Why you need to consider living and working in Melbourne

By Robert Half on 26 November 2021
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

As the state capital of Victoria, Melbourne is the go-to destination for many Australians seeking a dynamic blend of culture, multiculturalism, and convenient living.

With almost 5 million people, Melbourne is ready to top Sydney off its perch as Australia’s most populous city.

It’s certainly the nation’s fastest growing metropolis, with population growth of more than 12% over the five years to 2021. This growth is providing an exciting range of opportunities for professionals thinking about living and working in Melbourne.

1. Business hub

Melbourne is not just the cultural and recreational hub of Victoria, it is also a business and administrative focal point with a thriving professional services sector.

The city has attracted investment from across the globe in sectors spanning digital technologies, advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, and clean energy. More recently, Melbourne has become the regional headquarters for Square, Alibaba, Nutribiotech, and Judo Capital – and the city currently accounts for 13% of global digital marketplace unicorns.

The strength and diversity of Melbourne’s business sector means more opportunities for you to enrich your skillset and achieve your career goals.

Related: Why consider living and working in Perth?

2. A safe place to live and work

Living and working in Melbourne offers many rewards – including peace of mind. Melbourne is one of the safest, healthiest, and cleanest cities in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Melbourne as the 8th safest city in the world in its 2021 Safe Cities Index – up from 10th place in 2020.

This has seen Melbourne attract people from all over the world, with over 140 cultures represented including recent migrants from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The city’s high standard of living and social inclusion also saw Melbourne voted as Australia's best student city and the third best in the world by QS Best Student Cities.

Related: How to find the right job in Australia

3. Enviable work-life balance

Melbournians enjoy a vast range of leisure activities. Relax with an early morning row on the Yarra, or make it a more vigorous workout with one of the city’s many dragon boat racing clubs. Melbourne makes outdoors living easy with almost 480 hectares of parklands, including the 170-hectare Royal Park featuring bushland landscapes perfect for hiking.

Head across Port Phillip Bay to Phillip Island – home to the world’s largest Little Penguin colony. Or explore the south-west coast of Victoria on one of the world's most scenic coastal drives. And despite having famous beaches, such as St Kilda right on the city’s doorstep, Melbourne is just a 2-hour drive from some of Victoria’s best-loved ski fields.

Not only is there plenty to see and do, when you live and work in Melbourne, you will benefit from the commitment of Australian employers to support a healthy work-life balance. Effort and talent are rewarded, but you generally won’t face some of the expectations that characterise workplaces in other global cities.

Related: Why consider living and working in Brisbane?

4. One of the world’s most liveable cities

Living and working in Melbourne offers the rewards of an exceptional healthcare system, outstanding educational facilities and world-class infrastructure that allows for fast and efficient commuting.

Not surprisingly, Melbourne has consistently rated as one of the world's top ten most liveable cities since The Economist Intelligence Unit first launched its Global Liveability Index in 2002. In 2021, Melbourne ranked equal 8th on the Index, alongside Geneva.

Related: Good reasons to consider working in Australia

5. A cosmopolitan lifestyle

Melbourne has an atmosphere fuelled by diversity, and the city centre is surrounded by distinctive suburbs, each with their own character and communities. Melbourne is globally recognised as one of the most concentrated dining and fashion cultures in the world. Around every corner charming laneways, such as the popular Hardware Lane, are packed with one-off boutiques and exciting eateries.

Amid this thriving scene, Melbourne has a rich sense of history. The elegant Parliament House building on the grand colonnaded Spring Street is a popular meeting spot for Melbournians. Head to the famous Queen Victoria Markets to stock up on an incredible variety of uber-fresh food, and travel by the much-loved Yarra River and famous Melbourne trams to the suburbs and beyond.

Related: Why you need to consider living and working in Sydney?

How to decide whether living and working in Melbourne is right for you

Making the move to a new city can be life changing. It’s also a chance to explore new career opportunities, and possibly make the move to a different industry or sector to broaden your skillset.

Melbourne offers all these options, and as Australia reopens to the world, now could be the time to assess your career path no matter whether you are thinking about making the move to Melbourne from interstate or another country.

A sensible starting point is to get to know Melbourne’s job market. A wealth of resources is available, including the Robert Half Salary Guide, which highlights industries that are expanding headcount, as well as the most sought-after skills and qualifications. If you’re considering living and working in Melbourne, other resources worth a look include job search sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and SEEK, as well as websites from recruiters, such as the Robert Half website.

How to find a job in Melbourne

Technology has made it a lot easier to explore job opportunities in another state or country, but it’s also important to understand any visa requirements that may apply if you plan to move to Melbourne from overseas.

The Australian Government provides online advice around the type of visa you will need based on how long you intend to stay and the type of work you’re looking for. A variety of work visas apply in Australia, from temporary and permanent visas to visas designed for innovation or select skilled occupations.

If you’re currently based in the UK, it’s helpful to know that Australia and the UK recently reached an Agreement in Principle for the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This is expected to make it easier for skilled professionals, including accountants and engineers to transfer and use their qualifications in the other country, and it could fuel a movement of skilled professionals between both countries.

Related: Is it time for a career change?

Speaking with our Robert Half consultants is a simple way to discover more about the job market for professionals in finance, technology, or recruitment, and the opportunities that could be right for you. Our experienced local area specialists are able to share the latest insights about what you and your family can expect after arriving in Melbourne. It’s useful information that could be your inspiration to start a new chapter in your life and career.


Alternatively, you may want to consider a career at Robert Half. As a global company, we value international experience, and we back it up with a commitment to invest in your career development. From recruitment to corporate services, our talent solutions team are helping to build Melbourne’s booming finance and accounting, technology, and business support industries one person at a time.

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