One thing I oddly haven’t written about are the jobs I had while in New Zealand. Everyone starts their working holiday with something in mind, weather it’s what city they are working in or what kind of job they are going to get and it rarely works out as planned. In my head, if I was going to look for office work, it was going to be in Wellington as that seemed like a central part of the county and a beautiful city or I would buy a car and drive around the country, working from hostel to hostel, just discovering the whole country. Of course, things never work out at planned.
I haven’t talked much about my jobs since I had such a good time working and had such awesome jobs, I want to keep something to myself. But since it’s such a big part on why I came to New Zealand and a good reason why people should come and there isn’t that much info out there for Americans, I’ll write vaguely about my experience.
I’ll call them Job A, Job B and Job C.
After hanging out in Auckland for a week and getting settled and looking for work and a weekend trip up to Northland, I came back to Auckland on a Monday and on Tuesday resumed the job search. I was going to give myself another week or two before I would head down to Wellington and try my luck down south. In doing my daily search through jobs on Seek.co.nz which is one of New Zealand’s biggest job websites, I found the posting for Job A. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the post. Temp work, in television (which is something I wanted to get into when I returned to the US) and dealing with international contacts. Who better, then someone who was international? The posting was via Madison Recruitment whose paperwork I had seen another traveller in ACB carrying the previous week, so I knew they worked well with international clients. I applied immediatly and was called later that day to come in and take all the temp tests the next day. Wednesday, I went in and took all the tests and met with a consultant. She said that she thinks the job I applied for had been filled, but to keep them posted about my availbilty and they would keep me posted about potential jobs. This was early 2007, the job market in Auckland was bumping. They said they would probably place my quickly. Two days later, early Friday morning, I got a call from another consultant saying that the job I applied to was still available and they wanted to meet me later that day and was I still available. Absoultely! I went in, met with the department, had a really good feeling about it and later that day, got a call from Madison, saying they loved me (too!) and I got the job and I would start Monday! I was estatic! I even invested some of my mobile minutes to call my sister and tell her the news over the phone, instead of waiting till the weekend and call via a payphone and calling card. I was so happy!
The job was great and lasted until August, 2007. During my time at Job A, I met loads of people in other departments and there was another assistant going on maternity leave in October and her boss really wanted to hire me but there were two issues. One, they had to post the job so everyone could apply and two, the job would last longer then my current work permit allowed, so I would have to apply for a general work permit to cover the last 4 months of my time for Job C. I did and was approved in three weeks (more later).
I had a few weeks in between each job, but since Job C wasn’t a slam dunk (I still have to reinterview and pending that, get my work permit approved) Madison knew Job A was ending and they called me on my last day of work and see if I wanted to interview across the street at Job B for another temp job. I wasn’t dressed for it (it was Friday, so I was in jeans) but she said I could go like that, so off I went. The interview went well. I could tell they liked me as I interview pretty good and since this was a temp job for 4 weeks, this wasn’t a lifetime commitment anyway. They pretty much offered me the job on the spot and I would start Monday. How easy-peasy is that? Unfortunately, this job ended up kind of sucking. Lots of running around, I always seemed out of the loop as everyone was on their cell phones all day and I didn’t have a company phone. My computer was a turd. I never knew what was good enough for my boss. Other people on my floor and various other people in the company liked me but the two people I worked with the most, I just never felt like part of the team and they made no effort to include me in a lot of stuff. I worked my 4 weeks, they offered me another week and on the Wednesday of my 5th week, Madison called me to tell me that Job B was not asking me back for a 6th week (even though I still had two weeks until Job C would start). I was annoyed on how it went down, on Madison telling me I was essentially “fired” and not Job B and my boss pretty much didn’t even say goodbye when I left on Friday. But since the job annoyed me anyway, I got over it pretty quickly.
Job C started in October and lasted 9 months. It was within the same company as Job A, so I already knew everyone which was awesome. I totally loved it. At this point in my life, it was the best company and jobs I had ever worked for. Job C was definatly something I would never do in the US, but I am so glad I did it while I was overseas, which is what a job while on a Working Holiday Visa should be. About half way in, I was asked if I wanted to stay on and do another assistant job, this one would be full time permanent when Job C was over, but I declined. I was ready to move on. I loved New Zealand and for the most part, the company, but as things happen when you work in a place for over a year, cracks were starting to appear and I was already getting exciting about what Australia would being.
Moral: I was in New Zealand for a total of 16 months on various work permits and working in Auckland for most of them. I had a fantastic time at some awesome jobs but it was time to move on. My memories are some of the best of my life and even now, 4 years later, I still look back fondly on them. I still think about the company I worked for in Jobs A/C and keep an eye on their job postings, just to see what is going on. One of the best times of my life.