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A Guide To Finding Work In New Zealand

Mar 21, 2008
In terms of settling into a new country most would agree that finding work is the key element in the overall success of your move. Without a job you not only lack an income and financial security, you feel as though you can't set firm roots in your new home and are not able to settle within a community. Your job is so much more than a weekly or monthly pay packet, it is where you spend the majority of your time, it can be the source of stress or satisfaction and it is a focus for social bonds and friendships with colleagues.

The New Zealand Immigration Service has carried out considerable research in to immigration policy and the effective assimilation of new migrants and they are agreed that the key factor to successful migration is employment. If you are unable to find suitable employment in your new home, or your skills are unrecognized or not required, then despite all your efforts this will only ever lead to failure.

The ability to find relevant employment makes a new migrant a valuable, contributing member of the community. This is why the Immigration Service has designed the current immigration policy to reflect the importance of employment. The weight given to a job offer, relevant work experience and skills in shortage areas makes employment the deciding factor in the success of most residency applications.

Consequently, for many migrants securing an offer of employment is the key to their residency application. Even those who have sufficient points to gain residency without a job offer often want the security of a job offer before they pack up everything and make the big move to the other side of the world. Looking for suitable employment while still overseas can be an extremely daunting and disheartening process as you are at an immediate disadvantage compared to all New Zealand based applicants.

It may take a lot of preparation and resolve to undertake this process, however it is certainly possible to succeed. Your potential success in obtaining such an offer is largely dependant on two main factors - your occupation and your attitude.

Certain industries frequently have the need to hire staff from overseas, such as Teachers, Nurses and tradesmen, and consequently they are familiar with the immigration process. They are used to accepting applications from overseas based applicants and are happy to tailor start dates to tie in with travel arrangements.

If your occupation is recognised by the New Zealand Immigration Service as being in an area of skill shortage you should be able to successfully search for a suitable position while still overseas. In these instances potential employers are usually happy to conduct a telephone or video interview and this will be sufficient for them to make a decision.

Other industries and professions in New Zealand may have had no prior need to hire overseas staff, such as sales, marketing and administration, and consequently they are cautious of offering a position to someone who is still living thousands of miles away. Many of these occupations require local knowledge oand contacts or they need to be filled immediately which means employers cannot wait for residency applications to be completed. If you work is such a field then you could experience problems obtaining a job offer while still overseas.

The second, and equally important factor in finding a job whilst still overseas, is your attitude. It may seem obvious that you want to come across to potential employers as positive, flexible and committed person. However, what you believe you are doing and how you are actually coming across may well be two different things. At every step of the process you need to be conscious of how you are portraying yourself and what your actions are saying about your attitude.

For example, if a potential employer wants to arrange a phone or video interview you need to take it upon yourself to organise this from your end with the minimum of fuss. If you are unwilling to be interviewed late at night (as is often required due to the time difference) or are unavailable on the days they suggest you are unwittingly giving the impression that you are not prepared to go the extra mile. This will make a potential employer begin to doubt your commitment and dedication.

Your job is such a vital element in your life and it can influence your happiness in so many ways. It would be short-sighted to underestimate the importance of employment in the immigration process. Not only does your job provide you with stability and a steady income, it also provides you with a ready made social circle and a new network of colleagues and friends. As you formulate your emigration plans ensure that you make finding work a priority - it can be the key to successful settlement in your new home in New Zealand.
About the Author
Migration expert Thomas Pretty looks into finding work abroad and how the New Zealand immigration service sets out to help potential migrants.
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