Over the last few years, we have seen loads more people returning home to New Zealand - particularly from the UK and Australia.

Everyone has different experiences when they come home. Some are itching to get home and wish they’d come sooner, but for others it’s bittersweet. 

Whatever your experience may be, there are a number of things to do and think about to make settling back into kiwi life easier:

1. Maintain a network in New Zealand

A lot of roles are filled in the NZ market through recommendation, so staying in touch with people you've worked with is key. Partners and Senior members of CA firms with big client networks are important, as are you former colleagues who have likely moved into a number of different companies.

They might not have anything available in their company, but they might get called by a recruiter about a role that suits you!

2. Start talking to agencies before you return

A good recruitment agent will give you pragmatic advice on the market and help you plan your return, so ask friends for recommendations and approach one or two agencies. The good ones will recognise the opportunity, play the longer game and give you good advice.

3. Register for mailouts

You can register on Seek and also maybe career sites of companies you like. Although you are less likely to get a role from overseas, it will start to help you see how busy your space in the market is and what sort of companies are recruiting.

4. Demystify your CV

There might be companies you have worked for overseas that are huge, but they may not have a presence in New Zealand.

Given a choice of candidates, clients will not google companies you have worked for as they will go for the low-hanging fruit (easy pickings). So explain what companies you have worked for overseas do, their size, how many staff worked there, and maybe a website link too!

5. Be pragmatic and don't aim for perfection

We see many kiwi returners move jobs after 12-18 months as their first job wasn't cutting the mustard. That's fine -  but try and choose a job that helps you in the longer-term. It could be a great brand you can leverage, a big company with growth opportunities or a role that diversifies your experience. If you search for perfection you can often be searching for a while.

6. Timing is key

The "hiring season" in New Zealand is really from March through to late November. Although you might get lucky, due to holidays, December, January and February can be quiet. Set up your job search early so you can relax and enjoy the kiwi summer! If you return home in summer, you might be lucky but there's normally less choice.

7. The higher the harder

In the last census, only 1% of the population earn over $150k, so it’s important to note that you may have to search for longer and take a step back to move forward.

8. It's highly unlikely that you'll be offered a job whilst overseas

It does happen but it's very rare, people typically want to meet their staff before offering them. You may be able to do Skype interviews and their equivalents while overseas, but be prepared to need to return home before securing an offer.

9. Don't be afraid of a contract

A contract can often be a great way of returning to the market. You don’t want to devalue your CV so make the sure the role is still suitable for you, but it will also give you longer to find the perfect permanent role.


Can’t take your eyes off this blog and want some more advice about returning home? Give Crispin a shout! He’d love to help.

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