British Expats

British Expats (https://britishexpats.com/forum/)
-   New Zealand (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/)
-   -   Struggling to find work in Wgtn.. (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/struggling-find-work-wgtn-896296/)

Jenny2013 May 3rd 2017 11:51 pm

Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Hi everyone,

I'm Jenny and I live with my partner in Wellington. I've been here since 2013 and things aren't going as smoothly as wished. Loving NZ but struggling with life a bit.

My partner has a career job and we have residency since 2014 but I am struggling to find decent employers and jobs that last longer than 6 months.

I have applied for 10 jobs and 3 employment agencies over the last couple of months and have barely received one response. This happened previously every time I have looked for work.

Agencies never seem to call me back once I am registered. Job applications arent reaching and I am well qualified for the roles, doing my research, customising cvs and applications, meeting with people in advance etc.
Often in the past, I've noticed that jobs I had applied for are filled with new graduates when the JD mentioned 2-5 or more years experience being required and I don't understand how this happens. Do I have to have studied at a Wellington university to get a job here?

My main work is a little specialist and I don't expect to be able to do that but I have a lot of transferable skills which I have proven in other directions.

It has made me wonder if and why I should have to provide my residency details and effective proof of being a Brit / non-kiwi citizen to recruiters early on in the application process as it's starting to look like I am being silently discriminated against. This includes public and private sector roles.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this but it's starting to look like a pattern is emerging over the last three years.

I was wondering if anyone else in the skilled/ professoinal category is experiencing the same thing? Especially when changing industries?

Additionally I have struggled to make really any real kiwi friends, most of the people I know are immigrants or partners of English people. I was really expecting it to be easier to integrate but so many pockets of kiwi life here seem really difficult to merge into.

Any advice gratefully received.

MrsFychan May 4th 2017 1:33 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Hi Jenni,
the only way to work with agencies is to ring/pop into them once a week.
as for kiwi friends, I am the same but to me it doesn't really matter where people have from as long as you like them and get on what does anything else matter?

geoff52 May 4th 2017 2:21 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 

Originally Posted by Jenny2013 (Post 12244069)
I have struggled to make really any real kiwi friends

When I moved to Canada ALL of my friends were Canadian, because they new how the Canadian the system worked.
We may share the same language but the way NZ, Canada, Australia works is different from the UK, and the sooner the expat adapts to the new system the more successful he/she will be.

BEVS May 4th 2017 2:59 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 

Originally Posted by geoff52 (Post 12244135)
When I moved to Canada ALL of my friends were Canadian, because they new how the Canadian the system worked.
We may share the same language but the way NZ, Canada, Australia works is different from the UK, and the sooner the expat adapts to the new system the more successful he/she will be.

As you really have no idea how the Kiwi job market works, I would suggest that you pass on by.

This lady has and is trying her very best & is simply reaching out for help and support.

thebrits May 4th 2017 3:59 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Hi Jenny,

My UK partner moved to Wellington with me a year ago (I've lived here all my life aside from 2 years in the UK) and he definitely experienced the radio silence to what seemed like great job applications.

I think what we discovered is the job market here is not very friendly to 'transferable skills'. He got nowhere applying for jobs that were similar to his experience but in a different field. It was only when a job came up that was almost the same field he was in in the UK that he got snapped up. We also had no luck with agencies.

There is certainly hesitancy to hiring migrants but not UK citizens with residence visas.

So there's no work here in your main field?

And yes, Kiwis are friendly but difficult to befriend, if that makes sense. I think this is because most people have their friends from way back and they don't go out of their way to make more. We don't have the ease of casual socialising like in the UK (i.e. going to the pub) so you have to get coffee or invite someone to dinner and it all feels a bit much. I think most people here pick up new friends through work/parenting/sometimes sports.

Let me know if you want someone else to look at a CV - my partner works in the public sector and is now involved in hiring so he's learnt a fair bit about what people like to see.

Jenny2013 May 4th 2017 4:04 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
No, it does not matter to me where people are from, I was simply stating a fact that, in my experience so far, on the whole, I feel that kiwis are a bit reluctant to accept others into society and I was not expecting that.
I have lived in many countries the past, and worked in extremely diverse environments without hassle or issue, and I have not experienced exclusion to any of the extent that I have experienced here. Mostly, I put it down to bad luck, and I am wary of drawing any form of broad conclusion, I'm simply wondering if anyone else has/is going through the same thing who might be able to share some advice.
It is a very frustrating situation to be in.

Jenny2013 May 4th 2017 4:07 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Thank you, that is useful to hear.



Originally Posted by thebrits (Post 12244168)
Hi Jenny,

My UK partner moved to Wellington with me a year ago (I've lived here all my life aside from 2 years in the UK) and he definitely experienced the radio silence to what seemed like great job applications.

I think what we discovered is the job market here is not very friendly to 'transferable skills'. He got nowhere applying for jobs that were similar to his experience but in a different field. It was only when a job came up that was almost the same field he was in in the UK that he got snapped up. We also had no luck with agencies.

There is certainly hesitancy to hiring migrants but not UK citizens with residence visas.

So there's no work here in your main field?

And yes, Kiwis are friendly but difficult to befriend, if that makes sense. I think this is because most people have their friends from way back and they don't go out of their way to make more. We don't have the ease of casual socialising like in the UK (i.e. going to the pub) so you have to get coffee or invite someone to dinner and it all feels a bit much. I think most people here pick up new friends through work/parenting/sometimes sports.

Let me know if you want someone else to look at a CV - my partner works in the public sector and is now involved in hiring so he's learnt a fair bit about what people like to see.


Sparkleydiva May 4th 2017 6:37 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
In my experience you are pigeon-holed into whatever your professional field is and regardless of being able to do jobs with transferable skills, you remain in one box. I experienced this as a nurse who no longer wanted to work clinically but could not shift out of that field no matter how i tried; and I had studied for 7 years while there.

Yes Kiwis can be friendly, but most of my friends were/are expats too...just the way it is, so dont worry about it, it doesnt matter where friends are from.

My daughters also struggled with agencies not getting back to them so you aren't alone with this one...hard to overcome though and frustrating too.

Snap Shot May 4th 2017 1:48 pm

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Sorry you are having such a hard time finding work. I've been there and I know what it feels like.

I was in the same position for over five years in NZ. OK, not in Wellington but in regional New Zealand. Whanganui to be precise. We stumbled into Whanganui on account of my husband's job offer there after a protracted five month saga which started on our arrival in NZ and included my Auckland based in-laws followed by three months, the two of us, in post earthquake Christchurch. I'm just lucky I guess.

Whanganui is a nice enough town. Well, to look at anyway.

I could only get various temporary jobs for some reason. It wasn't for the want of applying for all jobs in my skill set. Not many job vacancies there admittedly as Whanganui like all small towns has a higher than average unemployment rate. On the rare occasion I got interviewed I inevitably got turned down with the usual, 'not successful on this occasion' refrain.

The local branch of an NZ wide employment agency closed down. Which, to my mind, says it all really.

Another contributor to this site has remarked that the boss/hiring manager would rather hire someone they know or are trying to impress rather than hire the right candidate for the job. I suspect this is true.

Having said that, my husband applied for his job via an internet vacancy site when we were in NZ but trying to get out of Christchurch. He was not known to anyone on the interview panel, but was offered the job. (Well done NZ, you can do it if you try.) The fact that he's a New Zealander meant nothing. It was more that we were prepared to move to Whanganui. A town that a lot of New Zealanders would turn their nose up at, just because it's regional.

Looking for work in New Zealand is like banging your head against a brick wall. It's wonderful when you stop. That's why we decided to jack it in a come home last November. It wasn't really working for us. Well, it was. Up to a point. The point where we decided to cut our losses.

Kiwi's are friendly ? Not at work, that's where their cliqueyness really kicks in. It's like the school playground in some workplaces. You wouldn't believe you were dealing with grown adults. That's right, you're not, they are new Zealanders.

As for friends. Well, apparently kiwis are friendly. So their reputation goes. If you're on holiday they probably seem that way. A holidaymaker can't see the self-aggrandisement that's going on of the kiwi giving it, 'look at me being friendly to a visitor/foreigner.'

As long as you are both moving/about to move i.e. walking, cycling, pulled up at the traffic lights on a hot day and both parties have their car windows open, about to leave the shop and end the pleasantries with the cashier. That's about it. As for standing/sitting and actually HAVING a conversation. Nope.

It shouldn't come as any surprise that my two buddies that I made in the last few months of living in Whanganui were themselves from overseas i.e. one was American and one was from Thailand.

Yes, I'm married to a New Zealander. I have realized, to late, that there are two types of New Zealanders. Those that have travelled and those that don't and never will. A lot of new Zealanders haven't really been socialized. Which is probably what their pack mentality is all about.

The longest time I was out of work for was 18months. I ended up doing voluntary work just to put an up to date reference on my cv. It also helped to stop me climbing the walls with boredom because I was unemployed and frustration that I couldn't get a job offer.

I toyed with the idea of moving to Wellington but the practicalities just didn't work. In retrospect, maybe we should have gone to Wellington when it turned out Christchurch was no go. However, my husband did go to a job interview in Wellington but they turned him down. Just as well, it didn't sound like a real job anyway. Shortly after that, there was the interview for the job he was offered in Whanganui.

MrsFychan May 4th 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
you say that your job is specialist, so I personally would be taking any type of job even temp work just to get some NZ experience on my CV or if you have done that you are probably coming up with the well known problem, its not what you know but who.

Bumptious May 4th 2017 10:57 pm

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 

Originally Posted by MrsFychan (Post 12245014)
you say that your job is specialist, so I personally would be taking any type of job even temp work just to get some NZ experience on my CV or if you have done that you are probably coming up with the well known problem, its not what you know but who.

A good idea and will help make you contacts which in a small country like this can work very well. My husband is quite specialised in his engineering field and when we moved to our town had no job (he had a verbal offer of a job doing something completely different but it fell through) he went door knocking and happened on another engineering job which kept him gainfully employed for 9 years. He was then made redundant and we lived off savings for 6 months, then he was approached by the company that made him redundant and asked to do some work, so now he subcontracts to them and one other company - so luckily has worked out well for us although income is not at a regular time these days. (we have no mortgage and live simply with our kids and pets). I work very part time in logistics and although the full time jobs are advertised, the part time ones are generally through word of mouth.

carcajou May 4th 2017 11:59 pm

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Jenny2013, it's not just you. Many report the same difficulties. New Zealand can be . . . a different experience.

I spent several months there for work about a decade ago, and had some colleagues who were far more interested in hazing me into the "Kiwi Way" than they were in achieving improved work outcomes. I have worked in numerous countries and never experienced anything like that before . . . or after.

I have had Kiwi managers, and Kiwi colleagues, at work sites outside New Zealand - they were easy to work with and not like that. But Kiwis who migrate and those who don't, seem to be a significant social division in New Zealand. I knew of some Kiwis overseas who found trouble finding work when they got home and felt their overseas experience was held against them. It seems slap shot was alluding to something similar in his/her post.

We had a chance to migrate there a few years ago, and those factors did play a role, though not a decisive one, in our deciding to pass on that and come to Australia instead. We don't regret that at all. I haven't had anywhere near the same challenges here, that I did in NZ.

There are many people on this site who have been able to make successful lives for themselves in New Zealand, which is great. But also a lot of people, in this forum and elsewhere, who have reported the same challenges for so long that they can't just be brushed away as anomalies. To some extent these challenges are in every country but I do think there is an extra layer of difficulty to migrating successfully to New Zealand.

As for your own situation, it may be worth it to re-train or upskill at one of the universities, which could be one path forward. I would tell you to use every contact in your book, and your partner's book, to get word-of-mouth going but you probably have already done that.

It may also be time - now, for you, after four years - to take a hard look at your current situation, and analyse if staying there is the best option for you and your family. You can always go back to the UK, or once you cross the five-year threshold for NZ residence and gain NZ Citizenship, give Australia a go.

Tough times. I wish you the best.

MrsFychan May 5th 2017 6:23 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
another thing that came to me, I got my current position from a fb page I am a member of. Employee just put a post up and I applied, not the only local company to do it either, so maybe worth you joining all the local fb pages in your area and see if any pop up occasionally.

As for the return to the UK, the rules have changed and I am not sure how long you have to be out of the country before it all becomes quite difficult.

garethwm May 5th 2017 9:40 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Im not sure we should conclude that NZ is any more difficult for immigrants to fit into because of some BS notion that the people are horrid or whatever. Not withstanding this forum, there is in fact evidence to the contrary. Forbes Magazine recently conducted a survey of expats which found 75 percent reporting an easy fit into their new NZ culture, the highest of any country, which seems to contradict one or two of the earlier posters ideas about NZers. Kiwis are decent people overall IMO, including the ones who havnt worked overseas, of which there are fewer all the time. Afterall, a quarter of the population werent born here.

Bo-Jangles May 5th 2017 9:40 am

Re: Struggling to find work in Wgtn..
 
Great post Carcajou :goodpost:


Originally Posted by carcajou (Post 12245134)
To some extent these challenges are in every country but I do think there is an extra layer of difficulty to migrating successfully to New Zealand.

I think you hit the nail on the head there.

The world of work in NZ is very different and many hiring managers over here just can't get past the 'who you know' rather than what you know.

It really is quite evident that there are 'mates rates' for a lot of people when it come to getting a job. In my current role I had a few tough weeks of back and forth for two interviews and a further grilling at a secondary discussion; yet I know of and have witnessed many others having been employed alongside me after nothing more than a casual chat and no formal interview.

It's a sad state of affairs and can be very hard for newbies to get a look in and very few places are willing to give people a chance to prove themselves. There's a huge lack of foresight or long term investment in people (along with many other things) and they usually want someone who knows all the ropes with immediate effect. It's a self-fulfilling cycle because of bad planning and management in the first place and businesses get desperate to find people they already know because they failed to start the recruitment process until ages after someone has already left and don't allow for any handover; then they'll be calling on all the people they already know in order to try and minimise the learning curve.


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:49 am.

Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.