Our very capable coordinator, Olga Smith, trains volunteer job mentors to help skilled job seekers find meaningful employment. The service provides wonderful support as many of the job mentors are professionals in variety of fields from IT, HR, accounting and management with great connections, knowledge and expertise. Thirty four job seekers have found employment this year, including job seeker Mario Heredero, who shares his job search experience…
Two years ago, my partner and I were thinking to go abroad in order to get some work experience overseas and we made a plan. Our target was Europe but, as you could see, that slightly
changed. My partner found a great opportunity as a cancer researcher at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, got the job and we couldn’t say no to NZ.
I have a degree and masters in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering in Catalonia (Spain) and I was working there as a research engineer. In this role I was quite focused on energy efficiency, heat and energy recovery and renewable energy, working in projects funded by the Catalan and Spanish governments and the EU to help the technology transfer from the basic research to the companies.
I have to say that it was quite hard moving to New Zealand as I had to resign from my previous job and we had to move to Wellington in only one month. After this rush, I found myself one day alone in a new house, in a new country and city and without knowing anyone or how to start the job search. I was also not sure if I should try to find a job similar to the one that I had previously or explore new options. Coming from Europe the cultural change was not so important, although it took me a while to fully understand how things are done in NZ.
I came across with the Job Mentoring Service (JMS) at ELP Wellington while I was exploring Immigration NZ’s website trying to find a course to improve my English. I didn’t know it but in the end, contacting coordinator Olga Smith for the first time was the thing that helped me the most during my settling and job seeking process in NZ. First of all, JMS put me in contact with other skilled migrants who were in a similar position to me and some of them became my first friends in NZ. Then I got a mentor, Sophie, and I will be always grateful for her support, help, advice and coaching through the job seeking emotional rollercoaster.
I was quite surprised when I started my job search to find that New Zealanders are really open for a chat if you tell them where are you from and what you were doing in your previous job. With Sophie’s help, that opened a door for a new strategy. While I was waiting for a good job advertisement to pop up on the internet, I spent time catching up with people around Wellington. All of them were from companies that I found interesting. They ended up introducing me to more people and that led me to meet people from different companies and sectors that I would have never expected. I made some friends on the way and it was much more fun than staying at home just waiting for things to happen.
Eventually, through a friend of a friend of my mentor, I discovered a quite special company in Newtown. Its name is Goodnature and at that time its team was trying to find a production/process engineer to think about and deploy the future production strategy. This company produces and sells traps to enable anyone (Department of Conservation, community groups and other consumers) to do their bit to free NZ and the world from pests. This challenge and Goodnature’s team made me change my career and get into the manufacturing world. Meeting them through networking enabled me to discover this new position and most importantly, before it was created! I want to keep learning and working in this new role for a while. I feel that there is a lot to discover and do in this new adventure at Goodnature. Meanwhile, I have trained as a mentor at the JMS to give back all the help that I received and I have to admit that I am enjoying it! If you are a job seeker, be strong and go out. It takes some time and there will be tough moments and failure but the most important thing is to try to learn from them and be open to change. Good luck!
Main image originally from https://goodnature.co.nz/
Contact our Wellington centre to join our Job Mentoring Service.