Are you a job hopper?

Let’s get some numbers and figures out of the way before we hit the topic. OK?

9 out of every 10 international students are keen on starting a part-time job with-in couple of weeks of their arrival in New Zealand. As we know the ‘Student Visa’ authorizes the candidates to work 20hrs/week till the time they are studying.

Just in case if you are wondering what’s happening with that 1 student out of every 10 in our example above? Well, some of the students come here just to study and go back to their home countries or they are not interested to take up any job while they are studying!!! Their choice

More than 7 out of these 9 students get their first break with-in couple of months. Interestingly, 5 out of these 7 actively look for other jobs as soon as they get their first job and almost 2 to 3 out of 5 get the honour of being job-hoppers. The number would have been more if the market conditions were a little upbeat. I have had the pleasure of knowing those who have had 4, 5 or even 6 different jobs within a span of their first year in the country.

What is job - hopping?

The practice of changing or shifting jobs frequently, especially as a means of quick financial gain or career advancement; unfortunately though, in the students’ community a lot of unnecessary shifting is being observed!!


On an average there are around 50,000 international students (new + continuing) in NZ every year for their studies with many keen on joining the work force while and after finishing their studies. Total enrollments for the year 2012 for Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) and Private Training Establishments (PTEs) were 46,934. I am not talking about Subsidiary Providers & Schools which was another 13,000+

Since they come with ‘No NZ Experience’, they don’t have strong work references; the majority has to get started with unskilled or semi-skilled jobs and get some experience in the Kiwi work environment before they can launch themselves for the positions ideal to their career paths and visa approvals.

As a result most of them have to go through the grind of applying for those limited few jobs that are available.

Thousands of people queued outside a new Countdown supermarket in South Auckland, trying to get a job. About 2,500 people presented their CV in the hope of being chosen as one of the 150 staff needed at the new store in Manukau.

600 applications were received by a store in Palmerston North that was yet to be completed

More than 1300 people, most of them from Dunedin, have applied for 100 full-time and part-time jobs at the city's newest supermarket.

And there are many more examples that clearly indicate that numbers of unskilled & semi-skilled jobs are way less than number of applicants. Also when it comes to finding jobs, the international student community has to compete with the local (NZ Residents & Citizens) job seekers.

Why would you shift jobs?
Hats off to the adventures behavior of some who for no specific or clear reasons keep shifting from one job to other and then there are those smart ones who hang on with the role, show their best of work ethics, impress their employers and or team leads with their efforts, discipline & commitment in return of well desired Kiwi work experience and strong work references before they plan to take a leap into the full-time positions.

Should a ‘Shift’ has to happen, make sure it is for a clear and a rational reason. Qualify your decision to shift your job on ‘SHIFT’

S – Study Related, Is the new job related or related better to your field of study?

An IT student working for McDonald’s has now decided to work for Subway
A Business student working for a Car Cleaning Company is now working for a Commercial Cleaning Company
A cookery student working as a Kitchen Hand for one restaurant is working as a Kitchen Hand for other

H – Hours, Do you get better or more working hours in your new job?

A Business student working night shifts with one Security Company started working with another Security Company in almost same night shift hours with a pay-rate increase of $.50/hr

I – Improvement (learn & grow), Do you see yourself implementing your skills and a chance to grow within the ranks of the new Company?

A Business student involved with Door-to-door sales started with selling Energy to Newspaper Subscription to Telephone & Broadband connections. Six month in the country and 3 different jobs.

F – Financial Gains, does the new job give you good financial gains?

I fail to understand why I should shift a job for an extra 50 cents an hour.

T – Transition, Does the new job help you transition from being a casual employee to being part-time or from being part-time to being full-time or from an unskilled role to being in semi to skilled role?

If your answer to one or any question is yes, you can justify the shift but again bear in mind it is equally important to show your stability and create strong work references. One or two jobs in a year are understandable & acceptable. I am not sure how can one justify 4, 5 or 6 shifts.

How should you shift jobs?

Finally if you have decided that you will shift or take up the new role the least you could do is take care of the following points.

  • Honour the notice period if any
  • Give time to your employer to arrange someone in your place, offer a replacement
  • Don’t leave until you have the new offer in your hand
  • Tell your employer before you tell your colleagues, business associates or friends
  • Never trash talk about your employers; it’s OK to discuss your concerns with your councilors & consultants though
  • NEVER…NEVER…NEVER talk rubbish on Facebook or any other Social Media platform about anyone (especially your employer or your work mates). If you have any issues, they should be resolved appropriately through your professional support group
  • Leave with dignity & pride making sure you have had the experience you were looking for and you have a strong work reference
  • Try and maintain your relationship with your old employer, team leads and your work mates
So I conclude by saying don’t just hop/shift jobs for no reasons, make sure you have a justifiable reason for the shift, qualifying your decision on ‘SHIFT’ and be considerate while shifting. Don’t be a job-hopper!!

Raj Singh
Employment Consultant


  1. No words to say you sir.......
    Amazing thought and it is happening with the students.......
    Thanks to you so much to share your thought.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

6 things you should know before you apply for a job in NZ.

Be anyone you want.

You are an asshole!!