Guest Blog: Making the move home work for you

Jane 1By Jane Kennelly, Director of Frog Recruitment Ltd

At Frog Recruitment we regularly deal with Kiwis who have responded to the call of home, and headed back to whanau and opportunities in New Zealand.

We often hear that the transition is not always as simple as people believe it will be. For some it is, quite frankly, a shock. After hearing one particular individual I refer to as ‘Helsinki Man,’ talking about how ghastly the whole experience was for him, we decided to develop a useful guide to make the experience as realistic as possible…

Tap into your networks
Don’t underestimate the importance of networking. Networking is about connecting with people, not collecting people; it’s a competency and a process that needs to be honed in order to be successful in your job search.

The most successful communication tactic is to periodically meet with people in your network face-to-face.  It’s much more personal.  When you can’t meet in person a phone call or personal note works well too.

Networking is not easy for everyone, so practice makes perfect.

  • Attend different networking events
  • Chat to people
  • Maintain regular and consistent contact with the people in your professional networks

It’s about connecting with people, building and nurturing relationships, sharing information, tapping into the hidden job market, learning about career opportunities, pooling resources and expanding your contacts.

Find similar people
When returning home, you might be confronted with rather lukewarm interest in your experiences abroad – exactly at a time when you want to share the rich experiences you’ve gained. For family and friends who haven’t experienced overseas life, it’s difficult to grasp what it all entails, so finding a group of people with similar international experiences is a good way to debrief, broaden your existing group and establish a new social circle.

Contact a recruiter
Once you hit the tarmac (if not before), contact a recruiter specialising in your industry. This will allow you to gain insight into employment market conditions, benchmark salary expectations, identify growth areas and glean advice on your CV and job search strategy.

Just remember that recruiters can’t do it all for you. It’s imperative to be proactive, open to two-way communication and sharing of ideas. This means making sure you articulate priorities clearly without being so ‘fixed’ that viable options are over-looked.

Don’t forget to check job boards to find out what skills are in demand and the job titles people are using in your field.

Target your search
If you’re not getting any interview calls, and you’re certain that your resume is in tip-top shape, you may need to refocus your search. Have you been applying for jobs that don’t match your qualifications or experience? Or, have you been conducting searches that are simply too broad?

While you may not want to pass up any great opportunities you run across, it’s a good idea to narrow your search; then, narrow your resume so it helps you to define who you are as a professional and explains why you’re qualified for one specific job.

Build your online brand
If you don’t already have a professional online presence now’s the time to get one.  Employers spend time checking out job seekers by seeing just how much of a professional online presence those candidates have. Take time to build yours by creating a LinkedIn profile and opening a Twitter account based under your name and profession, and even consider building an industry-based blog.

Don’t forget to adjust the privacy settings on your personal accounts to protect your not-so-professional information.

Market your international experience
You have unique experience, so it’s essential to sell it properly. Actively look for employers who value your international experience. Spend time evaluating the skills you gained while overseas and think about ways to articulate your experiences in job interviews and via your CV. With patience and motivation, you can find your own niche that allows you to use your unique knowledge.

Arriving back home after being away can be a tricky transition, but with multiple resources available to support you, the transition lines will blur. With a clear vision of where you’re going, the rest will fall into place.

Decide what you want professionally and personally, in the short, medium and longer term. Get comfortable repeatedly hearing the word ‘no’ – it will help make you tenacious about your personal offering.

Finally, don’t panic. “Good things sometimes take time,” as they say, and this certainly applies to assimilating back into the New Zealand way of life.

Jane Kennelly, Director of Frog Recruitment Ltd, is a recruitment professional with over 25 years’ industry knowledge. Frog Recruitment has gained a positive reputation as a game-changer in recruitment circles due to its focus on linking employer branding to the recruitment experience. For more information see