…and finally (a word from our author)

I’d come to the end of my time working in Sydney. It was time to brush away the tears, put away the factor 50 and reflect on some of the people I’d met, the conversations I’d had and the things I’d seen.

So what had I learned?

Neil Middlemass

Where do I begin? Well let’s get this pesky elephant out of the room first shall we?

One of the main things I’ve learned is that the market isn’t really behind the UK at all (OK, with the possible exception of ecommerce but I’ll come back to that in a minute). Over half the market is from the UK*, so the people, techniques and processes are largely the same.

The population is less which means spend is less . It’s a little harder to justify in-house digital specialists and the knock on effect is that some clients need a little more hand holding, but with this comes opportunity.

Population, landmass and established buying habits all contribute to mean that ecommerce is a little behind at the moment (I did promise I’d come back to it), but it probably won’t be for too much longer – it looks like things are going to change on that front very soon as retailers pile in to invest in the Australian market and up the game.

Whilst it’s not true that UK experience entitles you to an automatic promotion, I think the scale of the opportunity over here means that the market is ripe for rapid progression if you earn your stripes. Don’t expect employers here to fall at your feet though – massive salary premiums and relocation packages are very much exception rather than rule.

This is a hungry market, but it’s not desperate – it’s starting to mature a little, which means that employers will only really invest in certain types of candidates. In terms of sponsorship, getting a visa is pretty easy if you’re under 31 but can be more difficult if you’re not. It’s worth doing your homework to make sure you’re considered alongside local candidates.

I’ve learned that coming back to the UK can be tricky, but that the experience here is as valid as UK experience. The tough bit really comes down to adjusting to:

  1. The weather
  2. A bigger and more stable digital market

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing** on this subject, I don’t think the wage to living cost is dissimilar here, but all in all I think you’re probably better off. It’s the living cost to quality of living where it probably differs the most. I’m not going to lie, the lifestyle really is great out here.

All in all, the future looks great for the Australian digital market.

While I’m here, I’d like to say a quick thanks to the following people for their help (in no particular order (other than alphabetical that is)):

People Neil would like to thank

Alex Asigno from Match Media

Grant Baxter from Resolution Media

Stuart Beckingham from Mediacom

David Coats from Reprise Media

Joao da Costa from Open Colleges

Becky Glover from OMD Sydney

Dan Kalinski from iProspect

Jon Roberts from Croud

Dan Robins from OMD Australia

Sam Russell from Mediacom

Marco Villella from nuclei recruitment

Arie Westerduin from Croud

Daniel Wright from Groupon

…and of course to Dorota and her team at nuclei recruitment for looking after me during my stay.

It’s been fun.

* That’s my estimate, not necessarily the truth (but I reckon it’s probably about right)

** Is that how you’re supposed to write it? I don’t think I’ve ever written it before