Impossible Job Market


“…..11 months ago every thing changed. I was marched in to an office at work and “dis-established” as they call it here (made redundant). A shocking experience but I tried not to dwell upon it. Since then I have made every effort I could to find new work. Initially I thought I could find work quickly but I have found the IT employment market to be impossible. There is deep recession in the job market here and some very dodgy practices such as:

  • false adverts (extremely common),
  • people interviewing simply to gather information from me about my former employer,
  • Interviewing for non-existant jobs
  • Agents Interviewing for vacancies which had knowingly already stbeen filled.
  • changing job descriptions as a means to exclude applicants,
  • poor pay,
  • pathetically short contracts
  • project withdrawals,
  • interviewing for projects which haven’t been approved.
  • withdrawing the vacancy after being told I got the job.
  • Impossible sets of technical requirements. Bizarre combinations of tools which surely only a few people anywhere may have encountered.
  • Being excluded from applying because I once worked for a company they did not like. (this happened this week)
    A total in-ability to act quickly and decisively about projects and people.
  • 14 thoughts on “Impossible Job Market

    1. I’ve found the same thing myself. It’s a bad joke. I work in advertising, and even agencies with HR departments in NZ are too unprofessional to return my calls/ emails. Recruitment agencies lie about having work on their books, to get you to fill out their paperwork. It’s all about having friends in the right places- talent doesn’t come into it.

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    2. I experienced the same frustrating situation with teaching jobs. I was applying from home and mistakingly believed the rejection or non-response letters were because I was not in New Zealand. Everyone agrees there is a secondary “teacher shortage” in New Zealand, so where are the jobs? Being certified (for NZ) and having my credentials qualified were useless. I applied to numerous teaching jobs, most did not even bother to reply. When I called or emailed to ask about my application was told repeatedly I had not even been shortlisted, no reason given. Some suggested aplying to rural areas but it was the same situation. I lost a lot of my savings trying to survive in a very costly country for the time I was there. I began to feel useless, dejected, not confident anymore. Moving to New Zealand definitely ranks high as one of the worst experiences of my life. And it’s not over when you leave. You then have to recuperate financially and emotionally, and hope you have enough resources to resume your life back home where you left off. I strongly believe it is a CRIMINAL act to hype up NZ for what it is NOT. So many lives destroyed, so many families still trapped there; it is not cheap to get out. What can we do to prevent other people from making the same mistake besides posting on websites like this and expats exposed? This is the issue I am grappling with now…

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    3. Firstly, it must be a relief for you to know that it’s ‘not just you’.

      Others have fallen into the chasm between the immigration service’s wish list and what employers and professional bodies actually require. Something is wrong with a system that lets down both immigrants and employers so badly, a review is needed but it will probably never happen.

      Secondly, congratulations for cutting your loses & getting out, we know it’s not an easy process and how hard it is to rebuild afterward. It will come right for you.

      We think that websites such as these are getting the message out very well (our largest readership is usually in the US) The more of them the better and we’re happy to link to any we find, or hear about.

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    4. Thank you so much for your website.in fact my wife and i were thinking of migrating to NZ,even we have already applied for some jobs.But I am happy that I have known now.I would rather stay where I am in south africa and face my problems.

      thank you

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    5. My partner is a licensed Civil Engineer from the Philippines. He has dreamed of living in New Zealand ever since he was a little child. Two years ago, he got sucked into the idea that he could be happy and prosperous if he emigrated to NZ. It was the right time in his life to make the move, and so he did. He applied, got accepted and finally made the move last year. He has been living in Auckland since then and is still cleaning ovens in a bread factory to this day.

      Thats right, he is CLEANING OVENS IN A BREAD FACTORY. An educated and licensed civil engineer, who was LURED into emigrating to NZ to fulfill his dream career in the land he always dreamed of living, is instead, forced to clean ovens in order to survive.

      After years of post graduate school and a degree in civil engineering and architectural design, New Zealand welcomed him to their tiny island nation not with a hard hat and Auto CAD, but with a push broom and a cleaning rag.

      He was actually INVITED by NZ to come and work in Auckland as a civil engineer. They said they needed his skills! There was no promise of employment at that time, but they told him he was welcome to come to NZ and give it his best shot!

      Luckily, I had absolutely NO DESIRE to go to NZ so I did not accompany him and I stayed behind in the US. I thought it would be best for him to find out the real deal about NZ before I made any moves. Well, I am glad I did that. He works 12+ hours a day, minimum of 6 days a week, doing manually intensive labor for very poor wages. He shares a drafty house with a young married Filipino/Indian couple.

      I have had to help him financially to meet his monthly end to end living expenses, otherwise he wouldn’t make it on his paycheck alone. I feel like I am funneling my hard earned money to the Kiwi economy with NO BENEFIT to either my partner or myself. He has paid large sums of money to the NZ immigration to apply for this that and the other thing to try and get his permanent residency. They had had no problems taking his money, but they offered little to no service in return. Instead, they lost his passport, lost most of his paperwork and in the end they denied him permanent residency because they felt his current occupation as an oven cleaner in a bread factory was not sufficient enough to deem him worthy of permanent residence status. His work visa is good for another couple of months, so he remains determined to succeed in his goals of working as a Civil Engineer or Architect. He is stubborn.

      I’m afraid there are many unsuspecting people who think that they can emigrate to NZ and start to live their dream lives like in any normal first world country. My partner’s journey to NZ has turned out to be nothing but a complete disappointment. As well as being disillusioned with the whole process, he is also becoming increasingly depressed and I have never seen such a hopeless side to his personality before. I believe that a big contributing factor is that he is treated like scum of the earth at the bread factory and he has to deal with a lot of racism from the locals there as well. One day while walking down the street, he was harassed by local kiwi teenagers who threw make shift water balloons and bags of trash at him as they drove past him. Where do the Kiwi youth learn such behavior?

      At work, he is subjected to unsafe working conditions as well. His supervisors frequently demand that he bypass safety interlocks on the equipment so that the ovens are not turned off when he cleans them (These are industrial sized walk-in ovens). So, they put their profit margins way above his personal safety. They don’t care about him, and to them he is just an expendable body. Any back talk or complaining on his part would surely result in immediate suspension or termination from his one and only job.

      We are both in our mid-30’s and we both agree that NZ was the biggest mistake of our lives. He is giving himself until July 2011 to find a decent job. If not, then he will come home. He is determined to succeed, as a civil engineer in NZ even just to prove it to himself that he is strong and that all of the hardship he has endured has not been for nothing. I have a feeling that NZ is going to completely crush his spirit until they can squeeze the very last penny out of his pocket. A licensed Civil Engineer forced to clean ovens in a bread factory? They even denied him permanent residency because he was not working as a civil engineer, yet, they wont hire him as a Civil Engineer because he is not a Kiwi, and lets face it, because he is BROWN, not white. He is such a talented civil engineer, yet no one in NZ will even consider him as a candidate for hire.

      In summary, NZ’s goal is to lure potential immigrants to their country so they can extract their money, their soul and their sanity, after which they will yell, “NEXT!”.

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      • Feeding immigrant hopes are a good way to create a cash stream. It’s so very easy to believe people you consider friends (before you actually find out they are either lying to you or enjoy watching you struggle), that: “I have a friend in Immigration and can help you” or “lend me some money, there’s some strings I can pull” or “something will turn up for sure, you just need to be positive” or “life is hard for everyone, you must quit complaining and things will be fine”.

        After that, if you manage to get on with a cash infusion from loved ones, you get to hear “oh, you’re just trying to buy good of others… you really shouldn’t be here” along with “These immigrants raise the cost of living for all of us” and “I’ll return your money afterwards”

        The only people that can be cheated, are those that believe somehow the rules are going to be bent by them through association with a person of questionable morals; don’t hang on to a nightmare disguised as a dream — especially when pointing out that nightmare is going to break up a huge fraud that leads to hopelessness and debt (I wonder what the suicide rate is for “hopeful but rejected” foreign visitors wanting to stay on in NZ, is).

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    6. P Ray is telling it like it is, Patrick. Your partner should abandon the idea that he can get something for his experience. As for us, these years will be a write-off to foolishness and nothing more. Lost years, Tell him to just get out and move on. Cut losses before he loses his health and sanity. NZ has been nothing but a big Zero for us. A suck machine.that will do nothing but keep sucking until we hop that plane out and never look back.

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    7. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7948662/Jobs-lost-after-ECan-outsources-work
      The clever thing about the people losing their jobs …
      is that they will be told that “outsourcing is cheaper” and “foreigners are taking your jobs”.
      P.S. I am rather certain the “bright young things” at Hill … have no idea that taking on much work … means their staff will have to be … overworked.
      A lot of unemployment can be explained by people doing more than their fair share, for the same price.
      That’s the “short” story.

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    8. The other thing to look for that contributes to the impossible job market:
      graduates falsifying their work experience.
      I’ve never before been to a place where so many new domestic ones … have directorships in companies.
      Then you look a little closer, and realise the companies were registered to their family residences.
      Of course, you wouldn’t know this just looking at their wondrous LinkedIn profiles.
      So, going by what you seen on paper and on the web,
      people are made to think that an international student who began and completed his university education in a single sitting while in NZ …
      is a bad bet compared to the domestic student, who may have done their studies in segments … but is a company DIRECTOR.
      Just like grade inflation, this misrepresentation makes finding good staff a challenge. And explains why international students are at a disadvantage to find “degree-related” work while in NZ, vs. the domestic ones.

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    9. http://www.gradconnection.co.nz/forums/thread/general-graduate-discussion/help-cant-get-a-job-no-matter-what/?page=last
      Good read, at the time, this part sticks out for me the most:
      “My friends all got jobs at the Big 4 and stuff. When I try to ask them for help and try to put in a good word for me they just laugh at me. Its pretty obvious that they want me to fail and they are not actually friends but were only using me for something. It sucks when the people you thought were your friends are secretly happy when you fail.”
      If you’re capable, you’re a threat to someone.

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    10. Folks…has anything improved? I am thinking of emmigrating from Ireland later this year looking for a job in banking.

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