Specialists in Migration, Visas, and Overseas Recruitment

Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Australia is #1 in the world because …

You might imagine that Australia’s beaches, exciting career opportunities or national sports teams are all world-beating – but what does the data show?

It shows that Australia does top the charts – here’s a look at what Australia does better than anywhere else in the world.

The world’s most liveable cities

Each year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) undertakes and releases its Global Liveability Ranking and Report which provides scores for 140 cities worldwide. Its latest report (from 2014 data) places Melbourne at the top of the list – for the fifth year in a row.

The report looks at 30 factors across five areas: stability, infrastructure, education, healthcare and environment. Melbourne received perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure, culture and environment and sport. Overall, it scored a near-perfect 97.5 out of 100.

It’s not hard to see why. Melbournians enjoy unburdened, effective infrastructure. Melbourne may be a big city but it has the Yarra River flowing through it and masses of green open parks and gardens, contributing to its residents’ sense of wellbeing. It boasts impressive arts and culture and winding laneways of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. It also has a low murder rate, helping its residents feel safe.

Australia also has three other cities in the top 10 – no other country has that many top-ranking cities in the list. Adelaide is joint fifth, with Sydney seventh and Perth eighth.

Check out the rest of the world’s best cities here.

Twelve Apostles by Worakit Sirijinda, sourced from FreeDigitalImages.com. Northern Territory.

The top in civic engagement

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Better Life Index goes beyond GDP data and economic statistics. Instead it delves into the well-being of countries’ residents, looking at 11 essential areas of living conditions and quality of life.

The OECD believes that trusting your government is essential to your sense of well-being and that a high voter turnout is a measure of citizen engagement. In Australia, voter turnout is 93% – whereas the OECD average is 68%.

This means Australia tops the chart of OECD countries in terms of civic engagement. It suggests that the Australian political system performs well as it reflects the will of a huge proportion of the population.

See how Australia performs in other OECD measures.

Make the move

If you think Australia is right for you, you can put your plan into action this October – the Working International Expo is coming to London and Manchester. Meet Australian employers, find out more about your visa options and sort out your move – all under one roof. See you there!

You tell us

What do you think Australia is #1 in the world for? Find us on Facebook and let us know your thoughts.

Dancing Lights by Gav Owen, sourced from Flickr.com. Melbourne.

Immigration news round-up – October 2015

This month, Australia has recently launched a work and holiday arrangement with the People’s Republic of China and a new online visa label system. In Canada, there’s a mixed bag of news – from holds on some visa schemes to increased thresholds for other schemes. With all these changes, you could benefit from some Canadian visa advice – see who can help.

Plus in New Zealand there’s great news for overseas agricultural workers seeking seasonal work, plus some handy information about what you can and can’t bring into the country.

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Australia

Work and Holiday arrangement with the People’s Republic of China now live

As of 21 September 2015, up to 5,000 educated young Chinese nationals per year will be able to take advantage of the Work and Holiday visa arrangement between Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

The visa allows young Chinese nationals to have an extended holiday of up to 12 months in Australia, where they can undertake short-term work or study.

If you’re a Chinese national visit the Australian Embassy Beijing website to see if you’re eligible. Or find out more about Australia’s working holiday visa scheme.

Electronic visa record replaces passport labels

Traditionally when you received your Australian visa, a label was fixed into your passport. However, from 1 September 2015, you’re no longer able to request and pay for a visa label.

Instead, you access your visa record through the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service. When you scan your passport at the airport, it’s linked automatically to this service and will let passport officials know your visa status.

This change reflects the Australian Government’s agenda to make their services more accessible and convenient to their clients through the provision of secure online services. VEVO is also efficient, reliable and provides real-time information about your visa.

This demonstrates Australia’s commitment to a overhauled, more streamlined and efficient visa system. More information is available at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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Canada

Fast track your move to Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast, has just announced they will be able to fast track another 300 migrant workers who qualify under the express entry visa scheme that’s aimed at skilled workers.

It also means that Nova Scotia can nominate a total of 1,350 immigrants in 2015 under their provincial nominee program – almost double the previously allowed 700.

Nova Scotia remains a popular choice for skilled workers. In 2014, 2,670 newcomers settled in Nova Scotia – more people than have ever arrived in the past 10 years. Nova Scotia clearly offers a lot to would-be Canadians too – Statistics Canada show a retention rate of 71 per cent for immigrants that landed in Nova Scotia between 2007 and 2011.

If you’d like to take advantage of this fast track entry to Nova Scotia, take a look at some job opportunities – having a Canadian job offer may help your visa application. Or find out more about Nova Scotia’s nominee program.

Alberta and British Columbia release updates to their Provincial Nominee Programs

Canadian provinces manage their own visa schemes, called Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). They all have their own rules, requirements and application thresholds. Alberta and British Columbia have both released updates to their programs:

Alberta

Due to a 10,000-application backlog, no new applications will be accepted to the Alberta Immigration Nominee Program until January 2016. However, if you’re interested in moving to Alberta, you can still apply through Canada’s express entry visa scheme.

British Columbia

Applications to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) Skills Immigration stream and Express Entry stream have been put on hold until early 2016, due to application thresholds being met.

However, the Health Care Professional, Northeast Pilot Project and Entrepreneur Immigration streams will continue to accept applications.

Find out more about the BCPNP.

Skill shortages felt across Canada

A new survey by CareerBuilder.ca shows the impact of skill shortages on Canadian businesses:

  • 29% of survey respondents (almost three in 10 employers) have jobs that have been unfilled for 12 weeks or longer.
  • Three quarters of those respondents say this has negatively impacted upon their companies.
  • 31% of respondents said that un-fillable job openings lead to work not getting done – with 22% saying their companies are losing revenue.

With Canadian businesses feeling the pinch of a lack of skilled workers, this may be good news for skilled workers wanting to move to Canada – watch this space.

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New Zealand

Overseas agricultural contractors able to work easier in NZ

By 1 June 2016, seasonal workers from overseas could find it easier to temporarily work and live in New Zealand. A new visa deal means that rural contractors can more simply bring in overseas workers to help them over the busy summer harvest season.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) president Steve Levet estimates that the industry requires around 900 seasonal staff from overseas each year. In New Zealand there is a shortage of suitably skilled operators able to handle highly sophisticated machinery – so they look overseas for the skills they need.

These overseas workers – traditionally from Ireland and England – have good mechanical skills and are already up and running, meaning they don’t require extensive training.

About the new scheme

With a less rigorous process than what currently has to be followed, under the new scheme RCNZ would apply for Approval in Principle on behalf of all its members.

Then their members can apply online for a visa for the person they’re recruiting without having to meet any of the current requirements, which include having to advertise and going through Work and Income New Zealand first.

No further details are available at this stage – we’ll keep you updated. If you’re not already on our New Zealand mailing list, sign up [Link to: NZ newsletter sign up] and you’ll be the first to know.

Arriving in New Zealand – What you need to know

Whether you’re just visiting or are coming to New Zealand permanently, there are things you need to know.

For starters, do you need a visa? If you’re going on holiday, you might not – see if you need a visitor’s visa.  If you’d like to work and live in New Zealand, you will – read more about NZ visas.

What you can’t bring in to NZ

Pretty standard stuff, but this list includes:

  • Hazardous materials.
  • Endangered species (without a permit).
  • Weapons (without a permit).
  • Objectionable publications, including videos and digital images, or
  • Controlled drugs.

What you have to declare

New Zealand has very strict biosecurity rules – not surprisingly as any rogue flora or fauna can wreck havoc on its unique ecosystem. This means you have to declare the following items when you arrive:

  • Food of any kind – this even includes any food, especially fruit, you might have picked up on the plane or coming through duty free.
  • Plants or parts of plants (alive or dead).
  • Animals (alive or dead) or their products.
  • Equipment used with animals.
  • Camping gear, golf clubs and used bicycles – even muddy walking boots.
  • Biological specimens.

Anything you declare will be examined to check it’s ok to bring into NZ. This may include it being cleaned or treated before being allowed in.

The fines for not declaring any of the above are very high – and not worth the risk.

For more information about what you can (and can’t) bring in New Zealand, visit the New Zealand Government website.

Migration to New Zealand reaching its peak

New Zealand has always been a popular choice for skilled international workers but now, finally, the figures seem to be nearing their peak. A recent report by Westpac, a NZ bank, shows that migration to NZ is slowing.

One reason that could be behind this is the approval process for a resident visa, which favours applicants who have a job offer in New Zealand. Another is that NZ’s residence approval targets remain at 45,000 – 50,000 a year, which simply has not kept up with the demand.

Finally, Westpac estimated that Auckland (prime location of choice for most migrant workers) is not keeping up with the housing demand, which is under pressure from both migrant arrival and natural occupant increase.

So, if you’re thinking of coming to New Zealand, make sure you consider other parts of the country before you make the move.  It’s not impossible to get your metaphorical foot in the door in Auckland, but making sure you’ve ticked key boxes (like getting a job prior) will help you get ahead.

Photos from Working International Expo Manchester – 17-18 October 2015

Our Manchester event this weekend (17-18 October 2015) marked our final expo in the UK for 2015.  The quality of candidates over the weekend was fantastic – and we’re looking forward to seeing Manchester (and London) again in March 2016.

Exhibitors were very impressed with the people they met in Manchester.

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Nursing jobs available here in Melbourne and Victoria.

Nursing jobs available here in Melbourne and Victoria.

Get help with your move to OZ from locals.

Get help with your move to OZ from locals.

A very positive event with people finding out what life they could have overseas.

A very positive event with people finding out what life they could have overseas.

Land of the long white clouds anyone?

Land of the long white clouds anyone?

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Western Australia has a huge requirement for health workers.

Western Australia has a huge requirement for health workers.

The Best 3 Ways to Move to Australia

It’s already September – not too much time left in 2015 to make your goal of moving to Australia a reality.  Luckily we’re on hand with our top three tips to get you off your couch and onto that plane to Australia this year.  Yep, this year.  Really.

Sort a job before you land

For your best chance at an Australian visa, it’ll help to work in an industry that desperately needs your skills and experience. We’ve recently done a round-up of the occupations in demand in Australia – check out the list to see if your occupation is on it.

If it is, start searching for your new job in Australia. Working In Australia’s job board is updated regularly with opportunities across Australia in a variety of industries.

However, if your occupation isn’t on the list, there are still other visa options open to you – see ‘Understand your Australian visa options’ below.

Meet Australian employers in the UK

Even better than looking online for your job in Australia is meeting Australian employers on your home turf in the UK.  You can do that this October as the Working International Expo is returning to London and Manchester.

The expos have a fantastic range of Australian employers, across a range of industries. This October we have upmarket retail giant David Jones exhibiting with us, looking for top UK Buyers. Also exhibiting are Retail FM, looking for Maintenance and Refrigeration Engineers. In Healthcare we have four organisations attending the expo, looking to lure doctors, nurses, and other Healthcare professionals to a job in the lucky country.

You’ll also have a chance to learn what it’s really like to live and work in Australia – face-to-face.

Think Beyond Sydney and Melbourne

Sydney and Melbourne are consistently found in the world’s most liveable cities surveys – but the rest of Australia has a lot to offer too.  Competing against the big city lights, certain areas in Australia are desperately in need of skilled workers and they’re attractive options too.

Secure employment, progressive career opportunities, enviable lifestyles without the big city bustle, and incredible scenery can all be found outside Australia’s major centres.  Even better – there’s a visa programme dedicated to regional centres, called the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.

It’s not a points-based visa scheme which may mean you find it easier to meet the criteria. Applying for this scheme means you cannot move to:

  • The Gold Coast
  • Brisbane
  • Newcastle
  • Sydney
  • Wollongong
  • Melbourne

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Understand your Australian visa options

There’s a wide range of visa options available in Australia for business owners, family members, students, skilled workers and more.

The best way to understand the Australian visa process and the different options available to you is to get expert visa advice.  At the Working International Expo in London and Manchester, you can meet Australian visa specialists like Migration Planners face to face.  You’ll be able to understand the visa requirements and which visa may be right for you.

The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a helpful visa finder tool, too.

Prove your commitment

Australian employers want to know that you’re really committed to taking the big step of moving, living and working in Australia.

Have you visited Australia?  Are you planning to?  Do you have family or friends there?  Are you going to bring all your family with you, or are they staying behind?  How will you cope thousands of kms from home?  Will you arrive only to leave a few months later?

Think carefully about all of the above questions.  If you’re still keen, then great.

One way to show your commitment is to attend the Working International Expo.  All in one place you’ll find answers to all of your questions, and Aussies to grill about what it’s really like to live and work in Australia.

Make the move to Australia this October

From London and Manchester, you can get all you need to make the move to Australia – find a job, sort your visa and make all your moving arrangements, from finding movers to opening your bank account.

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Join us in London or Manchester – we’ve got special discounted Early Bird tickets still available for the Manchester event, but only until this Friday (25 September 2015), so get in quick.

See you there!

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The Skills in High Demand in Australia

Whether it’s calling one of the world’s most liveable cities home (hello Melbourne), exploring some of the most famous skylines (hi Sydney) or losing yourself (not literally we hope) in the stunning job opportunities in the outback, Australia offers a lot to potential new Aussies.

If you’ve got the skills and experience Australia needs then you could be moving, living, working and playing there soon. See if your skills are in demand in Australia.

Sydney Harbour

About the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

The SOL is updated regularly to reflect the changing needs of Australia. You need to nominate an occupation on the SOL if you’re applying for:

  • Independent points-based skilled migration and you’re not nominated by a state or territory government agency – this is SkillSelect
  • A Family Sponsored Points Tested visa
  • A Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work stream

About SkillSelect

SkillSelect is how Australia chooses which applicants to invite to apply for a visa. To apply you submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) online. You’ll then go into a pool of other applicants where you’ll be ranked on things like your work experience, skills, age and language abilities.

Depending on your ranking in the pool of applicants, you may then be invited to apply for a visa.

Find out more about SkillSelect.

The skills on the SOL

There are currently 191 occupations on the SOL. If you need a skills assessment as part of your visa application, you need to contact the assessing authority directly to get this. They will provide all the necessary forms and information you need and there will be a cost for this.

View the SOL, along with details of the relevant assessing authorities.

The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL)

If you’re applying for a visa under these programs:

  • Points-based skilled migration and you’re nominated by a state or territory government agency under a State Migration Plan
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), and you’ve been nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position in an occupation that appears in the CSOL
  • The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa – subclass 457
  • The Training and Research visa (subclass 402)

You need to find your occupation on the CSOL, not the SOL.

View the current CSOL.

Get help with your Australian visa

To help you through the Australian visa process, you can:

You can also start searching for your new job today – good luck!

Immigration News Roundup – July 2015

We keep a lookout for recent immigration changes in Australia, Canada and New Zealand so that you don’t have to. This month discover Australia’s migration trends over the past year, and see whether you’re in demand in South Australia.  Find out about two new Canadian immigration schemes, and see how a licensed immigration adviser can help with your New Zealand online visa application.

Australia

Australia’s Migration Trends 2013–2014

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recently released a new report called Australia’s Migration Trends 2013–2014. Some of the key statistics from the report are that in the 2013–2014 programme year:

  • 207,947 permanent migration visas were granted – a decrease of 4.2 per cent on the previous year.
  • This included 190,000 places under Australia’s migration programme.
  • Of the migration programme’s 190,000 visas:
    • 128,550 visas (or 67.7 per cent) were granted through the skill stream.
    • 61,112 visas (or 32.2 per cent) were granted through the family stream.
    • 338 visas (or 0.2 per cent) were granted under the special eligibility visa category.
  • The place where most people moved from was India, with 39,026 places (that’s a 20.5 per cent share).
  • This was followed by the People’s Republic of China (26,776 places) and the UK (23,220 places).
  • Demand for the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visas decreased significantly. Grants for these visas fell 22.0 per cent which may be due to the government’s February 2014 review of the 457 process.

Check out the full report for further details.

Revised South Australia State Occupation List

On 1 July 2015, Immigration South Australia published a revised State Occupation List. Visit Immigration South Australia to view the new list. This list gives you an idea of what skills and jobs are in demand in South Australia. New English requirements for South Australia There have been some changes to the English requirements for some occupations on the South Australia State Occupation List including:

  • ICT occupations – Proficient English is required in each band score (or an overall score of Proficient Plus, i.e. IELTS 7.5 overall).
  • Engineering occupations – Competent Plus English (or an overall score of Proficient, i.e. IELTS 7 overall).

The State Occupation List contains the changes to the English requirements for other occupations.

Canada

Express Entry points requirement decreasing

The new Express Entry system for skilled migration to Canada involves creating a pool of potential applicants, who are invited to apply for a visa through a regular draw. Applicants are awarded points based on certain criteria, like their skills, experience, language capabilities, work history, etc. Two recent draws in June 2015 have seen the level of applicants’ points decreasing yet the number of invitations to apply for a visa increasing. This means meeting the requirements for skilled entry to Canada may be getting a little easier.

New immigration schemes for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Two eastern Canadian provinces, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have recently announced new immigration schemes that are looking for skilled newcomers from overseas. The streams are aligned with the federal Express Entry systems. Although you don’t need a job offer from a Canadian employer to make an application, you must be eligible for either the:

Follow the links to find out more about the New Brunswick Express Entry Labour Market Stream or Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry.

New Zealand

‘Apply on behalf’ now live

Immigration New Zealand has launched a new service called ‘Apply on Behalf’. This means that licensed immigration advisers and other people exempt from licensing, like lawyers, can now apply for visas online on your behalf. This means they can:

  • Start a new online application for a Student, Work or Visitor visa
  • Complete the application in much the same way as you can
  • View submitted applications and upload supporting documents

This means you could benefit from expert support when it comes to completing your visa application online – and it’s one less thing for you to do. Visa-and-Passport

Seven things you’ll need when applying for an Australia, Canada or New Zealand visa

Australia, Canada and New Zealand have plenty of differences. From national pastimes (one loves cricket, another ice hockey) to national animals (one has moose and the other has kiwis). Or from temperature extremes (the bone chilling Canadian -63 degrees and the Australian sweltering 53 degrees) to local slang (don’t forget your bathers in Australia and to say “chur” in New Zealand).

But, when it comes to filling out your visa application, they do share some similarities.

Regardless of which country you want to move to – Australia, Canada or New Zealand – there are certain things you’ll need when it comes to applying for your visa:

  1. A valid passport

Let’s start with the obvious: you need to have a valid passport that’s not due to expire for at least six months.

You may be required to send your original passport with your application, or provide a certified copy. This means someone needs to witness your original documents and sign, stamp or endorse that the copies are true copies of the original documents. People who can certify copies must be authorised by law to take statutory declarations, like lawyers or court officials.

  1. Evidence of good character

Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you may need to prove that you’re of good character. This may take the form of a list of questions that you need to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to. These questions could include criminal convictions you may have or whether you’ve been involved in terrorist activities.

You’ll normally also need to provide a recent police certificate that shows whether you’ve got a criminal record.  The police certificate should be less than six months old for NZ visas; less than twelve months old for Australia visas; and for Canada visas the police certificate requirement is dependent on the type of visa you are applying for.

You’ll need to allow time for this process – UK police certificates can take up to 10 working days and also incur costs that you’re responsible for covering.   In the UK, police certificates are handled by ACRO.

  1. Acceptable standard of health

You will need to prove that you have an acceptable standard of health – each country has different definitions of what this means.

Depending on which visa type you’re going for, you may also need to undertake medical tests. This is compulsory if you’re applying for permanent visas, but may also apply for some temporary visas too. These thorough medical checks may include:

  • X-rays
  • Full blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Full family history

The medicals can only be performed by approved doctors, and when you provide results they should be as recent as possible. These tests can take time – not only in booking an appointment, but waiting for your results. They also cost money which you’ll need to pay.

  1. Recent passport photos

For New Zealand and Canada visas, you’ll need to supply some recent passport photos with your application. They’ll need to comply with certain regulations, like size, background colour, and what you’re allowed to wear or not.

They may also need to be signed as a true likeness by a witness.

Recent passport photos are not required for Australia visa applications.

  1. Specific policy requirements

There are plenty of different visa types for each country. However, regardless of the visa you apply for, there will be specific requirements you should be aware of. They could include having:

  • A valid job offer
  • Certain qualifications (which you’ll need to prove through university transcripts and school certificates)
  • A certain amount of savings
  • Key skills
  • Family or partner sponsorship
  1. Money for the fees

Whichever country and visa you apply for, there will be fees which you’ll need to pay. For an idea of costs, check out:

  1. Patience

Most of all, you’re going to need patience. Applying for a visa can be a lengthy, and at times frustrating, process.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and hang in there.

Where to go for help

To help you through the visa processes, there are plenty of places you can go.

Each country’s immigration website

Australia, Canada and New Zealand all have very comprehensive websites full of information about the different types of visas they offer, plus the processes involved:

Migration experts

There are many migration experts who can share their experience and expertise to help you get a visa. If you’re considering living and working in Australia or New Zealand, Migration Planners could help.

Additionally, as of June 2015, licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand can now apply online on your behalf for certain types of visas. Using an online system could help to speed up the visa process. It also means it’s one less thing for you to worry about as the experts will handle your application for you.

If you are considering moving to Canada and want expert migration advice, see our list of Canadian preferred partners on our website.

Are you thinking about making the move?

Share any concerns or questions you may have by commenting below – we’ll see if we can help.

The Top 10 Best Reasons to Move to Australia (the June 2015 list)

Last week we posted some fantastic reasons why you should definitely move to New Zealand.  But if you have your heart set on moving to Australia, you’re in luck because we have written a Top 10 list for Australia as well!

So here’s our Top 10 Best Reasons to Move to Australia list – compiled by the staff here at Working In, especially for this blog.

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Reason #1 – Employment Prospects

Australia has good job prospects, over most industries.  Here’s a great place to start searching for your new job Down Under:  http://www.workingin-australia.com/jobs 

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Reason #2 – Lifestyle

People living in Australia generally have a good work/life balance – that means more time for yourself, and more time with your family.  T

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generic beach AU Reason #3 – Climate

Australia’s climate has to be one of the best in the world.  Queensland is known as The Sunshine State because of its approx. 300 days of sunshine per year.

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multicultural australia Reason #4 – Society

You’ll find Australia is one of the most multicultural nations on Earth.

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Reason #5 – Nature

You can be close to water, the city and the bush in nearly every inhabited location in the country.

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Xmas AU Reason #6 – Opposite Seasons

You get to have Christmas on the Beach!  You don’t need snow to have Christmas .. it can be just as magical in the sunshine.

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bunyip

Reason #7 – Culture

Has some of the best slang words ever invented. Do you know what Ankle Biter, Rip Snorter, or Bunyip mean?*

(Don’t worry, we’ve given you the answers at the end of the blog post)

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melb Reason #8 – And more culture!

The food, wine and coffee are some of the best in the world. Australians really take pride in these – check out The Coffee Experience in Sydney this September, or why not take a Self-Guided Tour of the Barossa Valley?

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adventure collage 2Reason #9 – There are things to do

There are so many things to do in Australia – whether you like relaxing, adventure, or family fun, there’s something for everyone.

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Reason #10 – Because you have always wanted to live and work in Australia..

..and why shouldn’t you?

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We hope our list helps you with your decision to move to Australia.

There will never be a ‘right time’ to move country, so don’t spend your life waiting for that moment to come along. Make it happen for yourself!

All the best,

Working In Team

* Wondering what those words mean?  Child / something fantastic / a mythical Outback creature

5 reasons to make the move now

If you subscribed to our email newsletter, chances are you’re seriously considering packing up your life and moving, working, living and playing in Australia, Canada or New Zealand.

But you haven’t done it quite yet.

So this month, we’re telling you why you need to make the move – now.

1. Winter is coming

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If you’re in the northern hemisphere, winter is coming. Unlike Game of Thrones, it doesn’t mean murder, mayhem and naughty stuff but, as a lot of Working Inners can attest to (being British expats ourselves), winter isn’t a desperately fun time. Short days, an abundance of darkness, and bad weather inevitably leads to a six-month long hibernation. Not fun. However over in Australia, Canada and New Zealand…

2. An enviable lifestyle

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As spring blooms in the southern hemisphere, its enviable lifestyle comes to the fore. Now, for the next six months, Aussies and Kiwis are making the most of the long, hot, sunny days – whether that’s surfing, hiking, BBQ-ing, beaching, ocean swimming… the list goes on. It may also be coming into winter in Canada, but Canada does winter really well. With its blankets of snow, it’s a winter wonderland – no more hopping on a plane to reach the slopes for skiing and snowboarding, it’s on your doorstep. If you’ve ever wanted the picture perfect Christmas day, now’s the time to get over to Canada.

3. The opportunities are booming

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New Zealand came through the global financial crisis pretty unscathed, reflected in its “rock star” economy. Now there are plenty of exciting opportunities abounding – from helping to rebuild Christchurch, to citywide rail electrification projects, and multi-million dollar infrastructure investment. Australia is continuing to climb out of its downturn and more and more jobs are coming to the market, while Canada’s economy remains strong and, more importantly, continues to grow.

4. Chart-topping success

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Every single year, scores of surveys are released – the world’s best cities, the happiest places to live, the world’s best countries… and every single year, Australia, Canada and New Zealand feature highly. This is especially true for Canada – it’s got one of the world’s best reputation’s internationally [see page 17] as a place to do business and live, with Australia and New Zealand not far behind. The countries’ cities rank highly for liveability (8 out of 10 cities in the 2014 Economist Intelligence Unit’s world’s most liveable cities were in Australia, Canada and New Zealand). All three countries feature highly in the latest world happiness report. Whereas British expats reckon they’re healthiest and wealthiest in… yep, you’ve guessed it. Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Go on, you deserve to be happy and wealthy too – make the move.

5. It’s never a good time

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So why move now, rather than next year or beyond? Because, frankly, it’s never a good time to move – you’ll always be waiting for your cousin’s wedding or for your little one to start school. Like having a baby, there is never an ideal time to move country.

So you might as well to do it now.

Convinced? Start searching for your new job and life in Australia, Canada or New Zealand.

Australian economy continues to deliver

kangaroo-australia
Since the global financial crisis of 2008, a large majority of affected countries have suffered increases in unemployment, and further job uncertainty since then – but Australia has powered ahead. In the years since, though, the economy has slowed, but it hasn’t gone into recession. Indeed, compared to other developed countries, Australia is performing well.

Australia has managed to get through the crisis with negligible inflation. The Australian Government has been quoted as saying that the economy is not doing so well , and will soon collapse because of large budget deficits and rising Government debt – as it is in other relatively wealthy nations, but, as yet, there have been no discernible cutbacks on welfare, health, education and public services.

Due to several mining booms and a large demand from Australia’s biggest trading partner, China, the Australian economy has had continuous growth since 1991. In comparison, most of the other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries fell away in this department, a trend that continued for several years. For example, in the United States, GDP levels did not reach the pre-recession period until 2011, and Germany – renowned for its solid, vibrant economy – did not reach pre-recession levels until the same year.

You can rest assured, the Australian economy isn’t going to collapse any time soon, so have no fear and plan your move.

Fight or flight: what to expect when you arrive in a new country

You’ve been excitedly planning your move for months but now you’ve landed and you’re not feeling so sure. Don’t worry – these feelings are absolutely normal and part of what’s known as the settlement curve.

In fact, there are six distinct stages most people go through as they settle in a new country – here’s what to expect over your first 18 months to two years.

The settlement curve

 

Diagram source: Immigration New Zealand Settlement Services.

Stage one: forethought

This stage is all about the excitement of planning with lots of positivity about your move to your new country. It’s important to have realistic expectations about your new home country, however, so now’s the time to look into jobs, get an idea of cost of living and research where you’re going to settle.

Stage two: fun

You’ve arrived and it’s brilliant fun. New people, new places and new experiences mean you’re feeling really positive about your new home.

Stage three: fright

Uh-oh. Something’s happened. It might be something major (a family member has fallen ill) or something small (you’re stuck in traffic for the fifth day in a row) – whatever it is, it’ll make you feel frustrated which in turn makes you feel unhappy.

Stage four: flight

Ok, something has happened – and you don’t have a strong network of friends or family to call on yet in your new home country. This is the point that you may decide to move on or return to your country of origin.

Stage five: fight

Time to embrace your inner Rocky. This is your turning point – you become realistic about what it’s like to live in your new country and make a conscious decision to stay and build your life here.

Stage six: fit

Welcome to everyday life. By this stage, your challenges are more about the usual day to day stuff people think about, rather than being about living in a new country. You’ve now decided to stay which helps you to feel like you ‘fit’ in. Congratulations – you’ve made it!

Dealing with the six stages

First off, remember that everyone who has ever been in your position will have experienced these emotions at some point. Understand that it’s completely normal and natural and try some of these tips to help you deal with your emotions:

  • Keep talking – to your other half, your family or your employer. Sharing your fears will help you deal with them.
  • Get out and about – the couch may be calling but that’s not going to help you feel more settled. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, make the most of that new lifestyle you were after. Remind yourself why you wanted to move.
  • Get involved – join your colleagues at the next social gathering, sign up to a gym, research local clubs – anything that gets you mingling with people and involved with your new life. Say yes to every offer that comes your way.
  • Research settlement services – there’s organisations dedicated to helping new migrants feel happy in their new homes. Check out Settlement Support New Zealand, find settlement services in Australia or search for immigration services in Canada.

Have you made the move? Did you experience a rollercoaster journey through the settlement curve? What helped you?

The average Aussie

The average AustralianAustralian 2011 census data has just been released and it’s painting an interesting picture of the average Aussie stereotype you may be used to: a cork hat wearing, crikey-exclaiming, tanned bloke? Not any more. Read on to discover what the average Australian looks like in the 21st century.

Overview

The Australian census data revealed that Australians:

  • Come from more than 200 countries
  • Speak over 300 languages at home
  • Belong to more than 100 different religious groups
  • Work in more than 1,000 different occupations

Man or woman?

The average Australian is a woman. In 2011, just over half of Australia’s population was female. In fact, since 1979, women have slightly outnumbered men.

How old?

In 2011, the average Australian was 37 years old.

Where were they born?

In 2011, only 3% of Australians reported they were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Although Australia’s known for its long history of immigration, the average Australian was born in Australia – and so were both their parents:

  • 74% of people were born in Australia
  • 54% had both parents born in Australia

The largest group of people born overseas continues to be those born in the United Kingdom – they make up 5% of Australia’s population and 21% of all overseas born people living in Australia.

However, amongst recent arrivals (so people that arrived in Australia after 2006), the top position is held by India. UK-born people made up 12% of recent arrivals, and India-born people 13%.

What is their ethnic background?

Australians come from a large number of different cultural and ethnic grounds. Most commonly reported ancestry:

  • English (36%)
  • Australian (35%)
  • Irish (10%)
  • Scottish (9%)

Nearly three-quarters of Australians had at least one of these ancestries.

What language do they speak?

The average Aussie only speaks English at home – 81% of the population reported only speaking English at home. But nearly one in five people spoke a language other than English at home.

The most common languages spoken, apart from English:

  • Mandarin (1.6%)
  • Italian (1.5%)
  • Arabic (1.4%)
  • Cantonese (1.3%)
  • Greek (1.2%)
  • Vietnamese (1.1%)

Where/how do they work?

According to the 2011 census, 67% of men and 56% of women were employed.

For both men and women the most common occupation in Australia was sales assistant.

Other common occupations for men:

  • Truck driver
  • Electrician
  • Retail manager

Other common occupations for women:

  • General clerk
  • Primary school teacher
  • Office manager

Men work an average of 41 hours, compared with 32 hours for women.

Where do they live?

The average Aussie lives in one of the state or territory capitals.

60% of people lived in a capital city, with 35% living in either Sydney or Melbourne.

Capitals and other major cities accounted for over two-thirds of Australia’s population in 2011 – 69%.

The average Australian lives in a free-standing, three-bedroom house.

In summary: profile of the average Australian

From the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

“According to the 2011 Census, the average Australian is a 37 year old woman, born in Australia and with both of her parents also born in Australia. She has English, Australian, Irish, or Scottish ancestry. She speaks only English at home and belongs to a Christian religion, most likely Catholic.

She is married, and lives with her husband and two children (a boy and a girl aged nine and six) in a separate house with three bedrooms and two cars in a suburb of one of Australia’s capital cities. They have lived in that house for at least five years, and have a mortgage where they pay $1800 a month.

She has a Certificate in Business and Management, and drives to her job as a sales assistant, where she works 32 hours a week. She also does unpaid work around the house for five or more hours a week.

While many people will share a number of characteristics in common with this ‘average’ Australian, out of the nearly 22 million people counted in Australia on Census Night, 9 August 2011, no single person met all these criteria.

While the description of the average Australian may sound quite typical, the fact that no-one meets all these criteria shows that the notion of the ‘average’ masks considerable (and growing) diversity in Australia.”

Keen to read more?

See the full report of Australian social trends.

Have you got the Australian M factor?

The M factor Australia

So, you’ve given it some thought, had a chat with your nearest and dearest and watched enough episodes of Neighbours and Home & Away to have developed the required nasal twang to make you fit right into your new dream life in Australia.

Then you made the fatal error of starting the real research and, before you knew it, you were curled up in the fetal position in the front room, singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot and promising yourself you’d never stray again.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The process of migrating is huge, not just from a legislative point of view, but also logistics, costs, and perhaps most importantly, the emotional strain that it induces. There are few things in life more unsettling than living with one foot in two continents – unable to move forward in your old life and unable to put roots down in your new destination. We call this the M factor – migration ready, move ready and mightily motivated. Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek, sure, but stay with me – there are definitely parallels to the TV show with a similar name.

Firstly, the world is full of people who think they have the M factor. For example, there are those who go at it like the proverbial bull in a china shop and then pull up at the last minute. This is after investing a significant amount of money and realising that they actually don’t have that last piece of drive to leave behind all that is familiar and comfortable in return for an uncertain future in a foreign land full of strangers. They’re like the folk who get to the auditions, all bluster and confidence, and then freeze in the wings while waiting for their turn.

Then there are those who are pushed into it by others – their partners, friends or family, who tell them repeatedly that it’s the right thing to do. But deep inside, they know that they really don’t want it and end up miserable, trapped in living out someone else’s dream.

But then there are those who are so right, and so ready, and don’t even know it. Or maybe they do know it, but just don’t know what to do with it.

That’s where working with an expert comes in. Definitely less judgmental than those on that TV show, a Registered Migration Agent will offer you sound, honest feedback on what your options are and advice on the process. The good ones will make sure that they spend time with you, understanding what you hope to achieve, what your goals are, and what your timeline expectations are, and then will put a plan in place to help you achieve those.

In some cases, you may get answers that you don’t want – but those answers might stop you making an expensive and humbling mistake. In other cases, you may get information that you hadn’t considered that put a new spin on the direction you thought you wanted to take. But in all cases, you’ll come away from the experience wiser and more knowledgeable.

Don’t take a chance on missing out on a life that you’ve always dreamed of by trying to undertake something as legally complex and emotionally challenging as an international relocation on your own.

15 misconceptions about Australia, Canada and New Zealand

Australians love cork hats, Canadians live in igloos and there’s more New Zealanders than sheep, right? Actually, no. Here we blow the lid on the most common misconceptions about Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Australia

  1. They don’t say crikey all the time: beloved croc-wrestler Steve Irwin may have coined the catchphrase “crikey!” but it’s certainly not used every day in Australia.
  2. They eat Skippy: Australia’s national icon – the kangaroo – is considered a darn tasty food source in Australia.
  3. They don’t ‘chuck shrimps on the barbie’: snaggers, yes (that’s sausages), shrimps, no. Also, they call them prawns, not shrimps.
  4. Not every animal in Australia wants to kill you: their poisonous snakes and spiders are easily avoided and they’re also home to possibly the cutest critter on the planet – the Quokka.Quokka Australia
  5. Australians don’t all live in the outback: yes, your map might show a massive country with plenty of desert-like space in the middle but in actual fact, over 90% of Australia’s population lives in urban areas on the coast.

Canada

  1. It always snows in Canada: afraid not. Their summers can be positively balmy in parts with the thermometer topping 30 degrees.
  2. Moose, bears and beavers are everywhere: if you don’t step outside the urban areas, your wildlife encounters will be restricted to pigeons and squirrels. Famed Canadian wildlife can be seen – but usually on specially planned tours. Beaver
  3. Mounties wear fancy red outfits: only on official, ceremonial occasions actually.
  4. All Canadians speak French: Statistics Canada reckons only about 22% of Canadians use French as their first language. Most of the French-speaking population lives in Quebec – where the official language is French.
  5. Toronto is the capital: it might be Canada’s largest city and the country’s financial centre but the capital is actually Ottawa.

New Zealand

  1. New Zealand is governed by Australia: definitely not. New Zealand was once governed as a part of the territory of New South Wales (now a part of Australia). When Australia federated in 1901, New Zealand was offered a place as one of their states. New Zealand refused and is its own country with no ties (other than economic and commonwealth) to Australia.
  2. There are 20 sheep to each person: no one’s going to deny New Zealand has a lot of sheep but in fact there’s presently around seven sheep to every one human.New Zealand countryside with a flock of sheep
  3. New Zealand is all one country: actually, it’s split into two islands – the imaginatively named north and south islands, both enjoying vastly different landscapes and climates. And no, there isn’t a bridge between the two islands. There is a ferry though.
  4. It’s small and everything you want to see can be done in two weeks: don’t be fooled. New Zealand’s landmass is about the same as the UK’s – and there is a heck of a lot to cram in. You could travel for months and still not do everything you want to do. It’s not a short break sort of place.
  5. The weather is incredible: it definitely can be. It can also be incredibly terrible. The far north of the north island is sub-tropical, summer is cyclone season and the south island suffers bitterly cold winters, including plenty of snow.

Sydney Festival 2013

Alanah, a business development manager at Working In, recently attended the fabulous Sydney Festival 2013 – three weeks of diverse arty entertainment. Here she tells us what it was like:

SydFest2

Those of you who have been lucky enough to be travelling through Sydney in January would have experienced the last throes of the “Silly Season” (that heady, fun time that occurs between the Melbourne Cup in early November and Australia Day on the 26th of January where summer is enjoyed and corporate attire takes a casual approach). But most importantly, you would have experienced the Sydney Festival!

The Sydney Festival is a major arts festival held in Australia’s largest city. For three weeks each January, Sydney Festival offers a diverse program of around 100 events involving over 1,000 artists delivering 300 performances from Australia and around the world covering dance, theatre, music, visual arts, cross media and forums. Literally it has everything from burlesque circus to New York rap to Russian theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice.

Incoming DuckThe Festival always kicks off with a bang and this year it featured an enormous rubber ducky. Honestly, he was huge! He hung out in another Sydney icon Darling Harbour for the length of the festival much to the delight of people of all ages. If there was any doubt, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with ducky photos for the entire three weeks. “Day One” also offered up a free Soul Review concert in the Domain (central Sydney parklands) where 60,000 people came together to get down to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and other bands. To see some of the highlights of Day One; a marathon with hype girls for example; check out this YouTube clip!

More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. Global, local, challenging, light hearted, diverse and inclusive are just some of the words that spring to mind when I think of what the Festival means to our city. I don’t always get involved in the festival activities as January is a busy time, however when I have, I have seen some amazing sites in some breath-taking venues that remind me why I am so pleased to have chosen Sydney as my home.

Day One looking at the stage

Lastly, the Sydney Festival helps to proves that Australia is not the cultural wasteland that some people may think! Yes, buildings in Australia are considered “heritage” if they are over 100 years old, but Australia is a unique land, both ancient and yet so young with a melting pot of cultures which all come together under a common cultural purpose for three weeks. Best of all, with a population approaching five million, Sydney’s a big city, but Sydney Festival works hard to make sure it doesn’t feel that way.

*Photos from Sydney Festival Facebook page.

 

Top things to do if you’re celebrating Christmas in Australia, Canada or New Zealand

The countries that we work with offer the best of both worlds when it comes to Christmas. You have the traditional northern hemisphere Christmas in Canada – snow, roaring log fires and hot chocolates while wrapped up like snow bunnies. Or, you have the southern hemisphere Christmas in Australia and New Zealand – barbecues on the beach and Santa in his shorts.

Here’s our round-up of the top things to do if you find yourself in one of these countries over the festive season.

Australia

Ayers Rock Uluru Sounds of Silence Australia

  1. Make the most of the sunshine and get out on the water – especially in one of Australia’s most iconic watery spots: the Sydney Harbour. You could enjoy a harbour cruise whilst tucking into a Christmas dinner.
  2. If you’d prefer a more active Christmas day, how about climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge? That’s guaranteed to be more memorable than another turkey dinner.
  3. In keeping with the active theme, you could take a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef and spend Christmas day snorkelling or diving with the fishes.
  4. An Aussie icon – Ayers Rock or Uluru – offers an incredible dining experience on Christmas Day. Its Sounds of Silence experience includes sunset canapés, dining under the stars (a BBQ buffet, naturally) and stargazing. Sounds pretty magical to us!
  5. Of course if you really want to make the most of Christmas down under, you could just hit up one of the many beaches and enjoy a picnic or BBQ.

Canada

Capilano Canyon lights Canada

  1. Don’t miss your opportunity to see the already spectacular Niagara Falls all dressed up for Christmas with the CAA Winter Festival of Lights, with over 125 animated lighting displays and three million tree and ground lights.
  2. You could really embrace a traditional Christmas with a Prairie Christmas (at Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm). It boasts a roaring bonfire for roasting marshmallows over, gingerbread cookie decorating, hot chocolate and hot apple cider – toasty.
  3. The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park puts on a legendary lights show for Christmas, with a zillion sparkling lights on the bridge, rainforest and cliffwalk.
  4. Enjoy Christmas up high – Grouse Mountain hosts real reindeers, sleigh-rides and ice skating in naturally snowy surrounds.
  5. Let someone else take the strain during your Canadian Christmas – and hop on a sled drawn by dogs as you explore the snowy Canadian wilderness.

New Zealand

Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium New Zealand Santa

  1. Soak away the Christmas stress in the great outdoors in some hot pools – New Zealand’s got hundreds of ‘em. You can even dig your own at Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel.
  2. Head underwater – whilst staying dry. Check out Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium where Santa will be feeding the fish and you can explore the brand new, snow filled penguin enclosure.
  3. If you think Christmas isn’t the same without some snow, you could head to Snowplanet for some indoor skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing.
  4. Hit up Queenstown, where the adventure never takes a Christmas break. On Christmas Day you’ll still be able to enjoy a Milford Sound flight and cruise, paragliding, a helicopter flight over The Remarkables, lake cruises, jet boating…
  5. Or for a real novelty factor, treat yourself to the only ice you’ll find in New Zealand over Christmas – ice cream. Following on from a BBQ on the beach, obviously.

Have you been to Australia, Canada or New Zealand over Christmas?

Tell us what you got up to!

Auckland, Vancouver and Sydney ranked some of the best places in the world to live

The Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey has just been released, and it’s full of good news for anyone looking to move to Australia, Canada or New Zealand. Vienna, Austria remains at the top of the European country dominated survey.

The survey

The survey evaluates more than 460 cities worldwide on a variety of factors to produce a snapshot of what it’s like to live there.

The survey analyses the following factors:

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement)
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
  • Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.)
  • Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools)
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.)
  • Recreation (restaurants, theatres, movie theatres, sports and leisure, etc.)
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.)
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
  • Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland New Zealand third in 2012 Mercer Quality of Life SurveyAuckland has retained its position as the highest-ranking city for quality of living in the Asia-Pacific region – it’s 3rd. Clearly the high standards of education, the buzzing night life and culture and clean, green surrounds of Auckland have impressed on a global scale.

Wellington also made the top 20, coming in 13th. In total, New Zealand has two cities in the top 50.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver Canada fifth in Mercer 2012 Quality of Living SurveyVancouver came in 5th, while other Canadian cities dominated the top of the index for the Americas region (Ottawa (14), Toronto (15), Montreal (23) and Calgary (32)). Known for its world-class green spaces, exciting culture and entertainment plus being the stage for global events (like the winter Olympics games), Vancouver has plenty to offer.

Canada boasts five cities in the top 50.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney Australia 10th in Mercer 2012 Quality of Living SurveySydney drew with Bern in Switzerland as the 10th best city in the world for quality of living. Iconic tourist attractions, an energetic metropolitan feel and a fantastic climate all make up the Sydney experience.

Australia tops the three countries with six cities in the top 50.

Here’s the top 10 best cities for quality of living 2012:

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vancouver, Canada
  6. Düsseldorf, Germany
  7. Frankfurt, Germany
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Bern, Switzerland
  11. Sydney, Australia

Most—and least—desirable places to live
Infographic by Mercer Insights

Details of the full survey can be found here.

What do you think?

Do you agree with these findings?

The real land of opportunity

This week we have a guest post, courtesy of Amy Knapp at InsideTrak. Here she tells her story about finding a job in your profession in your new country.

Blue sky with the land of opportunity written across it

When people talk of “The land of opportunity”, they’re usually referring to a country in which they’ve travelled, immigrated or done business. People rarely refer to their own country in this way – and there’s a reason for that.

You arrive in a new country blissfully unaware of the usual limitations of your profession. You don’t know the history so you don’t have the intimidation factor. And when you don’t have the intimidation factor, it becomes easy to apply for that top position at that top company, to ring the most influential person in the industry and ask her for some career advice, to switch professions on a dime and act like you’ve been doing it all your life.

It takes guts to relocate to a new country. The major bonus though, is that you leave a lot of your fears behind and leave yourself free to take chances you wouldn’t normally take in your own country. There’s no one around to judge you if you fail, no one around to say, “No kidding! You’re applying for a job there? My cousin’s been trying to get a job there for years!”

I arrived in Australia with an impressive resume that unfortunately had zero correlation with what I actually wanted to do, which was write. In Canada I’d managed a small business, been director of an NGO, and even put in three years at law school. When an opportunity came up to do some writing part-time, I jumped on it. I wrote an outrageous letter, laid the whole situation on the table and voila! I became a writer.

Some key things worked in my favour. Being a foreigner, I had some skills none of the other applicants had: I spoke French, had worked in three different countries and had a certain liveliness that must have been contagious.

Equally important were the things I didn’t know about the job, namely that there were over a hundred other applicants, most of whom had PR backgrounds and at least two internships under their belt. That should’ve been obvious. In Canada, I’d have known that I wasn’t qualified and probably not bothered at all. But since I was away from home and living life large in a foreign country, I took a shot.

The real reason they gave me the job was because they liked my letter. My employer at the time was an open-minded guy looking for a great writer. Turned out that none of the other stuff really mattered as much as I’d have thought it did (if I’d thought it through – which I didn’t).

That first writing job spiralled into another job, which spiralled into another and another and eventually became a cosy career as a freelance writer. Back in Canada, I demanded the same fees I did in Australia, even though Canadian salaries are significantly lower and technically I should have corrected for that. But you know what? Nobody complained. Not one single person.

The moral of the story is that it can in fact be an advantage not to understand the culture of your profession in a foreign country. It helps you escape your fears. It motivates you to take chances. There’s no fear of judgement or rejection. You don’t know these people. Why not take a shot?

Amy Knapp is a freelance blogger for InsideTrak, where you can find free job postings from Australian employers.

 

Lining up to help rebuild Christchurch

Our Opportunities Overseas Expo UK and Ireland November 2012 roadshow is on the road!

Last weekend we were in London where hundreds of people attended, looking for their new job – and for some, their chance to rebuild Christchurch, New Zealand.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Check out 3 News’ report of the busy expo.

We’ll be in Dublin (13 November) and Aberdeen (15 November), before finishing up in Manchester (17-18 November) – hope to see you there!

Halloween happenings in Australia, Canada and New Zealand

It’s October 31st – time to dig out the costume, stock up on the sweets and prepare for the barrage of knocks on the door by overactive, sugar-hyped up kids.

Yep it’s Halloween.

Here’s how they’re feeling spooky in:

Australia

Apparently, Australians are only just beginning to embrace Halloween – but not at this house in Elanora Heights. It’s crammed full of skulls, tombstones, cobwebs and coffins plus a life-sized grim reaper. They’ve even stocked up on 1,500 chocolate bars to hand out – so if you’re trick or treating in Oz, head there.

 

That doesn’t stop Australians having a frankly bizarre sounding annual “The Australian Caterpillar Halloween Contest”. This year’s winner is the “skull” caterpillar of the Imperial Fruit Sucking Moth. It’s an endangered species currently fighting habitat loss in the Australian rainforest and features a painted skull and eyeballs on its enlarged head to scare away predators – and us, actually.

Canada

Turns out the Canadians, like their friends to the south, really go in for Halloween – if these homemade Halloween costumes are anything to go by.

Our personal favourite is the toast – what’s yours?

New Zealand

While in New Zealand, Kiwi kids aren’t doing it right – according to this advice from an American expat anyway. The golden rules of trick or treating include “costumes are mandatory” and to remember your manners. Sounds like good advice to us.

If trick or treating sounds a little tame to Kiwis (bearing in mind this is the nation who invented such heart-hammering activities as bungee jumping, zorbing and jet boating), they might be heading to Spookers instead. It’s a haunted attraction theme park where participants willingly agree to be scared witless by “visual, tactile, and sound effects intended to scare the yell out of you” in some delightful-sounding attractions – haunted house, freaky forest, disturbia or cornevil.

Er. No.

Elsewhere in the world

Finally, Canada’s The Globe and Mail have compiled a slideshow of images of zoo animals taking part in Halloween celebrations around the world.

Currently, we’re loving Maggie the giraffe at London Zoo.

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