Since leaving London 3 years ago my life has been a series of visa applications.
Legally you can’t enter or do anything in a country without one, yet is seems even with one life is just as impossible.
It took me 3 years and 3 visas to get residency in NZ. And even then the residency came with conditions which meant in fact it wasn’t residency at all.
Circumstance and a relationship then brought me to Australia meaning I had to give up that NZ visa I had worked so hard for and paid out over $5000 for. But at the end of the day that was my choice and I accept that.
So here I am. I have been in Australia for 3 months now. I’m here on a working holiday visa which allows me to work for 6 months to fund my travels and life here. Well a chance would be a fine thing.
I have applied for over 50 jobs in the past 2 months. This includes jobs I am way over qualified for, that I have 10 years experience in, or jobs that don’t require any experience at all.
Rejection after rejection. And not because I’m not skilled, don’t have the experience or I’m simply not likeable. But because of that word ‘visa’. No one will give me a chance.
Now my CV is a robust one. No holes or gaps in employment. I have held down long term jobs. Even in NZ I was in my last position for 3 years so clearly I am not a flight risk. Have worked my way up through places from general admin assistant to the PA to the director.
I want to work. I enjoy work. I love working in an office full of people and building relationships. I don’t call in sick unnecessarily. I am never late.
Yet everyday my partner comes home and moans about his staff. These moans extend from not showing up on time, or not showing up at all. Multiple sick calls with endless excuses, headaches, back aches, hangovers (well obviously she didn’t admit to that one but got caught out by her own snapchat stories on that one). One staff member between his sickness and his child’s sickness has not worked a whole week in over 2 months!! Family dramas and divorce battles you name it. Now it’s not that I don’t have sympathy for some of this but these people don’t want to work. Work isn’t s priority for them and they only do it to pay the bills and if they don’t feel like work then they just don’t bother.
It upsets me that people get away with that behaviour in the workplace and I get overlooked because of a word in my passport.
If I were to run a business I would probably favour people on visas. Take for example my last job in NZ. I worked there for nearly 3 years to secure my visa through work sponsorship. I worked hard and took a lot of crap that others wouldn’t have stood for. But I knew I would get a better life at the end of it so I pulled up my socks and did the work. Colleagues came and left during hard times but I was the one still standing at the end.
I have to work. I can’t afford to live without it. And therefore if and when I find a job I will make it my priority. I am not entitled to any benefits or help from the government and believe me I wouldn’t even expect it. But what to do you do when you are desperate to work but just cannot get a break!?
Until then I will spend my days scrolling through job sites, filling out applications that I know will inevitably not even be read. Merticulously updating my CV and LinkedIn.
In all honesty it’s soul destroying. I question whether leaving a good job in London to explore this side of the world was ever worth it. I’m a good person, no criminal convictions, a good solid work ethic, I don’t do drugs, I don’t cheat others. But the way the visa system treats you makes you feel so worthless, like you are a bad human being for chasing another life.
This place has captured my heart. But if people will not give people like me a chance what hope do I stand of making a life?
I wish people could just see beyond the word visa and understand the person behind it, striving to work hard and make a life for themselves.