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Hey Guys,

As an active member (sorta) on Expat forum and a future migrant to Australia, I have been reading posts on this forum for quite a while now. There have been numerous posts on everything from immigration, job hunts, accommodation, schooling, etc. This website is the best!!

However, one thing that I've observed time and time again is reference to the "Australian way of doing things".

Many posters say "you can increase you chances of finding a job, you need to learn the 'Australian way of doing things'". Other examples are "If you want to many friends with 'Australians', you need to learn the "Australian way of doing things", "if you want to rent an apartment, you need to 'do it the Australian way'".

So it's a bit comical when I read this kind of advice because there's no elaboration on what the "Australian way of doing things" really is? Is it showing us to a job interview in flip flops (sorry thongs) and shorts or having kangaroo for breakfast?

So, I'm starting this thread so that people (home born Australians, naturalized citizens, recent arrivals and even people who haven't been to Australia but have interacted with Australian folks before) can give their take on the Aussie way of doing things.

I'm looking for good quality advice, the intention of which is to help and educate other forum members without ruffling any feathers. That being said, good advice sometimes isn't easy to digest. So hit me with the good, the bad and the ugly (Australian way of doing things). Lingo would be a good place to start, innit? :D

Cheers
 

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Hey Guys,

As an active member (sorta) on Expat forum and a future migrant to Australia, I have been reading posts on this forum for quite a while now. There have been numerous posts on everything from immigration, job hunts, accommodation, schooling, etc. This website is the best!!

However, one thing that I've observed time and time again is reference to the "Australian way of doing things".

Many posters say "you can increase you chances of finding a job, you need to learn the 'Australian way of doing things'". Other examples are "If you want to many friends with 'Australians', you need to learn the "Australian way of doing things", "if you want to rent an apartment, you need to 'do it the Australian way'".

So it's a bit comical when I read this kind of advice because there's no elaboration on what the "Australian way of doing things" really is? Is it showing us to a job interview in flip flops (sorry thongs) and shorts or having kangaroo for breakfast?

So, I'm starting this thread so that people (home born Australians, naturalized citizens, recent arrivals and even people who haven't been to Australia but have interacted with Australian folks before) can give their take on the Aussie way of doing things.

I'm looking for good quality advice, the intention of which is to help and educate other forum members without ruffling any feathers. That being said, good advice sometimes isn't easy to digest. So hit me with the good, the bad and the ugly (Australian way of doing things). Lingo would be a good place to start, innit? :D

Cheers
"Innit" is predominantly used by Brits, it's not Australian. :)
 

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Ok, I'll bite.

1. Recruiters control the job market. If you want a job, you need to play nice with recruiters. Recruiters are not always the sharpest tool in the shed; they look for specific words in your CV. So the "Australian way" is to use flashy words in your CV, stuff that recruiters like. Be prepared to answer stupid recruiter questions that invite insincere boiler plate answers. You need to do that to get to client interviews where you can generally show more humanity and honesty (depending on the interviewer). Contract work requires immediate availability; full time positions accept the "Australian" 4 week notice. One of the first questions a recruiter asks is how much money you want (without revealing much about the position).

2. To rent a place, the "Australian process" is: find an advertisement (most are done online), get your STANDARD paperwork in order (100 point ID check, recommendations, utility bills, etc) and go see the place. You can't skip this last step. You can then choose to apply and you get notified pretty quickly if you've been selected. This is THE way and the ONLY way to get a place.

3. In Melbourne there are 2 acceptable answers to "how are you?" (or "how are you going?"): (a) "yeah, good", or (b) "not too bad".

4. Typical workplace stuff: casual Fridays, beer o'clock on Fridays (usually 4pm), most people go out to lunch on Fridays.

I am not saying that any of these are good or bad; simply Australian.

No worries. :)
 

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Other "Australian" things:

* No tipping. I LOVE THAT!

* Many restaurants require you to order and pay at the bar. Someone brings the food out to you, but you only get part of what most places would define as "service" in a restaurant. There are positives and negatives that come with this. I personally don't mind, but I haven't witnessed this elsewhere.

* You don't need to show ID on domestic flights. (Try that in the US!)
 

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More Aussie things:

- Language-wise: tendency to abbreviate words (e.g. brekkie)

- You can swear at work

- I've encountered many Aussies who love the idea of going to Europe to cover as many countries as possible. If that requires spending 10-12 minutes in any one country, so be it, as long as one has been there.

- AFL
 

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1. Recruiters control the job market. If you want a job, you need to play nice with recruiters. Recruiters are not always the sharpest tool in the shed; they look for specific words in your CV. So the "Australian way" is to use flashy words in your CV, stuff that recruiters like. Be prepared to answer stupid recruiter questions that invite insincere boiler plate answers. You need to do that to get to client interviews where you can generally show more humanity and honesty (depending on the interviewer). Contract work requires immediate availability; full time positions accept the "Australian" 4 week notice. One of the first questions a recruiter asks is how much money you want (without revealing much about the position).
What are those specific words or flashy words? Could you share some examples please.

If you mean that the person needs to be witty with his answers, well, thats not something that everyone can master, can they?

4. Typical workplace stuff: casual Fridays, beer o'clock on Fridays (usually 4pm), most people go out to lunch on Fridays.
This is a norm pretty much in Britian as well.
 

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What are those specific words or flashy words? Could you share some examples please.
Hehehe... I hope you're not asking for the "secret" words that you can put in your CV that will instantly get you a job. I'm not sharing that! :cool:;):D

The "key words" depend on each particular job. Example: as a project manager working mostly with software, I had to put some specific stuff about AGILE because AGILE is sexy nowadays. Ironically, you can't be too honest about it; you have to pretend that agile is the greatest thing since sliced bread, because that's the acceptable mantra now. Recruiters want to hear textbook definitions more than they want to hear about the vast majority completely missing the point of agile and using agile to hide their incompetence. When you show a deeper understanding and PM wisdom that one can only acquire with years of painstaking experience, that throws them off. So you respond the Australian way and recite the text book answers to get through to the client interview.

If you mean that the person needs to be witty with his answers, well, thats not something that everyone can master, can they?
Normally, I would disagree. I think that giving textbook answers to textbook questions says nothing about that person being actually qualified for a job. Demonstrating an overarching understanding of how the world works in your profession and being able to add some "wit" to your answers truly shows that you know what you're talking about and are also comfortable enough to discuss it uninhibitedly. It obviously depends on each job, but as a PM if you can't do that then you're not qualified, because the job entails spending 70-80% of your time communicating and if you can't do that effectively in an interview, how are you supposed to do that in the context of a job?
 

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Barbecue - The Australian way of spending weekends. You will find a Barbecue area in all of the parks that you visit

Cricket or Footy (Australian Football) - The sports people enjoy watching. So much so that if you do not talk about either of the two, you are one potential topic short of any discussion

Mate - every person is a mate, be it a boy or a girl. But don't overuse it, specially if you are not from an Aussie background

Wildlife - They love the zoos and the wildlife parks and ensure that they preserve nature

How are ya going - Aussie version of "What's up"
 
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Hehehe... I hope you're not asking for the "secret" words that you can put in your CV that will instantly get you a job. I'm not sharing that! :cool:;):D
Well, Cheers for that :rolleyes:

The "key words" depend on each particular job. Example: as a project manager working mostly with software, I had to put some specific stuff about AGILE because AGILE is sexy nowadays. Ironically, you can't be too honest about it; you have to pretend that agile is the greatest thing since sliced bread, because that's the acceptable mantra now. Recruiters want to hear textbook definitions more than they want to hear about the vast majority completely missing the point of agile and using agile to hide their incompetence. When you show a deeper understanding and PM wisdom that one can only acquire with years of painstaking experience, that throws them off. So you respond the Australian way and recite the text book answers to get through to the client interview.
I'm not a PM, however I do get what your are trying to say. Sometimes by being witty you may risk crossing certain limits and may even piss off the recruiters. Knowing The Oz way and when not to cross limit would help. For e.g, using "Pommie" word would attract some smiles in Oz, but would be classified as crossing limits in Pommie land :cool:

Normally, I would disagree. I think that giving textbook answers to textbook questions says nothing about that person being actually qualified for a job. Demonstrating an overarching understanding of how the world works in your profession and being able to add some "wit" to your answers truly shows that you know what you're talking about and are also comfortable enough to discuss it uninhibitedly. It obviously depends on each job, but as a PM if you can't do that then you're not qualified, because the job entails spending 70-80% of your time communicating and if you can't do that effectively in an interview, how are you supposed to do that in the context of a job?
Agree with you totally, but I meant that being witty is something you develop from within over a period of years. Not something that you can learn just that you have your PR and are in the process of looking for a job

BTW, Was a slice of bread considered the best thing to happen before Agile :D:D
 
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ok, I'll bite.

1. Recruiters control the job market. If you want a job, you need to play nice with recruiters. Recruiters are not always the sharpest tool in the shed; they look for specific words in your CV. So the "Australian way" is to use flashy words in your CV, stuff that recruiters like. Be prepared to answer stupid recruiter questions that invite insincere boiler plate answers. You need to do that to get to client interviews where you can generally show more humanity and honesty (depending on the interviewer). Contract work requires immediate availability; full time positions accept the "Australian" 4 week notice. One of the first questions a recruiter asks is how much money you want (without revealing much about the position).

2. To rent a place, the "Australian process" is: find an advertisement (most are done online), get your STANDARD paperwork in order (100 point ID check, recommendations, utility bills, etc) and go see the place. You can't skip this last step. You can then choose to apply and you get notified pretty quickly if you've been selected. This is THE way and the ONLY way to get a place.
Thanks phlojo. Some very interesting posts from you.

By the way, as a newcomer, how does one get recommendations and utility bills?
 
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Australian way of doing things

Ok, I'll bite.

1. Recruiters control the job market. If you want a job, you need to play nice with recruiters. Recruiters are not always the sharpest tool in the shed; they look for specific words in your CV. So the "Australian way" is to use flashy words in your CV, stuff that recruiters like. Be prepared to answer stupid recruiter questions that invite insincere boiler plate answers. You need to do that to get to client interviews where you can generally show more humanity and honesty (depending on the interviewer). Contract work requires immediate availability; full time positions accept the "Australian" 4 week notice. One of the first questions a recruiter asks is how much money you want (without revealing much about the position).

2. To rent a place, the "Australian process" is: find an advertisement (most are done online), get your STANDARD paperwork in order (100 point ID check, recommendations, utility bills, etc) and go see the place. You can't skip this last step. You can then choose to apply and you get notified pretty quickly if you've been selected. This is THE way and the ONLY way to get a place.

3. In Melbourne there are 2 acceptable answers to "how are you?" (or "how are you going?"): (a) "yeah, good", or (b) "not too bad".

4. Typical workplace stuff: casual Fridays, beer o'clock on Fridays (usually 4pm), most people go out to lunch on Fridays.

I am not saying that any of these are good or bad; simply Australian.

No worries. :)
Wow, really interesting info. Finally I know what does it mean "Australia way of doing things".
 

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One important thing about the "Australian way":

Some cultures have a strong hierarchy in work places, where there is an inherent idea of "respect" that manifests in various ways: people can't go to lunch until the boss has gone to lunch, one calls the boss "sir", etc. If you are from one of those cultures, it's important to know that Australia is laid back (perhaps a bit more so than most Western cultures). It's un-Australian to call anyone "sir/madam". I felt very uncomfortable when this guy from India who worked under me always stood up when I went to talk to him. You can say "no" to your superiors.


By the way, as a newcomer, how does one get recommendations and utility bills?
You can bring recommendations from your previous country and from the first place you've stayed in Australia (I had one from the AirBNB place where I stayed.) You would not have any utility bills.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you are from one of those cultures, it's important to know that Australia is laid back (perhaps a bit more so than most Western cultures).
Laid back? Sounds good. I'd totally fit in then. :rockon:

I felt very uncomfortable when this guy from India who worked under me always stood up when I went to talk to him.
I can relate to this. Even I feel uncomfortable when people stand up and talk to me or use Sir to address me...and I'm indian! LOL :yo:
 
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Excellent thread taylorman and phlojo!!!! Keep it going!!! Eager to read more being a recent migrant!!!


Cheers
SAM
 
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Ok. I'll post something

My interaction with Australians is limited to my vacations in Spain and Portugal, where I met a bunch of them and got to observe them outside their natural habitat... i.e. Australia

Aussie youth are very friendly. They like to talk a lot and I was staying with them in the same hostel. They are quite loud though. :eek: We all went out for a few drinks that night and things got out of hand rather quickly. We left as a group of around ten people and only 2 of us made it back to the hostel...lol

They also like to get personal (much like the British). An old work colleague of mine who was a Brit started telling me about his nasty divorce about 5 minutes after he met me....for the first time! I didn't mind though. The same thing happened when I met an Aussie couple. They told me about their respective exs and we all had a laugh. Great communication skills I must say.

Oh yea...here's another one. Aussies love the beach and the sun. They also love to backpack through Europe. Ironically, Europeans (especially German youth) love to spend a couple of years backpacking in Australia after school/ university to "find themselves" *chuckle*. :hippie:
 

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Thanks phlojo. Some very interesting posts from you.

By the way, as a newcomer, how does one get recommendations and utility bills?
You typically ask a personal acquaintance (friend, family,...) and / or work acquaintance (peers, managers,...) to recommend you.

A healthy bank balance helps to bypass the 100 point check.
 
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