University Lecturer Misled Over Job Offer

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Today’s posts are taken from Expatexposed, a self help forum formed to help migrants living in New Zealand.

An American university lecturer tells of how her job offer was mis-sold to her (a common complaint among migrants in NZ) and of how her well qualified husband has been unable to find paid employment in New Zealand:

“This is my intro. I came here only in February for a post as a lecturer at uni. Found out early, much I was told at interview was not true (no time for research, cuts in funding, I would have to fund most, if not all, of overseas conferences). Also, that my husband, a mid-level project manager would easily find a job with his graduate degree and +10 years experience in marketing… I am not going to go on, except to say, of all places I am in Palmy. From what I read, it is not better elsewhere–but, could it be worse?? Either way, I am stuck for a while as the uni paid for my move and I owe them if I leave for three years. I could kick myself as I came here from a very well-known uni program in the U.S. and didn’t even bother to fully interview before I accepted the position. …I am so tired of hearing from friends and family abroad, “Oh, you are so lucky to be in NZ; it’s so beautiful!” They haven’t seen Palmy…

6 months later:

“I have posted before, just after arriving 6 months, already knowing it was time to hit the road. Spouse came here with me for my job. However, despite a graduate degree in business and 10 year’s management experience, he cannot find a job. I decided to call it quits. I find it is not useful to sabotage my career, either, which was promising to be pretty good, any longer. Also, found out I am pregnant–and having had abysmal health care experience thus far, I will be moving once the kid is born. My job paid all moving expenses (if I leave before the 3 years, I owe uni a third for every year. I am leaving after year one, so owe them a two-thirds, technically.)… I have to say, it’s been a real wake-up call, and each day my husband is out of work, it is a real test. He is currently volunteering, offering 260 hours of business development ideas to a website… Combined with the crappy “research” job I got at a uni here, my husband’s inability to get work (even with a graduate degree) and the fact that I do not want to raise a child in this place, we are on the way out! thank God!!”

Their departure will be a great loss to New Zealand and there are lessons that can be learned from this family’s unfortunate experience: NZ employers should not over-sell their jobs to attract well qualified people from abroad, or makes promises which they have not intention of keeping. What they will end up with is very disillusioned, highly skilled and valuable employees who, in addition with dealing with culture shock, have to come to terms with having been taken for suckers.

Even a three year lock-in isn’t going to keep good people tied to a bad employer.

In addition, migrants are led to believe that there are skills shortages in New Zealand for which they are greatly in demand and that the country is crying out for people just like them. When they arrive and discover that there are no suitable jobs open to them (often because of a lack of ‘Kiwi experience’) it causes a great deal of stress and hardship for all those concerned. Who can blame them for wanting out?

We are seeing stories like these over and over again, always with the same unsatisfactory results: migrants are disillusioned, unimpressed with their treatment and leave New Zealand for countries that are willing and able to accommodate their exceptional skills and talents and reward them appropriately.

For more Migrants’ Tales click HERE

Today’s posts – click HERE

9 thoughts on “University Lecturer Misled Over Job Offer

  1. The educational system in New Zealand treats all teachers horribly not just those from overseas. I am from the US and taught here in tertiary education for 20 years. I think the problem stems from the hierarchy of management in Universities and Polytechnics. Where I taught the Dean we had was a lawyer and the deputy principal’s background was in business management, deputy principals background was in accounting. They seemed to all have a deep seated disrespect for all teachers believing that they were lazy and needed to be taken down a peg or two- and that attitude along with their complete lack of understanding of what teachers do in their jobs and the power of being put in a higher position made them into bullies who set out to make all the teachers under them miserable- not just the overseas teachers but all of them.

  2. I totally agree with ravive monsters0, this country sucks so well than any other I know, empty promises and constant stuggle

  3. This lady story is true. New Zealand is a shit place to live if you are living in Europe or the usa, canada or Australia. Education, jobs, living expenses are all mirage. Education sucks, very high unemployment rate and living expenses are very high. Most of the people are on some kind of benefits “income support\. I got my education from both nz and usa and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to go to new zealand for either job or education. it sucks country

    • If you were educated in the humanities, I’d agree with you. Humanities can be taught pretty much everywhere, but is especially important in places where “It’s not what you know, but who you know”, and especially where “only a degree is necessary, not the KIND of degree” (there has been a social movement to make diplomas and degrees equivalent: employers love it because they can then underpay workers … nevermind the fact that in my experience, employers … do not have the skills they demand of their workers. Brings to light what Plato said “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”)

      But for STEM fields the education process is very stringent.
      Of course, that means a few really skilled people against others who use false qualifications, fake their competence through bonhomie and exaggerate their abilities without proof.
      Such people can be encountered in management.

  4. “ Either way, I am stuck for a while as the uni paid for my move and I owe them if I leave for three years. ”

    That sounds just like what I read in an article about pimps and human trafficking, empty promises and debt to keep people working for them, at least they didn’t demand you surrender your passport..
    I feel for you, and I’m glad you are leaving this forsaken dump!

  5. Trumpet your literacy figures all you like, but it suffices to perform an historical and current scan of New Zealand’s literary “production” to conclude that mobile phone texts and advertising inserts are probably the most reading anyone DOES here. I regularly mail New Zealand wine reviews to friends back home. They keep asking me, “these must surely be parodies of real wine reviews?” Unfortunately, no. They are genuine “wine reviews”. There is, granted, the possibility that one of those British folk who are known to “fit in well here” wrote this review, but here’s a classic that had all of us guffawing:

    “7 November 2008. Breaksea Sound Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006.
    Although we’re not really supposed to use terms such as feminine and masculine to describe wine – I can’t help myself today. This new Central Otago Pinot Noir is all smoky, hairy, and masculine – with a lot to say! Mocha, mocha, mocha on the nose and palate. Smoked black fruits, a whiff of cigar, black vanilla, bitter chocolate, and a smoking jacket worn over pyjamas. In the mouth, and initial attack of ripe strawberry, then it’s all mocha, smoke and cigar again. This wine transports oneself to a large leather chair in front of a toasty fire. One can imagine sipping from a large glass, whilst pontificating and congratulating oneself for a wine well-purchased!”

  6. Maybe New Zealand Universities should find a local unemployed post-doctoral researcher to do the job instead. I guess Universities think a NZ PhD is inferior relative to one from the US. No wonder all the NZ trained PhDs are leaving NZ for better job prospects across the Tasman and further afield. I guess this migrant leaving taught the University a lesson – not to rubbish its own workers and stop saying there are skill shortages in areas that there are not.

    • Uh what?
      I guess Universities think a NZ PhD is inferior relative to one from the US. No wonder all the NZ trained PhDs are leaving NZ for better job prospects across the Tasman and further afield.
      The person who got misled is a US university lecturer … that means they don’t think her qualifications are worth making accommodations for.

      I guess this migrant leaving taught the University a lesson – not to rubbish its own workers and stop saying there are skill shortages in areas that there are not.
      The university got a Ph.D from overseas to sink plenty of money into NZ for a move, the position was untenable so effectively became little more than casual work … and she pays the university, after they make it unbearable to continue.
      Sounds like the university, and NZ came out ahead – hence were rewarded.
      You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish, so I’m betting there’s a strong incentive to keep misleading people especially when they’re skilled migrants. Who pay you when they leave, SUCH A DEAL!

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