Planning your return to New Zealand after working abroad is an exciting time. There’s a lot to think about – from jobs and the property market to timing and moving logistics.
Here we share our responses to the most frequent career questions we get asked by Kiwis who are homeward bound.
What is the main difference between the New Zealand and UK job markets?
The key difference is that the market here is smaller than the UK. As a result, there is a much higher proportion of broader, more generalist roles as there isn’t the breadth or size of industries.
If you have developed a specialised skill set offshore or you have been working in an industry not operating in New Zealand, we suggest that you talk to us before you start applying for jobs here. We can help you make sure your CV is relevant to the New Zealand market.
This is the case for many professionals coming home but rather than let it limit you, it can be a great opportunity to explore a new industry that you might not have thought about before.
What advice would you give me about my job search ?
Depending on how quickly you want to start working, we recommend starting your search from the UK. The market moves slower here and there isn’t the same variety of jobs to apply for.
Be open to contract opportunities. There’s usually a fair amount of contracting work available but be aware that there isn’t a contracting premium here. These roles mostly require an immediate start so this suits a lot of people who want to hit the ground running.
Many contracts lead to a permanent offer and it’s a good way of checking out an organisation to see if it’s the right fit for you.
The other thing to consider is timing. A lot of New Zealanders plan to come back for Christmas, however December and January are the quiet times. If securing work quickly is important, it’s best to avoid these months. Returning at other times of the year also means that you are not competing with your fellow overseas returners!
How much could I earn?
The million dollar question! But as a general guide, candidates with 3-5 years post-qualified experience could expect to earn approximately $120k – $140k for Senior Financial / Management Accounting, Business Partnering or Analyst roles.
There is a lot more variance in salaries at the senior end of the spectrum, depending on the size and complexity of the organisation, with FP&A Managers and Financial Controllers earning anything from $140k – $180k. More detail is in our latest Market Update.
You will probably find that you earn less in New Zealand and bonuses are mainly commonplace for mid-management positions and higher. If the salary package is a key driver for you, make sure you are prepared for these discussions at the appropriate time in the recruitment process.
What should I do to maximise my chances of securing the perfect role when I get back?
We recommend being targeted with your approach, rather than sending your CV out en masse. Potentially this could result in you preparing and interviewing for jobs you don’t really want, which will take time away from focusing on finding your dream role.
Be selective with the recruitment agencies you deal with – make sure they are credible and understand your needs.
Do your research on the businesses you’d like to work for and talk to your networks about organisations and opportunities.
Seek remains the most commonly used job search site and it’s a good place to start looking to get an understanding of the roles being advertised. But don’t feel you have to apply immediately. It’s a good idea to call the recruiters advertising the role to find out more before sending in your CV.
What skills are in demand?
Employers are looking for experience working with business intelligence software alongside the ability to analyse data and make recommendations for improvements. Technology skills and strong business acumen are a must.
Soft skills are increasingly sought after. If you’re a problem solver with great communication and team building skills, this will help your chances.
For more senior roles, leadership experience as well as critical and strategic thinking skills are essential.
How should I present my CV and prepare for interviews?
A lot of recruiters in the UK prefer short CVs of around two pages. Here in New Zealand, an ideal CV is around 3-4 pages so you have more room to include your responsibilities and even more importantly, your tangible achievements.
If you’ve developed a specialised skill set, you need to carefully think about how you present your experience so it is relevant for the New Zealand market.
Make sure your CV is clearly laid out in an easy to follow format and avoid including pictures.
Preparation is the key to any interview. Research the company and know how you will respond to the types of questions that will be asked. It also pays to be clear about what you are looking for in a role and an employer before you go to the interview so you can assess if the role is the right opportunity for you.
If you’re working with a recruitment firm, they will help you get interview ready and you can also search for tips on the internet.
If you have questions that you’d like to talk to us about, please feel free to get in touch. You can also find out more information from the Resources page on our website.