How to find a job in AUS/NZ from Canada?
January 30, 2007 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I want to find a job in Australia or new Zealand. But I'm Canadian, in Canada. How do I do it?

In brief... I've worked in software my entire life. Not IT, but software. I'd like to find a job in Australia or New Zealand. I'd like to go for a year or more, but not indefinitely. I qualify for immigration into both countries, but it's easier and more practical to have a job first.

So, how do I find a job down under? Suggestions on search, interviewing, pitching myself are all welcome. Resume is available for antipodean MeFites who need a product manger and/or software developer.
posted by GuyZero to Work & Money (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
For what it's worth -- admittedly not much -- a (Canadian) sibling of mine just spent a year in NZ, and temped happily for these people.
posted by kmennie at 1:35 PM on January 30, 2007

Here is a mashup of many of the relevant agencies with current jobs (only for NZ).
posted by southof40 at 1:48 PM on January 30, 2007

I live in here and I use this
posted by b33j at 1:53 PM on January 30, 2007

Here's a software job in NZ I bookmarked a while back.
posted by null terminated at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2007

How old are you?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:14 PM on January 30, 2007

... seek!
posted by de at 2:19 PM on January 30, 2007

Response by poster: Age: 35. Not too old, have industry experience. Also have family, but that doesn't seem to be a negative on either AUS or NZ immigration websites.
posted by GuyZero at 2:31 PM on January 30, 2007

Thirding Seek. My boyfriend is a software developer (we're in NZ) and has changed jobs twice in the last eight months (the second time was not his fault at all). He estimated that 98% of IT jobs in NZ are done through agencies, all of which advertise on Seek. Follow up both specific jobs advertised on there and agencies mentioned, it's the latter that's going to get you a job. note that job descriptions are often fairly crap, follow them up anyway because the agencies should be able to give you more details or at least tell you if you're suitable. They will probably also be able to help with the immigration stuff to some extent, i.e. make sure you're being put forward for suitable jobs for your situation (the good agencies anyway). Actually sorting out visas and stuff will, naturally, be your responsibility.

IT is strong here right now, there aren't enough good people for the jobs (his second job hunt lasted two weeks and ended in three very good job offers). Project work is available as well as permanent employment. International people are also very common in the field. However, colleagues of my boyfriend have mentioned that local companies tended to ignore or downplay their international experience making it a bit harder to break in than it should. I don't know if this will matter, but you should probably keep it in mind when applying (i.e. put lots of emphasis on what you can do and your skills and stuff, overplay rather than underplay this stuff, and don't focus so much on who exactly you worked for).

I don't have any experience with the Trademe jobs IT section linked above, although it certainly looks like at least some agencies have started using it (it's kind of new). Just make sure you're dealing with either large reputable IT companies directly or with job placement agencies, other Trademe job sections I have dealt with can be a bit spammy. But between them and Seek you've got IT in NZ covered.

Oh, and take a look at Seek's other stuff besides job listings, their resume and interviewing sections are good and will give you an idea of what is expected in these parts of the world (both Aus and here). Both my boyfriend and I have used their advice and resources fairly heavily for job searches and it helped.
posted by shelleycat at 2:43 PM on January 30, 2007

nth for Seek!

For some reason I don't ever feel like Trademe jobs are legit....
posted by teststrip at 3:43 PM on January 30, 2007

seek, mycareer and career one are the three big job sites in Australia. Seek is bigger and has more listings than the other two. A lot of jobs are also listed on more than one of the sites.
posted by sien at 3:57 PM on January 30, 2007

This page has some of the job listings advertised in NZ newspapers.

But yeah, Seek and ye shall find.
posted by Persimmon at 4:00 PM on January 30, 2007

Mefite toxic has recently dealt with this issue, but I happen to know he's away from his desk right now. You should email him.

By far and away the most development jobs in NZ are in Wellington and Auckland, with Christchurch a distant third.
IT pay rates in are higher in Australia by 10-20%.

As far as finding a job goes, I have to disagree with shelleycat" a significant proportion of jobs in NZ are filled by word of mouth and personal introduction. Employers hate paying agency fees. This may not help you get your first job, as a stranger, but it will help with your second :)
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:03 PM on January 30, 2007

Yeah, I should have said 98% of advertised jobs. With the OP being in Canada they're probably most useful but still, NZ (and probably Aus) are small enough that networking works very well.
posted by shelleycat at 5:07 PM on January 30, 2007

I'm Canadian as well, and spent a total of 41/2 years in Australia, doing software dev (strategy, planning, design, deployment, leading a dev team etc etc, even a little coding up of prototypes and such). I was able to find my first job there when I was on temping, on a working holiday visa (I was under the cutoff age), and Ernst&Young ended up buying out my contract and giving me a fulltime gig. You're not supposed to work for one place for more than 3 months. I did. The second time I went, a few years later, I was invited to come back, to a new, large IT software/services company thanks to a friend who I'd met during that first year. They set up a 4-year longterm business visa for me. None of which helps you much.

A couple of things I'd note, though, in terms of interviewing and such. I eventually spent most of my time in the second gig working directly with and for the executives of my company, and meeting with and presetning to other bigwigs from the Big 5 accountancy firms. (This was during the tech boom from 98 to 2001, which may be germane. It was a great success for me, though (and despite the fact that I abandoned it all to come back to Korea to teach), in terms of career expansion and remuneration -- my salary doubled in less than 2 years.)

I found that there was an interesting tension in the business community between business-y formality and the Australian egalitatarian tendency towards informality, matey-ness. It was a constant (and conscious, for me, being somewhat unused to it) balance to be struck between being business-appropriate (in the face of millions of dollars being talked about) and an informal/sincere down-to-earth attitude. Different people skewed in one direction or the other, of course, but the degree to which most Powerful Business Types could play both ends of the spectrum at the same time was quite surprising to me. I got used to it pretty quickly, as I'm comfortable with button-down and relaxed, but I noticed that in almost every case, the people who were either always Aussie-informal or always tight-laced were never very successful in the corporate shuffle.

There is an element, too (as there is here in Korea) of the importance of personal connection and relationship, of getting along with other folks, that can outweigh line items on a resume. I found again and again that it was actually doing stuff and being passionate about ideas, rather than just talking about them, that led to success. Aussies tend to be very quick to poke piss-taking holes in people who spin or market or talk something up (and especially who talk themselves up) without delivering. Perhaps this was just my experience, and it's certainly true in other places as well, but I found that in Australia, there was a refreshing lack of patience for piffle.

Which is not to say that there weren't a lot of talented talkers getting major backing for their wild IT fancies back then with little to back them up. Things were nuts for few years.

Also, if you can get hired and get a company to sponsor you for the longterm business visa (if it still exists and is the same), make sure you look into getting a chunk of your salary paid as allowance for housing and food and stuff. It lowered my effective tax burden by nearly half.

Generalities, but perhaps of some use to you, if you haven't spent a lot of time there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:07 PM on January 30, 2007

Sorry, I lied. Just under 4 years, not 41/2.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:13 PM on January 30, 2007

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