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Thread: BA and MA in English Lit + many years experience working in the arts - Advice please?

  1. #1
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    Default BA and MA in English Lit + many years experience working in the arts - Advice please?

    Hi all - I'm new here. My husband and I just decided to pursue a new life in NZ. I have a BA and an MA in English Literature with around 6 years teaching experience in Adult Education and tertiary (proprietary colleges). I have also been showing and selling my art for over a decade. I am open to considering a wide range of occupations in NZ with flexibility as a goal as I have a 19 month old daughter who has never been in child care.

    Any advice regarding occupations I might fit into with these qualifications in NZ? I hear it's hard to get a position in tertiary so I'm open to just about anything to facilitate a move and then I can work on networking into my "perfect fit". I also have a pretty good deal of artistic success here... would that be something to consider pursuing in NZ? What areas would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Hello.

    In order to be able to live and work in NZ, you or your husband will need to show a match to a set of requirements for a visa, as set out on the Immigration NZ website - I can't give you a link as the site is apparently undergoing maintenance at the moment. You need to look at the Find A Visa page, then go to the Work section. Or, for your art, it might be possible to set up in business. One thing that strikes me - if you are thinking of being the migrant with the skill, INZ will be looking for you to be working full-time. When applying for a visa, a would-be immigrant is setting up a kind of swap with INZ, getting permission to live there in return for making themself available to use their skill to the full in employment, to benefit the NZ economy. So if you would rather be more involved with care of your daughter, maybe your husband could be the person putting forward a skill?

  3. #3
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    What I'm trying to evaluate is what areas and what jobs might be actually a good fit for me. Neither I nor my husband will have any trouble fitting with the critical skills list and have both scored highly on the "points" test.
    As an English major, with many years adult teaching experience, would I have any hope of getting a job? I saw "teacher" on the needed skills list, but I'm not sure if that's specific to teaching children (which I'm not technically qualified to do). What areas might be good to live in for education, arts, or proofreading/editing jobs?
    We're both open to the idea of working full time. It just depends a lot on what kind of pay we might be able to get (which we're still clueless about) and what our cost of living turns out to be...

  4. #4
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    I think you might want to look at this the other way round: will your qualifications enable you to get a visa to work here, and then consider the rest (area, pay, etc).

    I take it you have tried the points calculator and one of you gets over the required minimum to submit the EOI (although probably not in the range required to be automatically selected?)? Then I would just take it from there.

    Good luck,
    Daniela

  5. #5
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    We both have pretty high scores on the calculator. Either of us should easily be able to get a work visa. It just so happens we have skills on the list - so we're not really worried about being able to get a work visa.

    I get the impression that the job hunt is very different online as compared to in the flesh. I was just trying to get some ideas as to how to shape my job hunt with the skills I have - to see what's available before spending a huge amount of money on passports and EOI's and selling my house.

  6. #6
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    Have you tried seek.co.nz? That seems to be the main job search site.

    I haven't tried to get a work visa, but judging from the threads on this forum, having the relevant skills does often not automatically equal getting it easily. So just be aware when searching through the site that not all jobs advertised on seek may lead to a work visa.

    Daniela

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Hi, I have a similar degree to yours and, although I'm not actively looking for work, I always have an eye out for what is available. If you are looking to work as an editor/proofreader, Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch are the best places. I live in Nelson/Tasman and I have seen those types of positions available but they ended up being sales through social media. Library Assistants and Library Coordinators do not need a Library Science degree (Librarians do). If you are willing to live in a rural area, those types of positions do come up in small towns and villages. Also, I've seen school librarian positions that do not require a Library Science degree. If you are looking into teaching primary or secondary school, there might be two problems with that. The first is that US teachers, even experienced and qualified teachers, have to go through extra steps to become qualified in NZ. Secondly, I'm pretty sure that English teachers are not on the shortage skills list. Have a look here, http://www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz/ and here, http://www.teachnz.govt.nz/ for the most up to date information. As for tertiary education, NZ doesn't have for profit institutions the way they are in the US. There are polytechnics and institutes of technology that don't have strict entrance requirements but someone else will have to inform you of the qualifications they require for their teachers. There are private training establishments. Perhaps they might have something like teaching English to migrants.

    As to the question of your art, I think a good deal of that will be down to luck. You already have the experience of what it takes to market and sell your art. I find New Zealand, especially Nelson/Tasman, a place where average people are eager to buy art. I live in a village of about 2000 and I can name 10 working artists off the top of my head (including one nominated for an Oscar). The next village over is even smaller and they have a sign that proudly announces that 7 artists live there! You have the experience and NZ has a market. The only question is will you be lucky and settle in a place that has people that want your art? This is definitely a region that appreciates art. http://www.nelsonartsfestival.co.nz/ It is a small town, though. Wellington is also a great region for the artistically inclined.

    Once you are in NZ, what you can do with your art is wide open.

    Of course, all of this doesn't take into account how to qualify for a work visa. I haven't had to do that so I don't know what it will take to get one. Perhaps, instead of thinking of your art as the secondary thing, you might be able to use it to qualify for a talent visa. Again, I'm probably talking rubbish and it's better if someone else who knows more about this advises you.

    Good luck.

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