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After ideas on how to make a move to Canberra simpler

By Paul0075 - 16 August 2010 21

Hi Guys,

My first post, so go easy. There’s gonna be some naïve questions / statements here.

I have been intending to make a move to Canberra for more than a decade, and have decided to give it a shot sometime in the new year.

I in NSW, and have moved to WA before and learnt a lot of things about planning it out better, but there’s a few unknowns in Canberra, and my knowledge of how the ACT works these days isn’t that strong.

— Should I bring my ageing early 90s car with me, and risk going through the hassle of the Dickson inspection centre, or just get something to replace it when I get there?

— Which areas of the ACT I should avoid living in?

— How tough is the job market to crack, if your work history involves once working in IT for a few years, including supervising staff, but stopped doing that about 8 years ago? And would it be considered favourable if your gig these days is involved in the media? Also done the retail / customer service thing too, but some years ago.

— My views on Canberra seem to get a little knocked around on each visit. When I grew up, my folks and I visited friends in Canberra semi regularly, which was the 1980s, but only in the past 12 months have I been regularly back in Canberra. I still like what I see, although it seems to be a bit less like the Canberra that I remember from the 80s and my handful of 90s visits.

Thanks in advance Guys!

Paul

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
After ideas on how to make a move to Canberra simpler
essfer 11:12 pm 20 Aug 10

Firstly – big cheers for astrojax. Some truth amongst all the humour (ahhhh, but which bits?!?).

As for renting in Canberra – if you are going to be looking during the Summer the best thing you can do is prepare a package for landlords to make it easy for them. Get together photocopies of everything: drivers licence/passport, utilities bills, written rental/personal references etc.

Bank statements and payslips or letter of employment offer are great too but they can’t make you provide that info. Mind you, you’re trying to make it easier for them to give you a place so anything you can do to create less work for them is probably going to get your application higher on a very tall pile. Withholding info or not bothering to plan ahead will just lose you in the heap.

If you’re looking to share then allhomes is a good place to start as it has a share accommodation section. Its not always possible but its safer for you if you are named on the lease for the house – otherwise you’ve got f*** all protection if the others screw up or screw you over. Without your name on paper you basically don’t exist.

As for jobs – A recruitment agent quickly helped me into a gov job a few years back and I’ve been solidly stuck in the full-time workforce ever since (dammit!). Heaps easier than going it alone and it costs you nothing.

I’d also say don’t be afraid to have a crack of something outside your professional area (unless you have dreams and aspirations that require you to stay there). If you’re open to whatever you can get lucky.

Which is why Mooseheads is so popular, but that’s completely off topic.

ladyesprit 11:33 pm 18 Aug 10

for rental, look at allhomes.com.au and if you need anything to get you started, checkout freecycle@yahoogroups.com. IT job is so low in Canberra, i am even considering moving out, but don’t worry you will find a job here. The govt offices are always hiring contract/non-ongoing staff.

if you plan to start a family, i guess canberra is the place to be.

2604 8:55 pm 16 Aug 10

astrojax said :

and there are zombies everywhere.

AFL fans, too. I’m not sure which are worse. 😛

Paul0075 8:44 pm 16 Aug 10

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I know some where asking about how much income I would be on etc to get some ideas on suggested places. Let’s put it this way, my job pays less than a checkout chick at ALDI and I am above the award. I think I will have change careers to make a move to Canberra work.

I have a few planned trips to Canberra over the next few weeks, so I will try and make some time to go check out some units and visit some recruitment firms just to get some ideas on work.

It’ll also give me an excuse to have Kingsleys and maybe head to King O’Malleys or the pizza shop in Lyneham again 🙂

Primal 8:34 pm 16 Aug 10

astrojax said :

and there are zombies everywhere.

“Zombies”? We prefer “public servants”, thank you.

astrojax 3:26 pm 16 Aug 10

c’mon people, you’re making it sound attractive – aren’t we supposed to keep numbers down?? don’t believe anything above; the real story is that canberra is awful – the weather’s shocking, the people are unfriendly, stupid and ugly and the houses are all made of jelly. traffic is unbearable and you have, by law, to have a 4wd or a late 2000’s sedan with frangipani stickers in a southern cross shape and a baby on board sticker and you have to try to hit cyclists, or you’re fined, and there are no 80kmh zones that aren’t actually 40kmh roadwork zones but you’re not allowed to stick to the limits. the city closes down after 5pm with nothing open, nowhere to party and the restaurants are appalling and the service is bad – they even overcharge up to $5 for pizza. and i saw a duck once. and there are zombies everywhere.

sexynotsmart 1:27 pm 16 Aug 10

blackberrystorm said :

I don’t think the Canberra job market is too hard to crack, especially given that you have solid experience behind you. Make use of the many recruitment firms in the ACT, might even be worth your time to do it before you arrive so that you give yourself the best start possible.

+1

The job market is in the doldrums at the moment. Barring any “meat axe” culls, it will pick up nicely after the election. It’s really easy to get on a few recruiter books. Hit Seek or CareerOne or similar, and lob in some enquiries. And you can start now before you leave. It’s quicker and less angst to go contract or non-ongoing than holding out for a permanent public service gig.

If your heart is set on “permanent”, suggest making that a second-step goal. The rental market is pretty tough and you’re going to look much better with a job. Contract or non-ongoing is the fastest way to do this with IT/Comms experience.

deejay 1:21 pm 16 Aug 10

Just a followup to my remark earlier (on re-reading, I’m surprised no one has jumped on it yet) – “Personally, I would avoid retail unless you’re really, really desperate for work. There’s a class gulf in Canberra between retail and professional, and you can get kind of typecast.”

For the record, I don’t agree with that divide. I’ve seen really good value ex-retail people struggle to be given a chance in other sectors (especially the APS), including one extremely intelligent man who was accused of getting his EL1 wife to write his application.

Anyway, don’t mind me side-tracking. Carry on.

loubird22 12:07 pm 16 Aug 10

I moved to Canberra a little over 1.5 years ago from out of the country and I could have used some tips! The rental market is the toughest from about December to Feb/March as all the new grads descend upon Canberra in January. If you can avoid this time, great. It also very much depends on what you are looking for. When I came, I was desperate for anything, didn’t have a car yet so needed close to transportation/work and didn’t want to spend too much. I settled for a total dump and regretted it and was so glad when the lease was up. After learning my lesson the first time around, my second rental search was more successful. I found that once you get over $450 rent per week, you really start to weed out a lot of people. Also, try to find properties that are inspection by appointment only. Make an appointment as soon as possible and if you like it, apply that day.
Also, Canberra is not that big so don’t listen to people who think that Tuggeranong or Belconnen are so far away. Everything is really no more than 20-30 mins drive away max. You will get better rent rates living in the outer suburbs, especially down Tuggeranong way.
As mentioned by others, there aren’t really any specific areas to avoid. Public housing is all intermixed throughout the suburbs so you can get streets you may want to avoid, but in general most places are fine.
I registered my 1992 car no problem, just needed a couple new tires and once you get it registered intially, no need for reinspection.
Depending on your job field, Canberra be quite a closed market so often it is best to go through employment agencies at first while building local contacts.
Good luck with the move!!

Thumper 11:39 am 16 Aug 10

Should I bring my ageing early 90s car with me, and risk going through the hassle of the Dickson inspection centre, or just get something to replace it when I get there?

It’ll get a few crosses in a rego check but if it is in reasonable nick it’ll get passed.

blackberrystorm 11:31 am 16 Aug 10

Welcome to Canberra! I agree with the previous comments, it is a great place to live.

If your vehicle is NOT modified and is currently registered in your name in the NSW then you won’t need to get an inspection done at the Dickson Motor Registry – any approved inspection station will be able to do the inspection for you.

I agree with deejay above – “There’s nowhere I would absolutely avoid living, although some places are nicer than others. Northsiders will say don’t live in Tuggeranong; southsiders will say don’t live in Belconnen.” All things being equal, just live close to where you work. Rents can vary considerably so best shop around with the different real estate agents (otherwise go to allhomes.com.au) to get an idea of what prices you can expect to pay.

I don’t think the Canberra job market is too hard to crack, especially given that you have solid experience behind you. Make use of the many recruitment firms in the ACT, might even be worth your time to do it before you arrive so that you give yourself the best start possible.

Solidarity 11:18 am 16 Aug 10

Unless your car is modified, it does not need to go over Dickson, just any authorised inspection station. If it passed the last pink slip, it’ll pass RWC fine.

sepi 11:06 am 16 Aug 10

Rent is very very high in Canberra, and it is hard to get even a basic rental. you’ll have more luck renting a basic 3 bed house in far tuggeranong than a modern unit near town. Bring warm clothes – older rentals are icy.

Holden Caulfield 10:41 am 16 Aug 10

First tip, search RiotACT as this is a reasonably common question.

Second tip, you need to tell us more about the style of housing you’d prefer, plus your available budget, before any meaningful recommendations can be offered.

Finally, good luck, I think Canberra is a great place to live.

deejay 10:33 am 16 Aug 10

Welcome to Canberra. It’s a great place.

Re the car – I would bring it but keep it registered in NSW for as long as you can get away with it (relies on a NSW postal address – relatives?). ACT is an inspect-harshly-once-then-never-again environment. When you’re ready to buy a new car, you can trade it in ACT easily enough, since they cater to both Canberra and Queanbeyan residents. If you’re buying a newish car you can often get $3K as a promotional minimum trade, which might be more than the car is worth. Combine it with a novated lease and you might be better off again, depending on how much you drive.

There’s nowhere I would absolutely avoid living, although some places are nicer than others. Northsiders will say don’t live in Tuggeranong; southsiders will say don’t live in Belconnen. Neither of them (or Queanbeyan) are actually that bad if you’re an ex-Sydneysider. You won’t find a Lakemba or a Mount Druitt anywhere in Canberra. If you don’t mind driving and money is a factor, consider the satellite areas such as Yass, Goulburn, and Cooma. Goulburn has the best amenities but Yass is closest if you’re working in Belconnen. No matter where you live, though, expect finding a rental to be difficult.

IT is a good gig if you can get up to speed quickly, especially if you have project management experience as well. You’ll probably end up working for government via a consultancy to start with – government is pretty hard to crack without Canberra and government references. It’s a very, uh, *unique* environment. In good ways as well as bad, but the point remains that you’ll probably need some exposure via the private sector first. This will also get you a job much, much quicker (public sector appointments are slooow).

Alternatively, you might be able to crack a Comms job in government – a lot of people avoid those once you get to a certain level IMO (although others may take a different view). Ambitious people tend to move sideways into a more strategic role at the middle manager level, and that can leave a gap for good Comms people.

Personally, I would avoid retail unless you’re really, really desperate for work. There’s a class gulf in Canberra between retail and professional, and you can get kind of typecast.

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