Employment, English Problems, Stationary and Supplies: How to Immigrate to Australia Within a Week

To refer to the check-list that you will guide you in immigrating to Australia within a week please refer to the Introduction post in the series.


I will take two hypothetical scenarios and offer employment solutions for both.

You Have Been Beaten and Dumped in the Middle of an Australian City with No Documentation and No Money in Your Pocket

Black labourer

Backpacker’s Hostels

In this case then my first recommendation is to pay a visit to backpacker’s hostels. In Sydney you find them at King’s Cross and Bondi Beach amongst other places. In Melbourne you find them in St. Kilda. They tend to be located in either city centers or near the ocean. Wherever they are seek them out.

Go to the notice board and look for people looking for workers in the following industries:

a) Construction

b) Landscaping and Gardening

c) Sales

d) Cleaning


A lot of the people advertising in backpacker’s know that they are offering work to people who are young, broke, may have no bank accounts and no legal documentation.

Through these means I got a job at a demolition company where I was earning $150 cash at hand every single day. It could have actually become my permanent job because the firm, in truth it was a man and his brother, was always moving from job to job.

Another French man (have you ever met someone who is ridiculously good looking and yet nice at the same time…..I couldn’t believe my friend was real. And his girlfriend…..WOW!) actually got a van through these means and a permanent job as a carpet cleaner that paid him $1000 a week from about 8 hours of work a day.

Other people have gotten jobs as carpenters and laborers of various types with nice pay packets that are in excess of $1000 weekly.

Death of a Salesman

Sales job

Door to door sales is the easiest job in the world to get. You show up in the office one day and you will begin working the next. It’s that simple. You don’t need English skills, qualifications, nothing. You show up and you’ll get it.

These jobs are also posted in notice boards of backpacker’s hostels and you can also find them through Seek and other job search sites.

People in Australia are the nicest people I have ever met. At the very least, when you interact with them one on one majority of them will treat with courtesy and respect (even when they don’t mean it, which makes their courtesy even better, depending on how you look at it). I say this so that you can understand that the job is not scary. People will not spit at you or beat you for knocking on their doors and trying to sell them car servicing vouchers or water coolers.

If you are good looking or charismatic, give it a go and you can actually build a six figure income if you are good at sales (imagine that, literally from the bottom to the top……..).

This job doesn’t gel with my sense of ethics a lot of the time: a lot of manipulation and mind games. Some salesmen lie through their teeth, but all in all if you are desperate and you need a job, door to door sales is a way to go. Great opportunities!

Cleaning business


I have no experience getting cleaning jobs, however from what I have observed and heard from others, look them up in the local paper classifieds or on Seek and you should be able to arrange an immediate job, sometimes even with cash at hand. This job, needless to say, needs no experience or qualifications.

It’s definitely a physically exhausting job, but you are an African, you probably saw worse in high school or at least from the manual workers around you.

Online Opportunities

If you have a background and/or are very strong in IT, regardless of your location, then this can be a great way to get some income. This applies even if you are still in Africa; people are making some good money in Romania, Philippines and India in this industry.

So, consider working as a virtual assistant or freelance programmer. Become one of those IT professionals who work is outsourced to.

It is a multi billion dollar industry and you can work from the comfort of your own home and make a mean chunk of change.

You can sign up for free to websites such as:

a) Rentacoder:http://www.rentacoder.com

b) Guru:http://www.guru.com

c) Elance:http://www.elance.com/

Or simply find a way to start up your own virtual assistant or freelance programmer service. The demand is definitely out there and it’s great way to make some money when you desperately need it and you have IT skills. Some articles and resources that give you more information about the industry:

Virtual secretary's home station

a) The Blog about the Virtual Assistant Industry: http://vadirectory.net/blog/

b) Timothy Ferriss articles on the Virtual assistant industry: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/category/outsourcing-life/

c) A Practical Case Study on How One Small Business Outsourced:

Entrepreneur’s Journey case study

d) Podcast show on how two Internet business owners outsourced their work:

Internet Business Mastery – What You Need to Know to Start Outsourcing

I wrote a bit more on this in an email correspondence I had with a couple of the members of the Mashada online community and a person who wrote to me through the website Linkedin. A lot of it is covered above but there are still some great nuggets in there. Find that by opening the pdf document below:

Online opportunities (the pdf file that needs Adobe Reader to be opened)

You Have Everything In Order, You are Going to School and You Need to Take Care of Yourself

Nursing, aged care and disabled care

This job is pretty much a dichotomy. On the one hand, no other minimum-wage job offers you:

a) As much work: This place-and many Western countries-are the mirror opposite of Africa with senior citizens being the majority who outnumber the youth. The number of elderly and retired is increasing each and every year and extensive use of contraception(amongst other things) basically means there are a lot of elderly people and not enough people to take care of them.

There will always be sick people in hospital and disabled people will always require assistance. Demand is there.

b) Flexibility of hours: In this industry you can work 24 hours a day 365 days a year if your body can hack it. There are no holidays for the old, sick and disabled so there is constant work.

c) You help people: Personally, I find the job a bit too fast-paced to really appreciate the impact we have on people but the truth remains this job helps make other’s lives better, or at least more comfortable.

d) Variety of work: I have worked in all three fields of aged, disabled care and hospitals, though I was only trained as an aged care nurse. You can also work as a cleaner of people’s homes…there is a wide variety of work in case you get bored quickly like I do.

e) You can keep getting fired and getting work: I was fired, and or have quit from a lot of jobs but have been able to bounce back and find a new job in a matter of weeks even in different states.

Asian nurse

I do very many things well, but nursing isn’t one of them. Yet I kept getting hired. The scarcity of work is that bad.

However this job also requires a few sacrifices:

a) You must train to become an entry aged care or disability nurse: Training varies from a few weeks to a few months depending on where you train and costs around $1000 in total (this will be paid off in a couple of weeks though).

The qualification you need to receive is a Certificate III in Aged Care (or Certificate 3 in Aged Care). There are also other courses that deal with disabled care, but in my experience the Certificate III is enough. To find a place to get trained, ask your guide or check out some of the places I found via a Google search.

b) You must be able to handle the sight and handling of feces and bodily fluids. You will also be witness to a large number of grotesque bodily distortions: If you can’t handle the sight of this stuff or feel you can’t humble yourself to handle it then just say “Next” and move on to the next job.

Call center jobs

These jobs are dream jobs for a lot of people. There are a number of types of call centre jobs that I have observed:

a) Sales: Calling people and trying to sell them things, predominantly phone plans and credit cards. You usually earn a fixed salary plus commission and work for about 4 hours every weekday afternoon and evening. Some jobs are strictly on a commission basis.

b) Customer service: Usually at a telephone company. People call in with their complaints and you help them out. Some companies have customer service departments that are opened 24/7 e.g. Optus. This job can be like a standard 9 to 5 job with pay packages (including things like sick leave – you are paid when you take days off sick-and annual leave-you get extra money from the company to go on holiday). If you manage to get this job it can be great, from what I have heard.

c) Debt collection: You may work in a phone company or credit company or any company that collects debts. Your job is to call people and remind them there will be consequences if they don’t pay off their debt soon. You can also work in the department that calls people to let them know that unless they can pay TODAY, the organization will mess up their credit rating tomorrow. Good pay within a standard 9-5 day.

Update: To read about Acolyte’s hilarious experiences working at a credit card call centre click on this link.

Ballard Oil Company

Petrol stations and supermarkets

Petrol station convenience stores: You spend a lot of time on your feet. Usually a standard 8 hour shift or a part time 4 hour shift. You are in charge of restocking the shelves in the petrol station’s mini supermarkets while checking on fuel pumps and processing fuel payments. Difficult work, but it’s steady and the pay is alright.

Supermarkets: I did this job when I first entered University. Personally this job bored me out of my mind. You can either work as a checkout person or work with meat in the deli section or do what I did; restock shelves and make sure the items on the shelves look good and are easy to reach. This job bored me out of my mind due to the monotony and lack of human interaction. Once you get used to it though it’s also a nice steady job, the work load isn’t too bad after a while and the pay can be great. (people who work for Safeway earn more than I do as an entry level nurse)

You can work this job if you need to work at night: the supermarkets replenish their shelves during the night.

Hotels and Restaurants

Apparently in Adelaide this is where a lot of students end up working. Very busy, quick fire job. You can work in some fantastic locations though and the pay is pretty good.

There are a few other jobs that I have missed but these are the major jobs that I keep hearing people have over and over and over again.

Ultimately though, working here at the entry level is great. Work load is almost a joke when compared with the typical African work day, there are protections like Unions and fantastic perks. People here are also pretty nice and discrimination is almost insignificant, except when you can’t speak English well: That drives people here CRAZZZY!

If you are willing to put in the work, rewards will come

My favourite vegeterian restaurant: Soul Mama in St. Kilda

My favourite vegeterian restaurant

English Problems

If you can read this blog and understand what I am saying, you’re English is way ahead of a lot of people who have lived over here for decades. However should English be a problem for you then there are a number of solutions:

a) English colleges: Click on the link to go the Google search results for the search term ‘English college Australia’.

b) Online products and courses: Feel free to check out any of the below solutions:

i) How to Learn Any Language in Six Months or Less.

ii) Emanuel’s School of English

iii) Stop Struggling While Speaking English! For Non-native speakers.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I have experience with any of these solutions. Any experience using the above, recommended solutions, give me a yell. Should you have any solutions or anything to recommend to other people, feel free to drop me a line.


If you’re English is fantastic and you don’t mind teaching people English,you can easily start an English college. Just go online and search for a basic English curriculum course (or one of the resources I have recommended above), put some posters in your local University, wait for the calls and walk (it’ll mainly be Asian and Indian ) your students through the English curriculum at a rate of 20-25 dollars per hour.

For the story of how a man from Brisbane did it while in his early twenties check out the Entrepreneur’s Journey business timeline of Yaro Starak.

The place you will get all your text books

Stationery and Supplies

I know I spelled stationary (or is it stationery, I am basically referring to the tools necessary for studying) wrong, my apologies. You will spend A LOT of money on text books. Very few bookshops sell books and I assume that’s why they charge monopoly-esque prices.You can easily spend between $100 – $1000 per book. Be prepared to spend up to $2000 (maybe even more) on stationery, supplies and books.

A Cheeky Solution to the Text Book Dilemma

Go to the school’s library and borrow all the text books you will need for the coming semester. Now most people would recommend that you just keep renewing the books indefinitely for the rest of the semester. Nah, I think that’s a bit selfish.

What you can do instead is go to your local Student Union copying facility-cheaper than standard copying services. You can also go to your local Officeworks- and make a black and white copy (photocopying and printing in color is so expensive, only do it if it’s worth it) of the book for yourself and get it bound. If other students are interested in the book as well, make photocopies for them and sell them at a much cheaper price than the original book.

As for stationery and supplies, look out for cheap deals at:

a) Ebay: Check out Ebay’s stationery offerings.

b) Open air markets: Like Victoria Market, Carribean Market in Melbourne.

c) Chinese and Oriental areas and shops

If you apply any of my tips with success, or failure, make sure you drop me a line and let me know so I can adjust this guide accordingly.

Master's Thesis

The Next One is the Last One (I think this guide is about as long as a Master’s thesis by this point, so you best make use of it)



  • By hm.., June 6, 2008 @ 11:14 am

    I looove this series. I think you acted grown-up here. See, these are desperate times, and this is the info that our brothers and sisters need back home rather than “who did you want to be when you grow up”, or the useless “stuff that african people like”, which honestly mwangi, are not entertaining or informative at all, but for a chuckle from the odd bored mzungu.
    Seems also that you have met only the nice variety of white people as you are very much full of praise for them and Australia. Good for you and keep it that way, good luck, and hope it doesn’t change for you.There are too many confused African men who get so lost here, especially after being lazy kings in Africa.lol.
    Btw, did you emigrate to Aussie with family? Sounds like.Anyway, good luck and keep churning the useful info as you may have..
    Fellow African diasporian.

  • By Mwangi, June 6, 2008 @ 11:58 am

    @hm: I am glad you enjoyed the series…and feedback on the type of articles you want to read is always what I want to hear so let me know the type of articles you want to read so I will post them up, that’s how this blog will achieve greatness.
    I actually met a lot of different types of white people, those who have been mean to me and selfish and rude but definitely overall my experience has been way better than one would expect.
    You know that issue of men who end up being disillusioned because they went from hero in Africa to just another regular person here is worthy of its own post and discussion. The only reason I haven’t written extensively on it is because I came here so young that I wouldn’t know what the experience is like…..perhaps you wish to write an article on it??

  • By Mwangi, June 7, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

    @hm: Btw, I did immigrate with my entire family six years ago and have aunties and cousins here in Oz as well.

  • By Pink M, August 21, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

    How did I miss this? Interesting variety of jobs down there. How about doing a post for jobs avail for guys who are may be looking at coming down under to do their masters etc.

    I know you might have to research a lot, but you could look at how the Kenyan degrees/professional qualifications match with the Australian ones etc etc?

  • By Mwangi, August 21, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    @Pink M: I actually conducted an interview with an immi consultant here in Oz which covers a lot of that. Once I post it up, give maximum positive comments so I can convince her to come back again and again…..

  • By neba Ransome, March 8, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    Good day,
    An African Diploma holder like myself without a job in my Country and can fully afford a passport and flight tickect but yet to find a reliable pal to meet when i travel to Austalia and singapore needs any help that you can provide.Thank you for this directory.

Other Links to this Post

  1. How to Immigrate to Australia Within a Week: Introduction » The Displaced African — April 16, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  2. What Everybody Ought to Know About Immigration and Njeri’s Guest Post » The Displaced African — July 19, 2008 @ 2:03 am

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  5. Top 10 Things I Learned About Job Hunting in Melbourne, Australia - The Displaced African — December 2, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

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