Must-knows before working in Australia
Many people dream of working in Australia. Some people think working in the Land Down Under is so much easier compared to working in the Philippines. I wish it were, but that’s not entirely true. It all depends on your work, the industry you’re in and what you’re like as an employee. If you’ve just found work in Australia, try to keep these must-knows before working in Australia in mind to help make your transition into the Aussie workforce as smooth as possible.
1. Call your supervisor, other senior staff including the CEO, by their first name.
There are no ‘sirs’ and ‘ma’ams’ in Australia. It may feel a bit strange in the beginning, but trust me you’ll get used to it. Remember to apply this knowledge when you send them emails. I remember calling my boss ‘sir’ by mistake, and he replied by saying he wasn’t knighted by the Queen. Since then, I would only call him ‘boss’ if I wanted to tease him.
2. If you travel around for work, there will be no driver to chauffeur you around.
How many times have we attended a meeting and had the company driver drop us off and swing by after to pick us up? There’s no such thing in Australia. You either drive to your meeting venue or catch public transport. Going to a meeting with your boss doesn’t guarantee that he or she’ll drive you there. You can volunteer to drive or catch public transport together. Either way is acceptable.
If you are assigned to go to a partner company in Australia, no one will pick you up from the airport. You will have to find your way to their office, check yourself into the arranged accommodation and look after yourself. You may go out for an official lunch or dinner with colleagues once or twice, but don’t assume they’ll pay for your meals, and you don’t have to pay for theirs either.
3. Be on time – NO Filipino time!
If your appointment is at 2 PM, be there at a quarter to 2 as most of the time the person you’re meeting is busy and would hate to waste time. If you’re running late for any reason, phone (not text) the person you’re meeting at least 15 to 20 minutes before the set time to allow the other party to adjust his/her schedule and make the necessary arrangements, and tell him/her your expected time of arrival. Of course, apologies from your end are also expected upon your arrival.
4. Lunch breaks aren’t always at 12.
In the Philippines, people start to pile out of the office at 11:30 AM and get back at 1 PM. Aussies love to leave their desks and get lunch from a nearby café or restaurant, but it’s not always at noon. 1 PM lunches are quite common. Don’t be embarrassed to bring your lunch as there are others who do the same. Offices usually have decent pantries or kitchens where you can get free coffee or tea and a communal fridge to store employees’ lunches.
5. Leaving on time is ok.
I remember that it was common for people in the Philippines to give me a funny look in those instances I left on time even if I had started working at 6 AM! Fortunately, it’s different in Australia. If you’ve got nothing important to finish for the day, it’s alright to leave on time. If you have to go earlier than usual, it’s best to tell your boss the day before or first thing in the morning. Moreover, offer to start work earlier in that day or the day before to make up for it.
6. Public holidays are immovable.
Australia, compared to the Philippines, doesn’t have as many public holidays. Make sure to check the correct calendar, too. Public holidays in New South Wales are a little bit different to that in Victoria, so it’s best to have a copy of the correct calendar. Public holidays in Australia aren’t moved around to allow people to have long weekends and plan for better breaks. If the day being commemorated falls on a Tuesday, the public holiday is on a Tuesday — it won’t be moved to Monday. For this reason, a lot of people end up taking Monday off. If you want to do this, put your leave form in before everyone else for best results.
7. Most bosses don’t have personal assistants.
Directors and CEOs of companies buy or make their coffee or tea, make calls, type letters and photocopy documents. They usually don’t have a personal assistant at their beck and call. You’d be amazed at how self-sufficient they are.
There are a lot of other things you’ll find different when you start working in Australia. It’s important to keep these must-knows before working Australia in mind to acclimatise to your work environment. However, these aren’t as important as your performance at work and the way you deal with your colleagues and other stakeholders. Good luck!
You can also read other helpful and interesting Top 5 lists by AnonyMoo on Top5byAnonymooo. Cheers!
If you've enjoyed reading my posts, check out my website: www.top5byanonymooo.com and read my top 5 lists of anything and everything. It'll mean the world to me if you can follow me, share my blogs, like, leave a comment, or subscribe. I won't let you down with my quirky, well-thought of and unbiased lists.
Cheers, mates! 🙂