Off to Alice Springs

by Psy-Kosh1 min read16th May 201228 comments

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Am about to pack up computer then go to the airport to start a sequence of flights to give this a try.

I already have a room in a hostel booked for a few nights for when I get there, and will see how stuff goes.

Anyways, since there's been on and off discussion on this, just thought I'd post that I'm actually giving this a try.

(Will likely be a day or two before I can reply/comment/etc, given length of flights, etc.)

 

EDIT: Ugh. You take care of one aspect of the planning fallacy, and fail elsewhere. Long story short, I missed my flight and had to reschedule it to friday.

 

EDIT2: Packing up computer and going off to airport. Again. This time will be early.

 

EDIT3: And am here. and am exhausted. :) Will start looking for work stuff tomorrow. There's a job board at this hostel, but apparently there's not much currently. But right now am rather sleep deprived.

 

EDIT4: So today (Monday, May 21st) went to the visitor information center. I must have misunderstood the original article, was under the impression that the visitor center had job boards. Didn't, but pointed me to a nearby recruiting/contracting agency which they said might have appropriate stuff for visitors on a work&holiday visa. Went there. said that at least as of today there's nothing, but also needed a resume (which I didn't have with me, and my work experience is limited anyways.) Anyways, got a copy of the form, will dig out/fix up what resume I do have, and also keep looking. The board at this hostel didn't have much of anything in the way of work that I saw. Will look again, though, and see if I can find others.

 

EDIT5 (May 29th): Still looking for work, been asking/applying to various places, including that recruiting/contracting agency, and am right now waiting (well, and still looking.) Over the weekend, though, MileyCyrus and I went on an organized 3day Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon trip/hikes, which was awesome. But again, as far as work, tossing out inquiries and stuff all over, trying to find out who's hiring at the moment.

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I've been in Alice Springs for a couple of weeks now, and the completion is pretty stiff. None of the bars are hiring, and they prefer locals anyway. Contacted the parks nearby, they're all full. I did find a job that pays $26/hr (after super), but I'm only getting 20 hours a week. (Plus another 15 minutes of unpaid labor before every shift). There's a good chance I'll be fired in a couple weeks too.

And a native Australian told me it's only going to get worse. The NT winter holidays are about to start, meaning that all the locals in school right now are going to want a job. I've noticed more backpackers coming by here too.

Anyone can PM me if they want details.

Sounds like the optimal employment post is out of date and that it's worth jumping ship to a mining town?

Maybe times have changed. Or maybe I'm just different than Louie. Or maybe it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

[-][anonymous]9y 0

Think the fundamentals apply, or at least initiate people to review and assess this for themselves. Economic shifts are always going to occur (and frequently in the current world economy) so maybe it needs to be more general rather than re-targeted.

It's a really good illustration of self limiting beliefs in regards to income and living situations. A lot of Australian residents have zero conceptualisation of the economic conditions or potential income working in different sectors over here.

In that case once I'm there, we should perhaps meet up. (Right now am about to pack up computer and such and go to airport... again. :p)

[-][anonymous]9y 13

Read the optimal employment article and I'm wondering if this is still current. The mining boom over here has resulted in a lot of low hanging fruit in terms of labouring jobs that often have six figure salary and provided living conditions if you're willing to live in some of the more remote areas. I honestly have no idea what the conditions are around visas and background or what the competition is like, but it's this formula + more stable work and higher income for a comparable skill range.

Lots of fact checking required on what I'm saying here but I know there's other import labour around a lot of the mining areas right now, it may be a good vector?

Edit for additional data points: I'm currently working in the Queensland mining industry. The role adds about +25K income for my skill set (although for basic labour and retail the gains are closer to +50K) and the living costs are between 10-20K lower than in the major cities. The work / life balance in terms of hours is slightly worse, but the commute is 10 mins from my door to work. Culture and "liveability" of the city is quite low compared to metros. As a result of this latter point though I've had the time and disposable income to pursue several hobbies, and further education, without too much of a strain.

Mining? What do you do every day, physically?

[-][anonymous]9y 2

Mining in terms of the general sector. I have a white collar job and don't mind it, though there's more money to be made moving closer to the physical jobs. For me personally it's not worth the lifestyle impact or physical risk as far as i can assess it.

I honestly have no idea what the conditions are around visas

For the Working Holiday Visa

Basic requirements

To be eligible, applicants need to meet the following requirements:

hold a passport issued by an eligible country or region be aged 18-30 (inclusive) at the time of applying not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during their stay in Australia meet health, character and financial requirements not have previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (462) visa not have prevsiouly entered Australia on a Working Holiday (417) visa (unless applying for a second visa, see 'Second Working Holiday visa' below) be outside Australia when they apply and when their visa is granted (unless applying for a second visa, see 'Second Working Holiday visa' below) apply within 12 months of intended travel to Australia.

I have no idea what the visa requirements for USAns are but they"re unlikely to be any more onerous. And all the mining jobs are going to be in the arse end of nowhere so you'll also be eligible for a second working holiday visa.

Are you an Australian native?

[-][anonymous]9y 0

Yes. That is my blank spot re: visa components of the plan. If anyone wants to give me a short version of what it's like I'd appreciate it, have a few friends asking how to transition over to Australia.

Well... good luck, I hope it works out. Keep us posted.

FWIW, IMO Alice Springs is an odd choice. It is one of the towns that suffers from being small and isolated, without the benefit of having much direct resource oriented employment. There are some social problems in Alice Springs as well related to native Aboriginal population and drinking. It does have the benefit of being a minor tourist attraction, and the arts/crafts scene is pretty good for a small town.

My recommendation, if you want to come and work in Australia, would be Perth, which is a large, clean city riding the mining boom, or towns like Karratha, Broome, Newman and others which have huge mining/hydrocarbon projects happening.

Disclaimer: I live in Perth.

PS. If you do come to Perth, get in touch.

There has been a lot of speculation in the US media that China's export slowdown is going to hit natural resource economies hard. Australia's economy is especially intertwined with China's so I think there is some room for concern. Naive investors often swarm into a bull-market shortly before the bust. I would be worried that moving to Australia is a lot like investing most of your money into a hot-stock rumor.

For Americans who don't want to look quite so far afield for greener pastures, consider that the unemployment rate in North Dakota is 3% (lower than Western Australia). North Dakota is also natural resource focused, but mostly oil, not metal exports to Asia.

ETA: Also, this:

If you have a license and no criminal record, you can get a six-figure trucking job almost overnight. Real estate construction is almost as frenzied as the oil drilling, and there's even a huge business in housing the workers who don't have housing.

[-][anonymous]9y 2

The Queensland government has started looking at design based business initiatives to try and offset the slowdown in the mining industry, I'd consider this a reasonable leading indicator of what you're suggesting here. Has gained very little traction though.

There's also a partition between raw project labour, and subgroups in the overall resource economy. Project based construction roles pay well with fixed terms, mining and refining sectors will slow down, gas sector is starting up at the moment (project based) but won't yield many jobs once it goes operational (can run the buggers with a handful of people).

Still has a healthy decade left in it, give or take, so isn't a bad option for short term transient jobs.

Hey, D_Alex.

It's been a long time, I know, but I was thinking about going to Australia. Any tips you could give for the current day?

I was thinking of doing this for a while; I'm glad to see the first penguin has jumped off the ice.

T'qnl zngr. Jrypbzr gb lbhe arj yvsr, jbexvat va gur engvbanyvgl zvarf. Juvyr lbh jrer fyrrcvat ba gur cynar, jr fpnaarq lbhe oenva naq znqr n pbcl. Gung pbcl jvyy or yvivat va Iveghny Nyvpr... gur ovt anabpbzchgre pbzcyrk lbh frr bire gurer... naq ur'yy or va punetr bs lbhe vagrenpgvbaf jvgu gur bhgfvqr jbeyq abj.

[-][anonymous]9y 3

Now I get why they're called the "Alice Garden Pods" in Deus Ex: HR.

Also there's no reason for this to be rot13'd.

there's no reason for this to be rot13'd.

It's part of the joke, you see. It helps to suggest that there's some sinister secret waiting at the other end of this quest for "optimal employment".

And allow me to assure everyone that it is a joke. There is no ruthless covert Australian program designed to win the race to singularity. There is no secret deal with SI, whereby a self-selected population of "rationalists" is encouraged to head for central Australia, only to have their brains harvested upon arrival, for use in ghastly yet noble projects in which FAI design riddles are solved via something resembling quantum suicide. And whatever it was that Greg Egan did during his long hiatus from writing, it certainly didn't involve designing these experiments - which, as I have already mentioned, aren't occurring.

Virtual me will be in charge of bio me's interactions with the outside world? Seems like some fairly basic decision theory stuff, if nothing else implies that I'll be reasonably good to me. :) (At least sufficiently that I don't have to worry about me being despotic toward me.)

(also, see the edit. Had to reschedule to friday.)

I don't think virtual you knows real you exists. Virtual you thinks he's real you livin' it up. So my advice to you is don't go to sleep on that plane.

[-][anonymous]9y 0

This makes self-loathing all the more disturbing...

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[-][anonymous]9y 2

Just to add - if any of the LW population resident in Australia want to get in touch regarding well, anything that I might be useful for, feel free to inbox me.

[-][anonymous]9y 2

Yes! Badass! Go forth boldly!

I am interested to hear how this is turning out So further updates would be welcome. It seems you might also get some support from LW people if things aren't going well.

Thank you. I'll try to update more when I can, but my net access has been very shaky. I right now only have a couple moments here (at the public library). Hopefully later net at my hostel will work better and will be able to give better update.

(Just letting you know I'm not ignoring/avoiding updating, just been having net difficulties)

And updated.

[-][anonymous]9y 1

Best of luck! I was recently planning on doing this, too, but I've decided to postpone for a few years. I hope it works out well for you.