Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 26 – Travelling and working overseas

“Our lives are a series of journeys”. This phrase came to me whilst I was out walking one day. I had just heard that a friend I had known since my high school days was sick with cancer. There were lots of things racing around my head as I came to terms with the fact that she was unlikely to reach her 40th birthday, was not going to see her children grow up and have children of their own. I thought about all those things that she had promised herself that she would do “one day”, and how many times had I said the same thing. How many times have you said to yourself – “I’ll do that tomorrow, or I’ll do that when I have more time.” The question I will put to you today is, what happens if the only moment that you have is NOW? What becomes really important to you? Is it spending time with your loved ones, or reading a report for work? Is it getting on a plane and taking a holiday or is it getting your doctorate? Only you can decide, because no one else can decide what is important to you at any given moment in time.

Every day when we wake up, we have a choice. We can do the same things that we did yesterday and the day before that, and the day before that, or we can choose to do something different. Our lives are a series of journeys, we have a choice on a second by second basis to do the most amazing things.  Take a moment to think about the many paths you have taken to reach this particular point in time, and what haven’t you done? Whilst some of these “journeys” can be physical ones – where we hop onto a plane or get into a car and travel to a destination for a brief respite from our daily tasks and existence. Most of the journeys that we undertake are an opportunity to grow and develop emotionally and spiritually. Of course I am sure you all have stories to tell where the two combined, where the physical journey interlaced with the spiritual and emotional ones. Those very special moments that you can still recall in vivid detail, times and places that have impacted on you and still impact on you in some way even today. But the point is, we don’t have to travel great distances to achieve this state of consciousness, we can choose to get more from our daily travels.  But for those people who have a desire to travel, this month we look at some of the options that are available for travelling and working interstate and overseas, if you have ever wondered what it would be like to experience life and culture in another place, another time, another country, then please read on. The journey is about to begin.

We hope you enjoy reading
Lorraine Bradshaw
Marketing & Training Coordinator

In this Issue we will be looking at:
• Employment agencies and Job Information;
• Legal requirements to work overseas;
• Working from home;
• Before You Go;
• A Thought to ponder.

Employment Agencies and Job Information
If you are planning on working your way around the world or even just a small part of it, you may be interested to know there are specialist recruitment agencies who may be able to offer you some employment opportunities whilst you satisfy your wander lust.

The One Umbrella Group operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra –, and has developed a partnership with a UK based recruitment firm in order to improve the chances of travellers finding work within the profession. Of course there are other employment agencies who can offer temporary or contract assignments in every sphere of the working environment, with everything from fruit picking to data entry on offer, if you fancy a change.

If you would like to work in the United Kingdom, you may like to contact Sue Hill Recruitment –, or
Glen Recruitment – email or
Task Force Pro Libra (TFPL) – links to the UK and US job sectors.

You may also want to check out the job related links on the Australian Library & Information Association web site located at –

Then there is Freepint – Freepint is a free fortnightly e-zine offering articles, news, websites of interest and jobs in the information sector. Whilst this service is predominantly UK based, most of the information has value and reference to information professionals across the world.

The freepint jobs update can be located at This service is circulated every 2 weeks and high lights all the newly available positions.  This is useful if you want to look before you leap. The Jobs Update also has a Jobs Advice section, with contributions from Sue Hill Recruitment – a UK based recruitment firm and myself – Lorraine Bradshaw, Marketing and Training Coordinator at Information Enterprises Australia.

Legal Requirements to Work Overseas
Did you know that Australia has reciprocal working holiday arrangements with sixteen countries namely the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Cyprus, Italy and France. But before you book your ticket there are a few things you should consider.
You must be aged between 18 and 30 years of age (and without dependent children) in order to apply for a working holiday visa. 

In most cases the Working Holiday visa can only be granted in the same country as the origin of your passport.

For those people travelling to Australia, applications can be lodged via the internet, go to: Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs –, and yes there is a charge.

A Working Holiday visa gives you 12 months to travel to the country of choice from the date the visa is granted, and allows you to stay in the country for 12 months from the date you first enter the country.

You are entitled to do any kind of casual work, but you cannot work for any 1 employer for more than 3 months during the 12 month period, unless you have special permission. It should also be noted that employment agencies are classed as a single employer even though you may work for a variety of organisations. If you are found to be working for an employer beyond the three month deadline without permission, you may have your visa cancelled and be asked to leave the country.

A final word – the working holiday visa will be issued only once. It should also be noted that people who travel on a visitor visa will not be able to legally work in another country.

When presenting yourself for work with any employer you will be asked to show proof of eligibility to work in your chosen country.

In the United Kingdom, the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 states that All potential work seekers must be asked to provide proof of their British citizenship or their right to work in the UK.  You must be able to show One of the following original documents:
• A British Passport or a passport showing a right of abode in the UK.
• A national passport or national identity card from a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
• A residence permit issued by the UK to a national from a EEA country or Switzerland.
• A passport or other document issued by the Home Office which has an endorsement stating that the holder has a current right of residence in the UK as the family member of a national from a EEA country or Switzerland.
• A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay.
• A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay in the UK; and that this endorsement allows the holder to do the type of work being offered, if they do not have a work permit.
• An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office to an asylum seeker stating that the holder is permitted to take employment.
A work permit or other approval to take employment that has been issued by Work Permits UK.
Plus one of the following original documents:
• A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder is able to stay in the UK and can take the work permit employment in question.
• A letter issued by the Home Office confirming that the person named in it is able to stay in the United Kingdom and can take the work permit employment in question.
Workers will be additionally required to register with the Home Office if they plan to work for more than one month for an employer in the UK.
Of course those people with dual citizenship, or those people who qualify for a UK or other passport will not have the same restrictions with regards to work as those people who are limited by a working visa. So be prepared to do a little bit of homework before you head off.  After all, you may be entitled to other benefits as well.

Before You Go
Preparation is the key.  Lodge your CV electronically with a number of employment agencies before you leave, and advise them of your intended arrival date, whilst this may seem like you are limiting your travel options, if you are like most people and need to work in order to travel, you will have a head start over your fellow travellers. 
Take at least one hard copy of your CV and related documents.  This is important as you may need to photocopy the document if you need to do some door knocking.
Take an electronic copy of your CV on disc as a back up.  There is nothing worse than having a single screwed up CV to show your professionalism in looking for work.
Remember that you may need to update your CV as you go, so don’t photocopy a lot of copies. 
Send an electronic copy to yourself. If you utilise the many free email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail you can access your documents wherever you can find an internet connection.  A word of caution.  Hotmail tends to strip attachments from email messages, and if you use Hotmail, it is wise to add all your potential contacts to your address book otherwise the messages may end up in the spam folder.  When creating your new email account, you may also want to use a “professional” name as opposed to your nickname, especially if you are planning on emailing your CV and applications to a potential employer. Names such as intrepidexplorer, vodkaqueen, devil666, badgirrlz etc etc just give entirely the wrong impression, and should be avoided if at all possible. And yes I have seen all of these contact details on resumes.
Remember to pack something suitable to wear to go to interviews, and to visit potential employers (remember the employment agency will also be your employer, so you need to make the right impression).  Jeans, shorts and t-shirts are not going to go down very well. Choose lightweight clothes that need little or no ironing, and always take a decent pair of shoes.  However, if all else fails, op shops may be able to offer you some cheap, clean alternatives.

Working From Home?
In today’s technologically driven society, the opportunity to work from home has become a distinct possibility for quite a few segments of our community. As information professionals are we able to take advantage of the technological advances that allow us to check our emails from home, access the Local Area Network to write reports, and undertake research using the Internet and other web based research services such as Dialog. Or do we need to be a visible part of the organisation structure.  As we all know, getting funding for, and maintaining funding for our information services, usually means having to work harder at promoting our services than say the accountants or legal departments, but should we have to? Let us know what you think and we will share your comments with the rest of the readers.

A Thought to Ponder:
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)