23 January 2009

Job hunting in New Zealand (continued)

I can't believe I forgot to include Seek which I browsed almost every day when I was looking for a job.

And like I said, it is better to register personally with the job agencies so they can put a face to your name and they will most likely to remember you when a part time or full time job comes up. Alternatively, when you can also sign up for job alerts on some of these agency websites so you can get e-mail announcements based on your categories.

Getting support in your job search
While it is great that you do your legwork in your job search, there is actually a "hidden" job network. I know this because I read about this in other job sites (Hmmm... not so hidden I guess). It simply means that these jobs do not get advertised either on paper or online. So it's good if you meet other people (such as other Filipinos).

New Zealand has also set-up different organizations that help in getting migrants (and refugees) settled. Firstly, there's Multicultural Learning and Support Services) (mClass). I learned about mClass through a fellow Filipino we met in a children's playground as we swapped stories. Contact them through e-mail, and you will be given an appointment (followed by a series of more meetings) to discuss your job hunting activities and how they may help. I am especially thankful to them because they helped me overhaul my CV and kept a lookout on vacancies I might be qualified for.

Another agency I went to is Work and Income. This agency also provides job vacancies and support for families and individuals facing financial difficulties (conditions apply, understandably). When I visited their office in Johnsonville, I was asked to come back on a specific day (I forget when anymore). There were around 12 of us on that morning. After registering, we were ushered into a room and showed a listing of current vacancies they have. A job broker eventually arrived and talked about options. There were openings for a security-related job which includes training (as long as you pass the endurance test) and a couple accepted the challenge. I did not find something to suit me on that day, but the job broker asked me to e-mail him my CV for possible openings.

One interesting thing here in New Zealand is they do not discriminate against religion, sex, age, or race. In fact, they do not want to see these details in your CV. You can thus get a part time job that is normally taken by working students in the Philippines and if you are a university graduate, they would say you are overqualified. Not so here. You can go to a McDonald's outlet or to a supermarket (such as Pak n Save, Woolworth's, Countdown) or similar (The Warehouse) and ask for an application form from the Customer Service counter or the store manager and they will give you one (or direct you to their online recruitment site). It's a good way to get a part time job and at least have money coming in, plus gain some local work experience. I also applied for part time work as well but was not successful... I know it's strange but I want to experience becoming a grocery assistant or similar, having come from an office environment for all my working years. I guess it was not meant to be.

As you can imagine, I put forth a lot of effort in my job hunting efforts. Even if people say, do not let those rejection letters get you down, the truth of the matter is it will affect you one time or another. It's really good that we have friends, and my family is here as well.

We have heard stories of friends here about their experiences and challenges, and we share ours with them. Don't believe what others say about having a nice, happy life in New Zealand (or in another country for that matter) the moment you land here. For many, work is not easy to come by, and you have to be prepared.

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