications, ensuring a smoother transition into your chosen industry.

© Athena Eleni / Nomad Junkies

4. What kinds of jobs could you typically do with a Working Holiday Visa?

As you set out on your Working Holiday Visa adventure, you might be curious about the types of jobs available and any limitations on working hours.

Let’s explore the diverse job opportunities typically accessible during a Working Holiday Visa:

Variety of job options: Working Holiday Visa holders have access to a wide range of job opportunities. The most common ones are working on farms, customer service positions, and fruit picking, which is especially prevalent in destinations like New Zealand.

The fruit-picking sector covers various fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and kiwis. The flexibility extends to various roles, and your options can be quite extensive.

High demand for backpackers: Working Holiday Visa programs often cater to industries that require seasonal or temporary labour.

Many countries are eager to employ Working Holiday Visa holders to fill positions that might be challenging to staff with local workers. Backpackers and foreigners are actively sought after to meet these labour needs.

Restrictions on work hours: It’s important to be aware of any limitations or restrictions on the number of hours you can work during your Working Holiday Visa.

These restrictions can vary depending on the country and visa program. Be sure to check the regulations specifically for your destination to ensure compliance.

Opportunities in your field: If you’re considering a Working Holiday Visa and have a background in a specialized field, such as technology or construction, the good news is that there is often a skill shortage in these industries in Western countries.

As a result, there can be a high demand for professionals with expertise in these areas.

Get your Working Holiday Visa now!

© Sandrine Martineau-Pelletier/ Nomad Junkies

5. If you don’t speak English, is it possible to find a job with a Working Holiday Visa?

Definitely! Finding a job with a Working Holiday Visa is very much possible, even if you don’t speak English fluently

In New Zealand, for example, opportunities extend beyond just the hospitality sector. You can explore roles in the kitchen, engage in fruit picking, or contribute to the functioning of hostels by handling tasks like changing beds or cleaning. The options are diverse and offer a unique and enriching experience.

One essential piece of advice is to trust yourself. You might worry about your accent, but it’s important to remember that when you arrive, you’ll be among people from all over the world, each with their own accent.

People tend to be understanding and supportive when they realize you’re making an effort to communicate in English. They won’t laugh at your attempts; instead, they’re likely to lend a helping hand.

While there may be language barriers initially, trust that you can get by and improve as you go. Speaking in front of a crowd or understanding strong accents can be challenging at first, but with time and practice, you adapt. So, the key is to trust the process and be patient with yourself.

Remember that the Working Holiday Visa experience is not just about work; it’s also about personal growth, cultural exchange, and embracing new challenges. Your determination and adaptability will help you overcome language barriers and make the most of this incredible adventure.

© Athena Eleni / Nomad Junkies

6. Can working abroad with a Working Holiday Visa have an impact on your future job opportunities?

Absolutely! Having a Working Holiday Visa experience can significantly impact your future job opportunities.

It’s like holding a calling card that attests to your ability to thrive in an international environment.

International experience as a distinction: When you venture abroad with a Working Holiday Visa, you’re not just exploring new places; you’re developing a skill set that distinguishes you in the job market. 

Having international experience demonstrates your adaptability and ability to excel in diverse environments. Employers value this quality, which can open doors in various industries.

Adaptability and problem-solving skills: Working abroad exposes you to a multitude of challenges, from navigating foreign banking systems to understanding different communication norms. 

These experiences equip you with adaptable problem-solving skills. You learn how to tackle obstacles and work through them, which can prove invaluable in your future career.

Global perspective: International work experience fosters a global perspective and cultural sensitivity. 

You not only see how businesses operate in other countries but also understand the nuances of interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. This global outlook is an asset in an interconnected world.

Career differentiator: Your Working Holiday Visa experience can set you apart from other candidates. It showcases your unique blend of skills and experiences, making you a standout choice for potential employers. 

Whether you’ve been a tourist guide on a movie set or have worked in a completely different field, these experiences enrich your CV and make you a more compelling candidate.

Open-mindedness: Working in a foreign country makes you a more open-minded individual. You become attuned to different business practices, communication styles, and cultural norms. 

This open-mindedness is a prized quality that can enhance your problem-solving abilities, collaboration skills, and overall outlook.

© Sandrine Martineau-Pelletier/ Nomad Junkies

A Working Holiday Visa journey is not just an adventure; it’s an investment in your career.

Working and travelling abroad equips you with a diverse skill set, adaptability, and a global perspective. Employers recognize the value of international work experience, making you a more appealing and unique candidate.

So, as you embark on your Working Holiday Visa adventure, remember that it’s not only a chapter in your life but also a stepping stone to a more dynamic and enriching future.

Your international journey can shape you into a well-rounded professional with a unique blend of skills and a broad, open-minded perspective that sets you apart in the global job market.

So, seize the opportunity, and get your Working Holiday Visa now through International Experience Canada.

Get your Working Holiday Visa now!

It’s never too early to plan the experience of a lifetime with a Working Holiday Visa!

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Safia Dodard
Safia Dodardhttps://www.nomadjunkies.com
Je voyage parce que je suis accro au mode de vie nomade . J'ai quitté mon emploi en agence de pub pour explorer le monde, d'abord en backpack solo et maintenant avec ma petite famille. Rejoins notre communauté de nomades sur Facebook, Twitter et Instagram.
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