The dilemma of job and experience at the Belonging Conversation

Moumita Das Roy
Auckland, June 1, 2022

(First of Two Articles)

No Local Experience? How do you navigate this phrase during your job search in a new country? Starting afresh, even as a mature professional can be quite challenging.

I invited a few ‘New Kiwis’ to my audio chat to share their stories. These are stories of courage and resilience.

The Pepeha: Connecting with people

The Pepeha is a way of introduction in Māori. It tells who you are by sharing your connections with the people and places that are important to you. Your greeting, your mountain, your sea, your place, your name, and your family name. This is how we introduce ourselves in the Belonging Conversation.

“Kia ora. Himalayas are my mountains. The Ganges is my river. I am from India. Das Roy is my family name, and my name is Moumita. He tangata he tangata, he tangata.

The cartoon in the image is a crowd of New Zealanders, Maori, Pakeha and people from other ethnicities on Waitangi Day 2011.

‘He aha te mea nui tea o? He tangata he tangata, he tangata!’ It is a Māori proverb. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people!’

(Evans, Malcolm Paul, 1945-: Digital Cartoons; Ref: DCDL-0017011, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Records/22703273)

The Storytellers

Resilience is a superpower. This ability to start life back from scratch is something that many people exhibit when moving to a new country. Here are some of them. They came with their mihi, their Pepeha, and they shared their journey.

Jam Mayer: It is important to take charge of one’s loneliness and carry on no matter what.

Igor Portugal: It is good to have a mentor and the courage to go back up even after being knocked down.

Ren Saguil: I moved to a new country with four children and adjusted to a new culture and a way of life, I found friends on my way.

Raven Lester Garcia: I started getting familiar with the accent and learning the common lingo.

Amreen Naqash: I felt heard and included when I first came in as an international student.

Wanita Zoghby-Fourie: I felt at home the moment I landed in the country but found it very hard to secure work even with my experience. All I heard – I was either overqualified or did not have New Zealand experience. I started temping to gain New Zealand experience and finally found an amazing role.

Giyora Barzilay: I immersed myself in the newness and did not worry about finding something common. Rather, I embraced what I saw and then tried to fit in. I treated my move as an adventure, trying to figure out what I wanted from it.

Dr Paula Ray: Even if I had international experience as a journalist with global media brands, and had a PhD, all I was offered initially was to write letters to editors. Because I had no Kiwi experience. I started my own journal, while opportunities in the tertiary academic sector kept slowly coming my way.

Kenneth Leong: Success for expats is a matter of time, for we bring in a spirit of running faster, work harder. The key is to focus on what one can control, and not let discrimination overpower us.

Harshmeen Kaur: Do not fear, don’t think what if, just think you must do it. New Zealand gives an opportunity for women to work hard and achieve what they want to achieve. So go out and about and keep doing your job.

Karpal Singh: I am a very proud Indo-Kiwi. Understanding the culture, getting to know people… it has been a splendid journey of two decades. New Zealand gave me the courage to pivot twice – from hospitality to banking and from banking to my heart’s calling… filmmaking.

Maria Dolores Rodríguez Loredo Ferrere: Moving from Argentina, I found everything closing at 5 pm very strange, as in my country nothing ever shuts down. In New Zealand, I have been a receptionist and administration manager and sometimes wonder about all that I did.

Tristan Bailey: Moving to any country means starting from scratch. It depends on friends, connections, your network relying on you, trusting you. Finding that first contract is the key. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it takes more effort. (A Briton who moved to New Zealand and then back.)

Judith Mikami and Anna Himiona, both wāhine Māori and now settled in Japan and the UK for many years showed support and acknowledged the beauty of diversity.

Each story becomes a guide for another.

The Hemispheres Surprise

As an ethnic-curious person, I love the little surprises, different cultural nuances that every new place presents. I share some of my ‘wonders’ in this one-minute video, soon after moving to New Zealand.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6827471373510811648

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share with us the following:

Your greeting; Your mountain; Your river or sea; Your place; Your name and your family name

Nau mai haere mai ki Aotearoa Whānau. Welcome to New Zealand.

Moumita Das Roy

About Moumita Das Roy

Moumita Das Roy is a cross-industry marketer with experience in Nonprofit, Media, Advertising, and Telecom and has worked in some iconic global organisations such as Ogilvy and BBDO in Advertising, The Walt Disney Company in Media and Virgin Mobile in Telecom.

In her current role in New Zealand, she manages the B2B marketing communications for the Dulux Group. She is also a trained tertiary educator and industry speaker.

Moumita is a LinkedIn enthusiast and a prolific content creator on the platform. She shares stories from her corporate world and her life in academia and presents them in a very real-world, relatable way.

Apart from work, she takes an avid interest in Travel, Volunteering and Diversity and Inclusion conversations. Having worked in multicultural work environments and through her travels across seven continents, she has unique stories to tell, in a very adaptive and versatile way.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moumitadasroy/
Email: dasroymo@gmail.com

(Evans, Malcolm Paul, 1945-: Digital Cartoons; Ref: DCDL-0017011 (Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Records/22703273)

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