Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Missing Link Part II

Since the first Missing Link post generated even more questions from readers, thought I will do a more succinct Part II to help those still in doubt paint a clearer picture with regards to initial job-hunt issues. 

FAQ #1: Is it compulsory for you to have a job in Australia before you apply for PR?

NO, NO, a thousand times NO! Said it here, here and here. Nuff' said.

FAQ #2: Is it compulsory for you to work in the same field / occupation as your ANZSCO nominated occupation?

So far, NO for Permanent Residency Subclasses 189 and 190. You can read it from the DIBP website if you have doubts. If you think about it, the policy does not disadvantage Australia much - regardless of your occupation, you will be paying taxes once you start working. I believe Immigration also assumes that since you are skilled and qualified in a particular occupation, you are highly likely to look for a job in Oz in the same field. That's a fair assumption to make. 

FAQ #3: Since I came over as a qualified teacher, am I currently working / intending to work as a teacher in Oz?

No, thankfully I am not.

FAQ #4: Why am I no longer working as a teacher in Oz?

For a number of reasons, actually. Firstly, it is a huge administrative hassle to apply for full teacher registration in Australia. The education is each state is managed slightly differently but all states require teachers to formally register with the state's teaching authorities in order to obtain a 'license' to actually teach in a school. To complicate matters, I can only apply for teaching registration after the PR grant, the registration process requires me to submit another ton of certified documents, the processing time is long and the full registration only lasts one year! Subsequent renewal is easier compared to the first registration but still... Oh did I mention that teachers also have to pay an annual fee to renew their registration? No wonder there are teacher shortages here. The policies make it difficult even more existing local teachers.

Teaching has become one of the most difficult jobs around... Kudos to those in the profession for the right reasons!

Secondly, teachers in Victoria are not as adequately paid as their counterparts from other states. When I was still in the midst of PR application in Feb to March last year, the Victorian teachers and principals were having massive strikes about their salary issues. That didn't paint a very good picture. I also happened to know next to nothing about the school curriculum and school culture in Australia before we migrated. Not very confidence-inspiring.

Lastly (and perhaps the most compelling reason of all), I simply had too many unpleasant experiences in those 4 long years as a teacher. Suffice to say those experiences left an intangible scar in my life, so potentially re-living certain aspects of a teaching life did not seem particularly appealing. Migrating represented a new chapter in life - for me it also represented an opportunity for a new chapter in my career.

I hope those who have aspirations to migrate to Oz as a teacher are not overly put off by the reasons I have given above. They may not apply to you. I do believe teaching in its purest form is a noble profession. 

FAQ #5: Did I initially have any concerns about what I can do here since I have chosen not to teach?

Of course! Migration is fraught with uncertainties. Job-hunting is only one aspect of all the uncertainties involved (although it is a major one). I decided, however, not to let these 'concerns' or worries hinder my job hunting, instead focusing my energies on sourcing for the job itself. For me, this worked pretty well.

Perhaps you are curious as to what jobs you can do/apply for if you cannot find a job in your primary area of expertise. That really depends on your interest and how experienced or talented you are in your field. Readers who have watched the Bollywood hit 'The 3 Idiots' may remember the main character played by Aamir Khan saying that it's pointless to blindly pursue success. If one pursues excellence, success will follow behind.

One of the best movies of 2009 IMHO.

Till next time!
- A


  1. So, what are u working as now?

  2. Hi A, the admin hassle you mentioned applies to both public and private schools? Thanks.

  3. Hi! Thank you for your post!
    I too was a secondary school teacher before I decided to resign and take on another job. While as a teacher, I managed to secure my Permanent Residence visa and I intend to make the move next Feb. I thought i was quite fixed in applying for my masters in education, maybe early childhood or special education but somehow what you mentioned 'pointless to blindly pursue success' hit home. It is a good reminder to me, to ask myself what do i really want to do in life. Am i pursuing further studies for the sake of pursuing? for the sake of 'answering' to my family that I am 'not wasting my life' away. Frankly speaking, I cant even give you a good answer as to why I applied for the visa. I know i want to step out of my comfort zone, but exactly why such a drastic step, I cant really give a valid answer.

    Anyhow, yup, I just want to say thank you! =) Maybe I would see the both of you next year when i move, if i move to melboure.