If you are looking for a new challenge in both your professional and personal life, working in Australia or New Zealand could be the next adventure that you’re looking for.

Working abroad is a great chance for you to progress your career and make your CV stand out, while experiencing a different culture and way of life. In a globalised job market, employers look favorably on employees who have shown the confidence and adaptability to work in another country, and who often bring a new perspective to the job if they later return to their home country.

There are many opportunities forexperienced EAs and PAs to work in Australia and New Zealand, particularly for people with experience in the UK and other countries that offer comparable markets and no language barriers. To make the most of these opportunities you need to do your research before you move and understand the local job markets.

PAs and EAs from the UK will usually find the transition to life in Australia and New Zealand fairly easy, and as long as they have the required work permit or visa it is relatively straightforward to find employment.

In Australia there has been steady demand for PAs and EAs in the past year, particularly for those with legal, finance and medical experience. Employers are often prepared to offer an attractive salary to secure PAs with relevant industry experience and transferable skills. Many organisations promote from within, creating entry-level opportunities for receptionists, administration support, records management and data entry staff to fill the gaps left when staff are promoted. For that reason you should also be flexible in the jobs you’ll consider when employed on a working holiday visa, as opportunities may arise within a company to demonstrate your skills.

We have seen an increase in permanent PA vacancies in Australia as companies boost their administration support functions or take on additional workload. However, there are still many opportunities for temporary assignments, as employers look for quick solutions to filling gaps in their teams or may trial someone in a temporary role before offering them a permanent position.

In New Zealand opportunities are also increasing, particularly those at the entry and intermediate levels. The rebuilding of Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake has required specialists in a variety of professions to move to the city, and demand is increasing for project administrators who have strong customer service skills and will remain high in the year ahead for those with construction administration experience.

There is a good mix of both temporary and permanent roles in the New Zealand market and new roles are being created. Employers are becoming more specific about their needs and are looking for candidates who meet all their requirements, so it’s important to emphasise your relevant experience when applying for any role.

Doing your research and understanding the market before you move is essential, particularly given the scale of the job market. If you have full work rights for Australia or New Zealand, it is even possible to secure interviews before you buy your plane ticket.

Top tips for finding work as an Executive Assistant in Australia or New Zealand

  • Do your research and decide where you want to be based in Australia or New Zealand before contacting recruiters.
  • Contact the Australian or New Zealand immigration authority for information on visa and work permits required.
  • Speak to a recruiter who can advise you on the current market and help you arrange interviews before your departure.
  • Be flexible. You will be surprised where the best opportunities come from so don’t limit your search.
  • Update your CV to emphasise any previous international experience.
  • If moving to Australia, apply for your Tax File Number on the ATO website and open a bank and superannuation account as soon as you can upon your arrival. If you have travelled before arriving, update your CV to account for your dates of travel. It is important to explain all work gaps to potential employers.

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Lauren Wise is an experienced recruiter at Hays in London, specialising in recruiting professionals from the UK to work in Australia and New Zealand in PA and secretarial roles. For further information about moving from the UK to Australia or New Zealand ... (Read More)

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