Another in our series of Migrants’ Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
Today’s tale is taken from the advice and support forum Expatexposed, the only not-for-profit forum where immigrants of all nationalities talk frankly about what it’s really like to work and live in New Zealand, and where none of the posts are moderated or censored.
This story was written in July 2010 by a Canadian, still desperately seeking permanent employment in New Zealand, he is having to remove overseas experience from his CV to get a job offer:
What a year. Lots of ups and downs with work. After doing two contracts I am still struggling to even get beyond the application stage. I keep getting told that I do not have the experience they are looking for despite having six years of experience and an MBA (with honours). I don’t know what other kind of experience they are looking for. Starting to get depressed and frustrated with the attitudes here.
Have started taking some advice from the posts and decided to remove any mention of working in other countries. The only hint of my non-Kiwi-ness is where I received my degrees. Not that they seem to matter. I don’t know why, but it is as if the MBA means nothing. Most people that do give me an interview don’t even ask me about it. Or if I bring it up do not ask any further questions.
I have found, like ***** that it has been only Brits/Euros/N.Americans that actually call me in to meet for interviews. I just don’t get it. I have gone through so many different emotions with this country. I can’t say I hate it, but my wife and I are starting to think that it just isn’t the right place for us. A shame, since we came here planning a long future.
Kiwis really need to appreciate what it is like to live here. Honestly, it isn’t very easy. We have lived in over four countries and this is BY FAR the least accommodating.
For background see posts tagged Jobs for Kiwis
Even returning Kiwis are finding it hard to get work in New Zealand, even though they’re the very people that the present government are trying to attract in. If New Zealand can’t even ‘look after its own’ what chance do immigrants stand?
Here are a couple of examples of what Kiwis say about getting work in NZ
“It’s very hard to be a returning kiwi especially with experience and qualifications.
It’s difficult to get ‘a job’ let alone something in your field…even harder if you’re over 30.
The average wage is low (especially if you’re female), cost of living high and kiwis are over taxed.
The country has been mis-managed for some years (over spending, poor immigration, fraud) with very little to show for it. It’s also become increasingly more violent (murder, rape, child abuse, domestic violence). I would advise anyone thinking about returning to do their homework seriously! There are not many opportunities and it can be very closed shop, insular and nepotistic so if you’ve been away for a while it’s tough. The safe thing to do would be line up a job (if you can) before making any move.”
My wife graduated with a doctorate from Oxford University in record time and has an outstanding publication history. She applied for a job at Auckland University, jumped through all the necessary hoops and time-zone differences for conference calling and then they gave the position to a much less qualified person currently working in the lab in Auckland with no publication history.
Many other colleagues from sciences and medicine have said the same to us – the field is so under-invested in that there is no potential for NZ to contribute in anything but agricultural sciences and departments in NZ are too busy protecting the interests of current staff that they can’t take on expats returning. When i first came to the UK, NZ had the edge in internet and IT, banking services, etc – now, when i come back for a holiday, i notice it hasn’t progressed in the past ten years, it’s just another quaint little island in the south pacific that you go on holiday to, slowly slipping down the international development scales.”