6 months as a Digital Nomad in Sydney: My Australian dream

A beautiful photo of the Sydney Opera House. I took it on the 13th April 2016 while travelling from Manly to Circular Quay

One year ago I was still living in Europe, between London and Milan. My life was going smoothly. I was lucky: working at Emoderation for two years was one of the best time of my life, the best company to work with. But then, I realized that I needed a change. A location change.

My mum always told me that my biggest dream was to travel around the world. She’s absolutely right. Only thing is that I don’t just love to travel and then going back home. My travelling style is all about going to ACTUALLY live in a Country, for a little while. Understanding the local behavior, finding a job, meeting and understanding the culture. 
I like to consider myself as a glocal traveller.

Palm Beach — “The world is made for dreamers”

I am lucky enough to be a member of the marvellous online marketing industry. During my career I have worked both for agencies and companies. Being an online marketer is one of the last fashion: everybody wants to work for an agency. Truth is that not everyone’s cut to work at an agency.

A tremendous fast-paced environment is not for everyone. 
Deadlines are not for everyone. 
High-demanding clients are not for everyone.
Also, please consider that many clients you will work with are a big part of the messy world we are living today. But that’s life, right?

One of my colleagues during a freelance gig. Cute, uh?

Here in Sydney the agency world is *amazing*. Many opportunities around, especially in digital and growth marketing. The startup scene is exploding and Co-Working spaces are a nice spot to meet people, doing networking and find new gigs (today for instance I was at The Hub, a Co-Working based in Darlinghurst).

Many people from the UK and from Italy (ciao!) asked me if it’s difficult to find a job here in Sydney and around Australia. Ask yourselves the following questions:

1) Are you willing to go Down Under and leave everything behind?

In my case, my hometown, my family, my best friends are far away: 17,000 km away! Do I miss it? Yes and not. I was already prepared for it. I have been outside my hometown, Napoli ❤, for the last 6 years. Most of my friends are living around Europe and Asia. My family… understands my decisions (most of the time). One day I think I will go back to Napoli. One day.

2) Are you ready for an high cost of living?

When I first moved to Australia, on the 1st of January 2016, I’ve landed at Brisbane, Queensland. The cost of living was lower than Sydney. Unfortunately, also the job opportunies were less appealing. The real digital vibe is in two cities: Sydney and Melbourne. As a beach & sea lover, choosing Sydney was just a natural consequence (but now is winter… and winter sucks!). I am currently writing a separate article about the Sydney high cost of living but meanwhile, be reassured: with an average digital job, you will be able to pay your bill (unless you want to live at Bondi Beach like me…)
If you are an experience digital marketer, you will be able to get +$70–75K per annum. Not bad, uh?

3) Are you willing to give yourself time to learn in a different environment?

Before coming to Australia, I’ve started to study EVERYTHING about OZ.
Reading websites, talking with people both there had been there already, joined online forum, checking flight tickets, buying an Australia Guide. 
I was able to write down a list of the best places where to go (before starting to look for a job, I was able to travel around 1,000 km between Queensland and New South Wales) and the best places where to work (NSW won); talking about this second list, I wrote a Google Doc file full of online agency names to contact (kind of agency, website, LinkedIn handle of Talent Managers and Managing Directors)and recruiters (I have discovered that this industry is one of the most active here in Australia, especially in the digital marketing world)
Even with all these information that I was able to find, this was not enough!

After 6 months, I can say that I am finally able to save time while applying for freelance jobs (I know which one I am qualified for and the one I would just waste my time even thinking to apply for!)
Also, I was able to grow my network: MeetUp, Eventbrite, Co-Working spaces, LinkedIn, congress, even talking to total strangers during Australia Day (26th January, every year, the most imporant Bank Holiday here!): all of these “strategies” contributed to build my reputation as Online Media Strategist and Social Media Manager.

As an apprentice Digital Nomad, I learn something new everyday: the first thing I would advice to anyone moving to a new Country is: STUDY
Spend 70% of your time preparing and studying about your new city. Make a list of Pros and Cons, try to weight all your alternatives. When I decided to buy a ticket to go to Brisbane, my focus was on the fact that I could save money in a cheapar environment, especially at the beginning of my Australian adventure. Saving money during the first month, allowed me to live with a limited budget for a longer time. After I was ready to move to a more expensive city like Sydney and try my luck, I had already scored my first interview: it was not successful, but I knew that that was just the first step of my new path.

Is never easy to move to a new Country. To curve of learning and adapting is different for anyone. You might be shy or easygoing: the truth is, we all have to learn to never be afraid from change. Change is good. 
You will always regret something, if you never had the chance to try it.
When you will be old, you would ask yourself:

“Why, why… why I never tried!?”
Melbourne, one of the coolest city I have ever seen.

Instead, if you are reading this, there is a big chance that you’re a willing to try. Try, don’t be afraid. Make mistakes. I am still making many mistakes. I’ve probably made a lot of grammar mistakes writing this article. But life is all about learning from our mistakes, right?

Get in touch with me if you are a digital nomad, you want to work with me at your Online Strategy… or if you are in Sydney, of course!

@alexcerveza 
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AlexCerveza
LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alessandrocapezza