Work “Casual”

In the job markets of Australia and New Zealand, there are three types of job opportunities: full-time, part-time and “casual”.

Casual jobs typically have a bit higher base pay, in return for a complete and utter lack of job security. If a business needs a little help for  a short amount of time, they put out a call for casual work. They then hire workers on a week-by-week basis. Generally the work is 20-30 hours for a week, and then…hopefully you get a call the next week. This idea is absolutely foreign to me, and a little bit terrifying. It seems like it must be exceedingly stressful to go through all of the work of landing a job, and to know that the only thing you actually have is…that week.

I was trying to explain my reluctance to apply for casual jobs to a woman I’m staying with. She just gave me this blank stare and said “Well, but, what do you do when you want to leave for a month or two?”

You lose your job.

If it’s maternity leave, a temp might get hired to cover you, but, it’s not guaranteed.


Now I’m realizing that there are places that have a very different attitude towards “job security” then what I’m used to from the United States.

I can’t help but think: this is why travel is important.


6 thoughts on “Work “Casual”

  1. I’ve just finished up on a casual contract in Australia. It’s a pretty tough gig mentally, like you say; you never know if the call to come back in is going to happen. I thought everything was going well, and then out of the blue, nobody is needed any more.

    The plus side is especially for me, being a backpacker, you can do exactly the same. You can quite comfortably let your employer know an hour in advance of leaving that it’ll be your last day as you’re jetting off to a new destination!


  2. In the US, these are called “temp” jobs. Many tech companies employ tons of temp workers, who can be let go anytime the tech company wants. Believe me, working as a temp at Microsoft or Amazon sucks. Benefits are terrible. Depending on the job, if you want vacation, you often have to just quit. At many tech companies, if you are a temp and you work there for a year, you are forced to take 3 months off from the company, no pay, and no guarantee they’ll hire you back after. The only benefit of being a temp is that you get over time pay. The tech sector in the US is pretty messed up. I’m normally anti-union in tech, but sometimes I think having temporary unions might help a bit.


Share Your Story:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s