Embarking on a Work Holiday in Australia: Breaking the Mold and Finding My Path

Why am I leaving Singapore for a 3 year work holiday in Australia

Why am I leaving Singapore for a 3 year work holiday in Australia

In a bustling city like Singapore, where the rhythm of life often follows a predefined beat, the idea of uprooting yourself all of a sudden out of the country can be both exhilarating and daunting. If you’ve ever had such thoughts, this article presents a set of crucial questions that I considered before deciding on a 3-year-long work holiday.

After working for four years, the idea of embarking on a new adventure out of our tiny island state had been steadily gaining momentum. That was when I started exploring the idea of a work holiday visa and found myself drawn to the idea of leaving behind the well-known routine in Singapore. Eventually, I made the choice to carry out a 3-year-long work holiday in Australia. This decision, while undoubtedly daunting especially in the beginning, was fuelled by my desire for personal growth, exploration, and a break from the routine that has defined my career thus far. As I think about the idea of leaving it all behind, I’m fully aware of the challenges and uncertainties that come with it. But the thought of embarking on this journey feels like an exciting and enriching chapter waiting to unfold. So, here are some questions that I hope can help you in coming to a decision too:

1. Why do you want to leave Singapore?

Living in Singapore, it’s easy to overlook the safety, the transportation, the abundant availability of shopping malls and food outlets within walking distance. However, I felt our comfortable bubble doesn’t often encourage young Singaporeans to explore beyond our sunny little island. The structured life trajectory for many Singaporeans, from education to career, made me question the consequences of stepping off this path. What really pushed me was realising that Singapore’s professional landscape didn’t align with my passion for wildlife and animals, a niche largely unexplored in the city-state.

2. Why a Work Holiday and in Australia?

After some research, I found out about the Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462, for those interested) in Australia. And this was exactly what I was looking for- a program designed for young adults from certain countries, including Singapore, to travel and work in Australia for up to a year or more. I was sure I wanted to continue working on my career while pursuing my passion for wildlife and animals. Moreover, considering the necessity of sustaining an income for three years, a work holiday seemed like the ideal solution. To top it off, Australia was a great destination for me as its allure lay not only in its abundant wildlife but also in the high quality of work life balance, beautiful landscapes, and outdoor activities which are all aligned with my personal interests as well.

3. Are you ready to leave your job in Singapore?

Now, leaving a stable job involves careful consideration of the sacrifices – foregoing promotions, risking professional relevance upon return, and the uncertainty of finding a comparable job. It was essential for me to reflect on my career goals and aspirations, and so it is for you readers too. While leaving a stable job may open the door to a more exciting and fulfilling career, it also comes with potential challenges, such as adjusting to a possible pay cut. Evaluating your long-term commitment to your current company is important; loyalty ought to be met with opportunities for growth. Personally, I found myself in a situation where my career trajectory didn’t align with my personal goals, prompting me to seek new and more fulfilling opportunities. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits of leaving against the stability of your current position and ensure that the decision aligns with your overall career aspirations and life goals. It is not easy leaving a life of stability for something unknown, but ultimately it comes down to what you prioritise.

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4. Are you financially prepared?

This was the question that garnered the highest priority in my opinion — For me, financial readiness meant assessing my savings and having the ability to sustain life with little to no income. Collecting a thicken up emergency fund provided more buffer for financial dips in cases of unforeseen circumstances. Similar to having a reliable Plan B, this acted as back-up savings whenever necessary.

While this work holiday idea wasn’t something I had thought about much until recently, I was always doing part-time jobs since my secondary school days. Naturally because of that, I’ve accumulated a significant amount of savings even before entering the realm of full-time employment post-graduation. Over the past four years, I’ve been working with an average fresh-grad pay, supplemented by a range of side hustles and part-time roles I’ve undertaken along the journey. Before deciding to relocate to Australia, I meticulously managed my finances, ensuring that my savings would sustain me for a minimum of eight months without a steady income. This calculation takes into account my current spending habits and covers essential expenses such as insurance and investments. Fortunately, just like any unmarried kid, living with my parents has also provided financial relief by eliminating the need to bear rental expenses and certain bills. (thank you asian norms!) Additionally, in contrast to the peers around my age who are focusing on marriage or getting a BTO, I have decided to redirect this financial reserve towards a lifestyle change in Australia which is more aligned with my personal goals.

Another portion was revisiting my insurance and investments which really gave me peace of mind for the future and my return 3 years down the road. Having a well-rounded financial plan played an integral role to financial freedom. Personal take, but managing my finances with a trusted advisor allowed me to make sound decisions hassle-free. We were able to choose plans together that were sufficient for me without burning a hole in my pocket. Personally, it gave me the extra confidence to go forth with my plans.

Are you ready?

While financial preparedness is crucial, the intrinsic choices as an individual become equally significant. The decision to leave everything behind and pursue personal aspirations goes beyond mere financial readiness – it’s a profound internal choice. In the end, the journey to a work holiday in Australia shouldn’t be a decision made on impulse but rather taken with thoughtful deliberation. A time may come when everything lines up perfectly – readiness to leave your career, adequate savings, substantial insurance coverage and investments plans, but it may still be hard to take the plunge. At that point, you will realise it’s not all the extrinsic factors that matter anymore but it’s more of your choices intrinsically as an individual. No amount of preparation can prepare you for that, but it is a decision you have to make for yourself.

”Decide what you want, and then act as if it were impossible to fail.” - Brian Tracy