Finding work through volunteering
Shambhavi, the partner of an established migrant found her way in New Zealand through volunteering.
Hi, I'm Shambhavi Manjrekar. I am from India and a city called Mumbai.
I came here to New Zealand in December 2010 that's because I got married to Amit Kudo.
I was homesick initially because I was just telling Amit I want to go back home and he was like no, you know - give it some time. You just arrived to this country.
Amit told me that you should start volunteering and that's how you would get to know people. You would make contacts. The more you venture out of the house, you'll socialize, you'll make new friends, and, I was at home and I was like let me just go through all the websites and see what's the best for me and he gave me a couple of names like Citizens Advice Bureau, Volunteer Wellington, Volunteering New Zealand. So I happened to contact Volunteer Wellington, and they were like, why don't you come to our office? And it was really sweet of them, they were very warm and welcoming
When I started volunteering with Volunteer Wellington that's how I exactly know how New Zealand market functions, how it works, what the work culture is, what do people expect of you, what are your expectations from the employer, what are your rights as an employee, what are you rights as an employer … that's how I made contacts and then I was offered job and that's how my part time employment began and then we moved to Auckland.
… and also Amit got a job here, he got promoted. That was the main reason to move to Auckland.
When we moved to Auckland, I moved to Auckland with a two-month-old baby, and that was a big challenge because we didn't have friends. We didn't know anybody in Auckland, so that was difficult – you know, it was another challenge to find a job, find a paid employment, because you don't have that much of time to go on the internet, to apply for jobs, go for interviews, and especially when you don't have help, you know, and your husband is working – so … I gave it sometime and it took me six months to find a new job, and that's when I got my first break in Auckland, and I started working into HR again for a construction. I worked there for nine months, and then the opportunity with the Salvation Army clicked, and I started working at the Salvation Army after nine months.
Oh when I first started working here in New Zealand, what surprised me most was the morning tea and the tea breaks. We don't have that culture back home. We don't have standard hours of work like the way we have here you start work at eight, you finish work either at four or five.
If Amit and I were working back home we would hardly get any time to spend with each other - that's what my friends are facing back home. They're frustrated because they don't have enough time to spend with their partners or their families. I personally like the work culture here in New Zealand. I think it, that it just helps you balance your family life as well and I think work life balance is important.
The worst day that I recall I had it was since I've come to New Zealand is the one, when I had my baby with me, he's crying and I had no help and that's when I missed my mom the most. And that's when I missed my family the most, I was homesick. Amit was at work, he couldn't take a day off, so - and I was a young mother and I'm like I don't know what to do, being a first time mother I had no help, so I literally cried, and I was like, have I made the wrong choice, have I made the wrong decision – of you know, settling here in New Zealand?
Now when I sit back and think and when I see my two and a half-year-old going happily to the day care and looking forward to go to his day care, I have made the right decision.