As someone who has been on working holiday visas in various countries, I’ve noticed that one common concern is how to find a job. Depending on the country, it may be more challenging since visas may limit you to working in specific fields. However, with determination, nothing is impossible! Here are some tips to help you out.

What is a working holiday visa or WHV?

A working holiday visa is a special kind of permit that allows individuals (usually between the ages of 18 and 35) to travel to a foreign country while also working and sometimes studying to supplement their travel funds. This program is available in many different countries, but there are certain restrictions that may apply depending on your nationality.


  • age: from 18 to 30 or 35 years old (some countries like Canada and New Zealand can apply until 35)
  • nationality: your country of citizenship must have an active exchange program with the country in which you want to apply for the visa
  • length: the visa is usually for one year (although Canada is 2 years for some nationalities), renewable or not depending of the country too
  • employment: subject to some limits, be it the type of activity or the length of time (in general no more than 6 months with the same employer)
  • money: you are expected to have sufficient funds to enter the country
  • insurance: mandatory to obtain the visa

When should you start to look for a job?

In my opinion, it is not necessary to search for a job before arriving in the country. Employers often prefer to conduct face-to-face interviews, and some of them may require someone to start immediately. Therefore, it is advisable to wait until you are in the country to begin your job search.

You can still explore the job market by browsing the web or different applications, though.

Where to find a job?

From Australia to South Korea, I found most of my job opportunities through internet ads and also by networking with fellow travelers. It’s important to stay connected, especially with all the tools available now.
However, don’t hesitate to ask for tips from your roommates, as networking remains one of the oldest and best ways to gather useful information. You never know, you might even run into someone who is looking for a replacement and you could be just the right fit for the job!

Best applications:

  • Gumtree: if you’re looking for a job in Australia, Gumtree will be your best ally.
    The good thing with this app is that it’s not only for job seekers, you will find ads for cars, share houses, services…, I found all my road trip partners thanks to it!
  • Seek: another application dedicated to jobs (best in Australia, NZ & Asia)
  • Indeed: available worldwide, probably one of the most complete one too
  • Monster: particularly in North America and Canada
  • Computrabajo: for South America
  • JobsDB: for Southeast Asia

Social networks:

  • Facebook groups: my advice is to join a couple of Facebook groups before leaving, you can find a lot of useful tips and jobs too. It’s also a good way to be a part of a community and meet people who will help you adapt to the country.
    Moreover, you can find share houses or rooms for rent.
  • LinkedIn: millions of members and plenty of possibilities to use your social skills

What kind of job?

If you want to immerse yourself in the local community while practicing the language, here are my top job recommendations:

1) Server/barman, runner or even dishwasher

Whether you have direct contact with customers or not, you will have the opportunity to practice and improve your language skills. Being part of a team also means that you will adapt more quickly and have the chance to make friends. Additionally, you can save money on food since meals are often provided as a benefit.

2) Au Pair

If you enjoy babysitting or spending time with children, becoming an Au Pair might be a great choice for you. This is one of the best ways to experience life like a local by becoming a part of a family’s everyday routine. Not only can they help you learn their language, but they can also introduce you to their culture and show you what life is really like in their country. In exchange for taking care of their child or children, you will receive accommodation, food, and pocket money.

One of the biggest disadvantages of getting attached to someone is having to say goodbye, though.

3) Promoter/Street team brand ambassador

Working outdoors can be a great way to earn money, as you get to meet a lot of people and the work environment is often full of positive energy and enjoyment. However, it can be challenging when it rains. On the bright side, you may get the opportunity to be the first one to try out new products.

4) Staff at a Theme Park

Are you looking for a job where you can be surrounded by people having fun all day? If yes, then working at a small theme park might be the perfect opportunity for you! Especially during the holidays and peak season as these parks are often on the lookout for new employees. You don’t need much experience, just some basic language skills, and you’ll receive on-the-spot training. Plus, if you’re an adrenaline seeker, you’ll love the perk of getting to ride for free!
However, keep in mind that the job will require you to work long hours, including weekends and national holidays.

5) Retail

Retail jobs are always available, regardless of whether you have experience or not. This is because there is often a high turnover rate in this industry. If you enjoy interacting with people and performing a variety of tasks each day, then working in retail could be a great fit for you. Additionally, retail jobs typically offer a decent salary and flexible working hours.

6) Hotels, hostels, guest houses

Least but not last, working at a guest house has a lot of benefits. You get to meet travelers from around the world, receive free accommodation and sometimes even free food. Additionally, you can earn money, although it may only be pocket money. Your tasks will generally involve reception or housekeeping, depending on your language skills.

Sometimes, you may only work for a few hours a day, and in that case, you can use a staff room or a private room (depending on where you work). I believe that this is one of the best jobs for saving money, and you’ll find that many hostels offer this option.

And that’s a wrap on how to find a job on a working holiday visa. I hope this will help you put your worries behind you and discover the many opportunities available to you (and there are many more).
Don’t be discouraged, keep sending out resumes and networking, and you’ll find a job in no time! Good luck!

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