About that move to New Zealand some one year ago

5 12 2007

When I started telling the people I’m coming to New Zealand, they will usually ask 2 questions:

1) Why leave?

I found my life was pretty much dominated by work. Long hours with no personal time (including non office hours and weekends). Although I was holding the best job I have ever had in all my working life, working in a MNC, and getting an average of 13% annual increment when the national average is just 4%. In fact I was on the verge of giving up on my industry and was seriously contemplating a career switch. But IT has always been the area of interest for me, because it’s dynamic and challenging to me. So I decided to give the industry another chance, but in another country with a different culture. Since, I believe hectic life of the industry is very much a problem with the mindset of the employers and the culture of the society.

2) Why New Zealand?

Frankly, I don’t know. I did not do much researches as everyone else will usually do when they are talking about a migration. Simply because I’m just moving here all by myself, and I reckoned, I’ll can always fall back to where I came from, so there’s really nothing to lose. Of course if money was my priority, US would be the best place to go, but I thought it’s too far, similarly with places in the Europe. Asian countries are definitely out if I want to experience a different culture. So I’m left with Australasia. New Zealand naturally came to my mind, since I know of a friend who migrated here with his family, I know many people would prefer Australia, but I am not into following the crowd. Finally, my heart told me to choose NZ, so here I am. 8)

The chain of events that happened seems to tell me that I have made the right choice. From knowing someone through a friend which ultimately led me to finding my first accomodation here, to finding my first job(contract basis) within 5 weeks of arriving here, to being converted to a perm just as I was told by the immigration that my adventure might end if I do not get myself a permanent job.

So, did I get what I was asking for? I would say, yes. The culture here is indeed quite different from what I had experienced previously. 40 hours work week is a norm. Everyone is entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave by law. We are respected more as professionals, like, being asked to give estimates of time required to get the job done, instead of being told how much time we’re given. But that comes with a price, due to the much higher tax rate, even when I’m earning almost the same salary, I’m effectively taking a pay cut. But hey, since money is not really a consideration in the first place, I reckoned, as long as I’m making enough to cover my expenses here, send some back to my family and have some savings, I’m good. So, I never bothered to try looking for another job with higher pay, at least not in the near future.

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