The right job will come at the right time: trust yourself, work hard, and stay connected


Thuy Tran shares her experiences in searching for employment. She recently started her first job in Wellington.

Thuy volunteered for English Language Partners Wellington in 2018 as an ESOL home tutor and also helped with two English Language Groups in 2018 and 2019.

In Vietnam, Thuy dreamed of taking her teaching career to the next level. After having a baby, Thuy and her husband Trung Huynh began thinking about what they really wanted to do, what would be best for their careers and their family.

“Career path is what I was wanting to strive for, a real motivator for coming to New Zealand. I want to have a stable life and to experience the world. I had been teaching for five years, and my boss had been encouraging about me doing higher education.”

Thuy made the decision quickly, joined the masters programme at Victoria University, and set off on a plane for the first time!

Thuy speaking at parliament during National Volunteer Week 2019

Turning the dream into a reality

On arrival, and not knowing anyone, Thuy was scared and had to overcome many challenges: from finding a place to live, to learning about New Zealand life and culture.

“I also did a lot of searching online about life and work here. I soon discovered that volunteering is very professional and a big deal in terms of strong commitment and lifelong impact. People

appreciate what you can do for community development, and create conditions to help you do the job the best you can.

“I thought, ‘well my career is about teaching,’ so I searched for teaching opportunities and found English Language Partners. I have been loving it!

“What impressed me was the welcoming feeling, the positive energy that came right away and kept me moving forward,” Thuy says.

“In volunteering, I was lifted up through hard times. For every connection made, I was empowered”.

Thuy credits networking, volunteering, and accepting there will be challenging times as helping in her job search.

She believes “the right job will come at the right time” and she wasn’t wrong! Thuy is thrilled to have secured a new job at the International Office at Wellington High School.

Kindness, community and life now

Thuy has since completed her masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) continues to volunteer. Thuy feels more settled, having created her own community and enjoys life with her family and many new friends she’s met in Wellington.

In 2018, English Language Partners Wellington nominated Thuy Tran for a Community Connect Award – for which she was awarded!

National Volunteer Week

Thuy spoke at the 2019 National Volunteer Week event held at Parliament in June.   You can read her speech on Volunteering New Zealand’s website.

At the event, Volunteering New Zealand launched Te Rautaki mō Whanaungatanga: A National Strategy to Support Volunteering for Recent Migrants, and Thuy was one of the volunteers who helped inform the new strategy.

Thuy’s advice to job seekers

  • Research as much as you can about life, culture and work in New Zealand.
  • Seek out support and build your network – people want to help.
  • Accept there will be challenges along the way – you will grow from them.
  • At times, job seeking will feel like a full-time job – your efforts will be worth it in the end!
  • Try volunteering as a way to connect to your new community – opportunities to learn and sharpen your skills.
  • Trust that the right job will come to you at the right time.

Join us as a volunteer and help newer Kiwis settle in Aotearoa!

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