“Employers are looking for students who are adaptable and can think on their feet.”
“We can probably teach you a lot of the specific skills you might need once you join the company. So when we’re hiring, we’re looking for the things you can’t teach,” Brody says.
“Is this person coachable? Can they work as part of a team? Will they take the initiative and think for themselves?”
Brody recommends graduates take the time to work out how your skills and education might meet New Zealand’s needs.
“The tourism and IT sectors are very strong at the moment but there are heaps of opportunities out there. I’d recommend taking a look at the Skills Shortage Checker on the New Zealand Immigration website to find out where the gaps are and how you might help plug them.”
Work/life balance is important in New Zealand
For many job seekers, work/life balance is just as important as a healthy salary and promising career paths. The good news, according to Brody, is that work/life balance is pretty important to most New Zealand employers as well.
“Kiwis place a lot of importance on making sure you don’t spend all day, every day in the office.”
“We live in a pretty amazing part of the world, so people like to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and spend plenty of time with friends and family.
“In my organisation, we work 40 hours a week and we’re pretty strict about making sure our employees don’t work any longer than that. Occasionally there might be a deadline you just have to meet but we like our people to keep to an eight-hour day when they can.”
Post-study work visas and internships can help you move into the workforce
Most international students who study in New Zealand are eligible for a post-study work visa. You can apply for this visa as soon as you successfully complete your qualification, and it lets you work in New Zealand for almost any employer for up to three years after you graduate.
Brody says internships are a great way to transition from study to work.
“We have an internship programme for interns who might be studying or graduates who have finished studying to come and work for us for a few months. I’m in the tech sector but that sort of arrangement is fairly common in other New Zealand industry sectors.”
International students sometimes worry about their English language skills and whether they’ll be fluent enough to work in New Zealand. Brody says each industry will have different expectations around English language ability but that working here is a great way to polish your language skills.
“New Zealand is also a welcoming and friendly place to learn English. It helps if you know the industry-specific language.”