Why you need to consider living and working in Sydney

By Robert Half on 13 November 2021
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

Sydney is a world-class city, and for good reason.

As the capital of New South Wales and Australia’s economic powerhouse, Sydney tops the leader board across a range of metrics. It’s Australia’s largest city, home to 5.3 million people.

Sydney is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world with two out of five residents being born overseas.

If you’re a skilled professional considering living and working in Sydney, you be surprised at the opportunities available.

1. Strong job prospects

Sydney may be recognised by such icons as the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, but the city is also an economic powerhouse. Sydney’s annual economic output is valued at $401 billion, putting the city on par with Singapore, and ahead of other Australian state capitals.

Importantly, the Sydney economy is supported by a diverse range of industries. Greater Sydney is not only the manufacturing capital of Australia, it is also Australia's financial capital – home to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Sydney is where the headquarters of the majority of Australia's top 50 ASX-listed companies are based and has the highest concentrations of professional workers of any capital city in Australia. Sydney is also fast becoming a globally recognised Tech and FinTech hub with global brands including Atlassian, Canva, Afterpay and Airtasker, to name a few, having originated here.

Related: How to find the right job in Australia

Jobseekers looking to live and work in Sydney can enjoy valuable professional opportunities. Like much of Australia, Sydney is facing a skills shortage, and many employers are eager to hire suitably skilled talent in industries, such as tech and finance. This is opening doors for ambitious professionals to move to Sydney, build on their skills, and reap the rewards of exciting career pathways.

2. World class facilities attract leading brands

As a global city it stands to reason that Sydney attracts the best – from leading schools and universities to health care facilities. In fact, Sydney is the second biggest exporter of higher education in the world, behind London, with two of the world's top 100 universities.

Sydney is also renowned for its medical research institutions at Westmead, Randwick, and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals as well as the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. In addition, Sydney attracts global brands. As a strategic hub in the Pacific region, Sydney attracts almost half (48%) of the top 500 companies in Australia. Over 280 multinational companies have offices in Sydney, providing an indication of the abundance of professional opportunities.

Related: Why consider living and working in Melbourne?

3. Amazing work-life balance

Mention ‘Sydney’ and images of the city’s glorious beaches often spring to mind. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Sydney is certainly blessed with exceptional beaches, and water sports of all sorts, from swimming and surfing to water-skiing and fishing are popular among Sydneysiders. What’s less well known is the wealth of other pastimes to enjoy.

With Sydney’s mild climate, there are plenty of ways to embrace the great outdoors. Bushwalking is popular, as are bike-riding and golf. Sydney also offers over 400 parks, including the grand Centennial Park offering 189 hectares of open space just minutes from the CBD, and Lane Cove National Park, a short drive from the city centre, which is ideal for picnicking, hiking, canoeing, and camping.

Related: Is it time for a career change?

Lovers of the arts are richly rewarded in Sydney, with an abundance of venues from the world-famous Sydney Opera House to more intimate venues for performances ranging from stand-up comedy to the ballet.

With so many options, it is possible to choose the pace of your lifestyle. When looking at the workplace, Sydney-based employers place a high value on creating a supportive work environment that promotes a healthy work-life balance while maintaining a high degree of productivity and providing opportunities for team members to achieve their personal career goals.

4. High-quality ‘liveability’

Sydney’s high-quality lifestyle is reflected in its ranking as the 11th best city in the world to live in by The Economist’s Global Liveability Index 2021. Along with a wide variety of high-quality housing options, Sydney is well-connected through public and private transport links, including a rail, light rail, harbour and river ferries, and buses. Significant infrastructure developments continue to enhance this connectivity, creating an efficient network of freeways that make it easier and quicker to move around, without the commuter stress seen in many other global cities.

Add in a climate that offers warm summers and very mild winters, and it’s easy to see why Sydney has a well-established reputation for liveability.

Related: Why consider living and working in Brisbane?

5. Gateway to the world

There is no denying that Sydney is Australia’s gateway to the world – and the world’s gateway to Australia. The city has the country’s busiest international airport, with a second airport due to open in 2026.

Sydney’s location, on Australia’s east coast, makes it possible to fly to well-known Asian destinations, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo in a relatively short amount of time given Australia’s location on the world map. Australia’s two other largest cities, Melbourne and Brisbane, are about an hour’s flight away.

How to decide whether living and working in Sydney is the right decision

NSW has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world, and Sydney is leading the charge. The city is reopening to the world, and this means exciting times ahead no matter whether you are thinking about making the move to work in Sydney from another state or from overseas.

Exploring the job market in Sydney is the first step to gain insights into the available opportunities and how they may align with your skills and interests.

To gain a better understanding of the market, you can use the Robert Half Salary Guide to easily research the sectors and industries hiring in Sydney, and the skills and qualifications that are most in demand. Those who are considering living and working in Sydney should also dedicate sufficient time to reviewing job search sites, as well as websites from recruiters, such as Robert Half.

Related: Why consider living and working in Perth?

How to find a job in Sydney

Exploring job opportunities in another state or country can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re starting with little knowledge of the local job market, culture, or way of life more generally.

Checking out the visa requirements to secure work in Australia is an important first step for those considering relocating to Sydney from overseas. Importantly, you will need to apply for, and be granted a visa that is suitable for the length of your intended stay and the type of work you hope to undertake. The Australian Government offers advice online around a range of options for securing work visas in Australia from both temporary and permanent visas to visas specifically designed for innovation or select skilled occupations.

Related: Good reasons to consider working in Australia

Australia and the UK have recently reached an Agreement in Principle for the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that, amongst other initiatives aimed at stimulating economic growth, will introduce broader labour mobility provisions. Once approved, the FTA will make it easier for professionals, including, accountants and engineers to transfer and use their qualifications in the other country, highlighting the expected influx of skilled professionals from the UK to Australia – and vice versa.

Fortunately, you can get in touch with our Robert Half consultants to find out more about the available and future job options in finance, technology, or recruitment that could be right for you. Our experienced local area specialists will also gladly share useful insights about what life might look like for you and potentially your family after arriving in Sydney, giving you the inspiration or the head start you need.


If you are looking to join a company that supports work-life balance and invests in your career development in Sydney, why not consider a career at Robert Half? From recruitment to corporate services, our talent solutions team are helping to build Sydney’s booming finance and accounting, technology, and business support industries one person at a time.

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