Monday, March 15, 2010

Migrant Stories - University Lecturer Misled Over Job Offer

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Today's posts are taken from expatexposed, a self help forum formed to help migrants living in New Zealand. An American university lecturer tells of how her job offer was mis-sold to her (a common complaint among migrants in NZ) and of how her well qualified husband has been unable to find paid employment in New Zealand:

"This is my intro. I came here only in February for a post as a lecturer at uni. Found out early, much I was told at interview was not true (no time for research, cuts in funding, I would have to fund most, if not all, of overseas conferences). Also, that my husband, a mid-level project manager would easily find a job with his graduate degree and +10 years experience in marketing...

I am not going to go on, except to say, of all places I am in Palmy. From what I read, it is not better elsewhere--but, could it be worse??

Either way, I am stuck for a while as the uni paid for my move and I owe them if I leave for three years. I could kick myself as I came here from a very well-known uni program in the U.S. and didn't even bother to fully interview before I accepted the position.

...I am so tired of hearing from friends and family abroad, "Oh, you are so lucky to be in NZ; it's so beautiful!" They haven't seen Palmy...
6 months later:

"I have posted before, just after arriving 6 months, already knowing it was time to hit the road. Spouse came here with me for my job. However, despite a graduate degree in business and 10 year's management experience, he cannot find a job.

I decided to call it quits. I find it is not useful to sabotage my career, either, which was promising to be pretty good, any longer. Also, found out I am pregnant--and having had abysmal health care experience thus far, I will be moving once the kid is born.

My job paid all moving expenses (if I leave before the 3 years, I owe uni a third for every year. I am leaving after year one, so owe them a two-thirds, technically.)...

I have to say, it's been a real wake-up call, and each day my husband is out of work, it is a real test. He is currently volunteering, offering 260 hours of business development ideas to a website...

Combined with the crappy "research" job I got at a uni here, my husband's inability to get work (even with a graduate degree) and the fact that I do not want to raise a child in this place, we are on the way out! thank God!!"
Their departure will be a great loss to New Zealand and there are lessons that can be learned from this family's unfortunate experience: NZ employers should not over-sell their jobs to attract well qualified people from abroad, or make promises which they have not intention of keeping. All they will end up with are disillusioned, highly skilled and valuable employees who, in addition with dealing with culture shock, have to come to terms with having been taken for suckers. Even a three year lock-in isn't going to keep good staff tied to bad employers.

In addition migrants are led to believe that there are skills shortages in New Zealand for which they are greatly in demand and that the country is crying out for people just like them. When they arrive and discover that there are no suitable jobs open to them (often because of a lack of 'Kiwi experience') it causes a great deal of stress and hardship for all those concerned. Who can blame them for wanting out?

We are seeing stories like these over and over again, always with the same unsatisfactory results: migrants are disillusioned, unimpressed with their treatment and leave New Zealand for countries that are willing and able to accommodate their exceptional skills and talents and reward them appropriately.

For more Migrants' Tales click  HERE

Today's posts - click here

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