Charles Darwin would be proud of us consultants! Survival of the fittest at it’s finest. Like the nomad children of the Andaman sea who eyes have adapted to swimming underwater in search of food, we consultants will for sure pass on a thicker than average skin gene to our bloodline. This industry builds up your tolerance for farewells I feel. I have seen countless consultants come and go in my time couple that with pals I came over with going back home. Even Kiwi’s I’ve got close to have gone on their OE/London Trip resulting in an almost numbness to people and places no longer being in my life. This may sound a bit cold but it is this approach to transition and change that means I am somewhat less susceptible to the dreaded sickness. Others aren’t as lucky and as a result, their inferior genes will cease to exist in the local market/pool.
I am not the lone British recruiter in the local market, not by a long shot! I would estimate that 60% of the local market would fit into the English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh category. For some, the siren call of Blighty is just too much to resist; mum’s cooking, local pub, friends that apparently can’t get on a plane are the rocks in which the metaphorical ships have run aground. I have a theory, NZ with all its charming idiosyncrasies is still fraught with reminders of ‘back home’ I mean you only need to look at the flag and feel a twinge of nostalgia for Old Britannia. I first moved to Christchurch when I got to NZ back in 2013. I was taken back by how English the place seemed, then I found out they really cared about what School you went to and it solidified the opinion that ChCh is Little Britain. This shared culture is great for bridging social gaps but it does leave the door open for comparison and then before you know it ACHOOO!!
A good proportion of my candidate base, as you would imagine, is British. In some cases, they are fresh off the plane, others have come from Aussie and I have to sit through the condescending “it’s not as busy” chat. I can totally appreciate that you don’t know if you are going to live somewhere for good based on a week BUT what I always try and stress is that these one to three weeks during your job-hunting process is going to be unlike any other week you’ll have. You have no network, no purpose and probably no money. Then it starts raining! The feeling that you’ve been duped by tourism NZ starts to creep in. You decide that NZ isn’t for you, you take a contract position in a company you don’t really care about because it’s essentially a holiday job. Deciding a place isn’t for you before giving it a fair chance is a pure Sliding Doors moment, it was a film from the 90’s!
Now, Homesickness doesn’t just hit when you first get here, there are other milestones such as having to pay exorbitant fee’s and jump through some legal hoops for the privilege of staying in Aotearoa that may trigger some dormant homesickness. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Campbells Chicken Soup equivalent when it comes to homesickness, grapes and an orange Lucozade will not cut it. But there are preventative measures we can take as consultants and business owners. Firstly, on the client side. Not just for British consultants any overseas consultant, the key is to move fast. They are being pulled in so many different directions with numerous interviews and house viewings that the confirmation that you see them as a good fit is the exact affirmation they crave. That followed with a professional and timely job offer is all that is needed to chase away that lurgy.
To speak directly to the consultants; GET OUT OF AUCKLAND! Once you see what this country has to offer you’re a moron if you want to leave. Experience the culture, be thankful that NZ, unlike Aussie and USA, hasn’t swept the indigenous people under the rug, it’s not perfect sure, but it’s more harmonious. Avoid drinking in Spitting Feathers and even though it may be disingenuous get into The America’s Cup, they love it. Perhaps I may be thicker skinned than the average consultant, I suppose as a rec to rec I get my resilience/faith in humanity tested on a daily basis but when I look at the things I’ve done to stave off the sickness; a job you enjoy and a kiwi girlfriend certainly helps, I can help with one of those! No one inbox me with lonely heart pleas for kiwi woman, I don’t know enough.