I Turned Down 60K A Year To Pick Up Dead Chickens In Australia

I Turned Down 60K a  year  To Pick Up Dead Chickens In Australia

Australian working holiday visa

City girl ditching the heels

I have noticed that there are a lot of wonderful travel blogs of people working and living in exotic locations with big signs saying ” I’m living this wonderful life you can live it too!’ At a glimpse we view the idyllic photo and don’t give a second thought to what they have had to do, to attain that picture perfect lifestyle.

Unless you are cashed up or get paid to travel, you will find yourself in a position where you will have to work really hard to fund your travels. If you are looking for work outside your country of residence chances are you will need a visa.

Visas are complex, laborious and at times extremely expensive with lots of conditions attached.  With an Australian Working Holiday Visa you can only work 6 months for any one employer. The visa is designed to ensure you to travel not stay stationary. If you are from the UK you are given a 1 year working holiday visa and an option to extend the visa for an additional year.  In order to extend your visa to 2 years you would need to complete 88 days of specified regional work.

Regional work needs to be in specific regional areas of Australia generally outside of the major cities  and it needs to be work that falls under the category of cultivation or regeneration. Here is a link to the Australian Government website for more information.

I wanted a 2nd year Australian working holiday visa because Australia is colossal and extremely  expensive it’s hard to see everything you want to see in 1 year especially if you factor in needing to work.

I scrawled for jobs online and ended up speaking with a farmer who said he could offer me free food, accommodation and a wage of $400 a week. I snapped at the offer. The wage is fairly low for Australian standards but any opportunity to not spend on rent and food was a bonus and it would give me the extra days I needed for my visa extension.

”So whats the job?” I asked

”You will just have to look after the chickens, we are have a million chickens”

When he said look after the chickens – he kinda miss-sold the position.

My real job was to walk through huge stinking hot sheds with thousands of chickens and pick up the dead ones!

When I picked up my first  dead chicken by the legs with its maggot ridden guts hanging out.  I shed tears  and thought I can’t believe I’m doing this for a visa! I believe that was one of my lowest moments………I’ve had a few.

Australian Working Holiday Visa

Turning soil so the chickens could walk in comfort


At the end of each day my hair had turned grey because of the chicken poo  and feathers logged in my braids . For the entire 4 weeks  I had what I thought was the flu. But turns out I am actually allergic to chickens!

I have never worked so hard in my life for so little in the monetary sense.

Travel as exposed me to some of the toughest jobs in the world. I have worked on a mine site with 95% of the work force being male and out at sea for 7 day stretches seeing no land whatsoever.

Before leaving my position selling  telecommunication services within Commercial Real Estate to go travelling. I got approached on Linkedin to interview for the largest IT research firm in the world.  After several intense interviews including  a video conferencing interview with the Sales Director in California. They put an offer on the table of £60k OTE for the first year and more there after if I continue to deliver high standards. I declined the offer. At that moment in time my well being and happiness was more important than ££££.

Birkett & Hart's testimonial

Old life Work Gala Dinner @ Savoy with Rugby Legends

If anything working low paid manual jobs has  made me more humble and toughened me as a person. I place less emphasis on ownership of material goods. I no longer look at a man’s pair of shoes and what watch he is wearing to judge his character. I no longer go for dinner at the Ritz Nobu or the Ivy.  I would much prefer a  Bush tucker for a  dinner date.

When I have  sat in swanky offices for high flying corporate positions offering  $$$$  and they have asked me ”How will you cope with the stress of high revenue sales targets and rejection?”

I can safely say the same way I coped with being covered in chicken poo for 8 hours a day, the same way I coped with working out on the rough sea for 7 days straight surrounded by sharks.

”With a smile and continuing perseverance”

Alcoa Mine site

Feel the fear and do it anyway


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