There is an alternative.

Over the last few months, I have talked to many NZ Qualified lawyers whose OE plans have been totally scuppered. There was “Rebecca” who flew to Italy with her brother only to find upon arrival things were going into lockdown, to try and save their trip they headed to Germany to find the same scenario, they eventually gave up and came back to NZ, a very expensive and short OE which literally took in the sights of 3 airports. “Sarah” contacted me to say that they had returned to NZ for lockdown and recently landed their dream job based in Belgium but now they are stuck in limbo waiting for borders to open whilst their savings are being slowly eroded. Finally, there is “Bob” he resigned from his role in New Zealand to head out to the UK, they have now decided the UK is a “no-no”, they want a change of scene and the NZ jobs market has tightened up a lot in the last couple of months so they are left with no job and no plan. 

NZ Update – Most large firms in NZ still have a blanket recruitment freeze while they decide how much work they have and how to deploy staff to workstreams but most of what we are hearing is that once these exercises have been completed there should be some form of need – they are just debating where and at what level. There is some positivity out there with a few firms across NZ hiring in Litigation, Family and a little Commercial but it is still early days to forecast the next 12 months – we do think that things will continue to cautiously bounce back though.

There is also another option, we all know that Kiwi lawyers flock (mainly) to the UK to base themselves for their OE and build on their experience. Most have decided that is not on the cards for a while, we are seeing more and more Kiwis considering a move across the ditch to Australia in order to broaden both their life and professional experience. Due to the sheer size of the industry in Australia, firms based here are often able to provide:

  • Complex work
  • More room for promotion
  • A different style of working
  • A gateway to work for international firms
  • Higher salaries and benefits (in some cases)
  • A genuinely fresh experience

It’s also not just about Sydney – Although the city can offer some fantastic opportunities we have seen Kiwis move across Australia and secure a wide variety of work opportunities and some Kiwis enjoy the feel of the likes of Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Also, never say never, gaining experience in Australia can also add strong value to your CV when you decide to relocate back to New Zealand or, indeed finally make it over to the UK – especially for Commercial, Corporate, Banking & Finance and Property Lawyers.

If your OE has been scuppered and you’d like to talk about an alternative plan whether you’re looking for a change in NZ or Australia then please get in touch with us. Our NZ legal networks also still remain very strong and we are building our networks in Australia in order to provide options for our Kiwis who have had their wings clipped, once that border bubble is open we can help you fly maybe not as far as you originally wanted but on to a different challenge.

Look forward to hearing from you – E: lgray@tylerwren.co.nz T: 09 973 5470