Like setting yourself up for work. Ok, you've got your working holiday visa, but you can't actually work without a TFN (Tax File Number) and you can't apply for one until you're physically in the country, so get onto that as soon as you get here. It's easy enough to apply online.
If you were smart (and read my last blog post), you'll already have set up your ANZ bank account. Just make sure you don't forget to pop into the nominated branch to pick up your debit card (remember to take your passport!)
If you're a Pom, you'll want to register with Medicare, as we have a reciprocal health agreement that means, if you need to see the doctor at any point, you'll get a rebate for some or all of whatever you pay in treatment fees. There are Medicare offices in most large towns and cities in Australia, so just pop in with your passport and sort out your cover when you get there. If there’s no queue, it usually takes about half an hour to sort out.
Join all the ex-pat and travel Facebook groups you can, the more specific to your region or city the better. I've received job leads, immigration/travel advice, meet up invitations and more via Poms Loving Brisbane, for instance.
You'll obviously need an Australian sim card for your mobile phone. Telstra has the best nationwide coverage, but that may not necessarily matter if you're going to be in big cities the whole time. Optus also have some good pre-paid deals. Head into almost any department store or shopping complex and you'll be able to check them out in store and compare. One thing about mobile phones though - beware that if you've got a super modern snazzy device straight out of China, like my unbelievably fantastic OnePlus 2, you may struggle to find chargers and accessories down under. They're trickling over slowly, but they're expensive and stocked only in specialist stores at the time of writing.
If you're planning on sticking around in one place for a while, for work or whatever, you'll need somewhere to live. Flatmate Finders is not only where I found the beautiful old Queenslander that I now live in but also the best housemates (now friends) I've ever had.
Want to buy a car? You might consider this if you want to get out of town on the weekends, or maybe you don't live in a well connected area (Brisbane ain't London!) No problem, you can pick up a decent little runaround on Gumtree for 2000 AUD. Make sure you get one with time left on the rego and a recent roadworthy certificate. If you're at all unsure about anything, you can get RACQ to conduct an independent inspection of the vehicle before you buy, but it'll set you back a couple of hundred bucks. But that's not much for peace of mind, right?
Now, back to work. Make sure you've updated your CV and include details of your visa. Don't give them any reason to put you to the back of the pile; if you're eligible to work, say so up front. Applying for permanent roles is probably a waste of your time. As soon as they find out there are work restrictions on your visa, your application will be binned. Go for temporary and casual work instead. Focus on getting your foot in the door. Going for office work? Check out Seek - that's where most companies post their vacancies. But don't rule out turning up on doorsteps or ringing companies up to offer your services. If it's something temporary you're after, Page Personnel is a good place to start.
If you're after a 457 employer sponsored visa, know that availability is subject to immigration demand for skills. If your job role isn't on their most wanted list, it's going to be difficult to get sponsored, however much your company wants to keep you. The onus is on you and your employer to prove that noone else, no Australian, can do your job. That's a tough case to make if there's tonnes of others out there with your skills. If you do find that you want to stay and your working holiday visa is coming to an end, consider engaging a migration agent. Immigration law is complex, dull and full of things to trip you up. You're better off seeking expert advice. More on this later...
That's it for now. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. Good luck moving to Australia!