Returning to Australia

For some, returning home is a difficult transition. Members of the Australian Diaspora have shared their frustrations and experiences below.  


“I have been back for just over a year after 5 years in New York and its certainly been a very difficult transition for a number of reasons. I only just secured a new role this week and found during the time I was looking that many recruiters, and a few employers, had a real problem with my global experience. 

I got quite a few negative comments about being away such as "well you won’t be up to date with current legislation" etc, which is nonsense through to the blatant "we won’t even consider people who have been offshore - we, and our clients will only consider people who have never left the country". It was certainly a shock hearing such comments and incredibly disappointing given the gov’t is constantly saying we need global talent yet for many expats who return the experience is just the opposite - we find no one is interested in our global experience. I have heard of quite a few who have then given up and left the country again

Such a contrast to the US where I found employers and recruiters were chasing anyone who had lived offshore. A lot of that can be attributed to lazy recruiters who have no ability to influence their clients but it was so widespread I was shocked.” Jane Hollman


“Yes, Jane. I spoke to one recruiting agency in Oz, where the representative was a young person from the UK (funny that - a foreigner!). They said the same - my international experience was of limited value. I know that it has a high value because I have learnt more about international organisations / companies and how they can work with Australian organisations, and coupled with my Australian experience, it gives me broader understanding and deeper knowledge.” Dave Grealy


“Apart from a vague preference for my step-son to finish his last years of schooling in Australia, and the knowledge that my Mother was in her 80's, there was nothing particular that led to my return to Australia other than the timing of the opportunity. 

After a lot of near misses, the Perth opportunity was simply the first one to go all the way; made additionally attractive by having strong family connections to the west. 

My current job search is covering similar ground, although I find that the remoteness of Australia means you need to be a near perfect fit for the position before the (mainly) UK-based recruiters will trouble themselves with the time zone difference.”  Matthew Williams


“I attended various Advance events in London during my 2000 - 2005 five years while working in Europe. One event involved Cate Blanchett which was a film event. 

I returned to Australia to bring my expertise back to the mother country and aspire to do a start-up, of which I am in the middle of number 3 start-up, so all is going to plan. 

I joined the group as there are often like-minded entrepreneurs or otherwise Aussies returning home who might need advice on the resettling back home with career advice. I know from first-hand experience that it can be tough even though you have a world of international experience.”  Warwick Peel


“I thought I had lived in too many countries and as a result no-one would be interested in hiring me. I found a job in a regional office (in Singapore admittedly) where we built a regional team - that I had an understanding of many of the countries was thus an advantage as it provided an instant 'comfort zone' for the new members of the team. It took another person to see the positives for me! 

Having worked contracts, you have the advantage of having seen many different systems and methods, and presumably are able to filter out the not so good from the great approaches to solving common problems. You could also try a firm that aspires to providing advice for companies wanting to set up in the UK, or with offices in both countries.” Jane Sugden