Kiwi Working


How to Find Work Straight Away on a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

If you’ve recently arrived in New Zealand, it can be a minefield trying to find a job that will:

A. Pay the bills
B. Be in an enjoyable environment with like-minded people
C. Give you an experience of the local economy / culture that you can learn from

First, you might need to set some expectations around what is available if you don’t have a skill set that is in high demand.
There will always be plenty of farm work and factory/ labor work available for those that like the outdoors or just want to extend their current one year visa, but there are two areas that can offer you all three options above outside of labor based roles.


When applying for roles, the first thing to ask is whether the role has a base salary or whether it is a commission only role. The majority of low level ‘face to face’ sales roles (meaning door to door to selling on the street direct to individuals) are on a 100% commission basis.

If you rate yourself as a sales superstar with the gift of gab, then this can give you a high earning potential, but be warned, as there are plenty of cowboy employers out there that will re-neg on commission payments and will over promise on the role and income that you can make. A sales role on 100% commission means that you are not guaranteed a wage at the end of the week!! The safest and best bet is to look for a phone-based role with a reputable company that may even offer you an opportunity for visa sponsorship in the future.

Normally B2B (business to business) sales roles will pay a higher base and offer better work conditions. They are also generally 9-5 roles, as opposed to many door-to-door and consumer-based sales roles. By working in this type of role, you will not only increase your earning potential but will also learn some great skills that you can take with you on your career journey. As Kiwis are generally a laid-back bunch, your sales pitch will not normally be greeted with a phone slammed down or a rude response, as is the case in many other countries.


The best way to get a job in a bar or restaurant is to pick an establishment that you would like to work in and go directly there with a resume in hand and a positive, happy attitude. You’d be amazed at what can be achieved by taking the initiative, and more often than not, larger establishments will have multiple shift-based opening for casual employees.

In hospitality, by approaching the employer directly, you might get you a job offer on the spot or at least a trial. Just remember that you need to have your liquor license to serve customers alcohol in New Zealand.

Now that you know which kind of roles are the best ones to make quick cash as working holiday visa holder, you can start looking for the right job for you.

However, if you want to find a more specific job or stay longer in New Zealand, you should start looking for options and ways to extend your current visa as soon as possible. “If you have any intention of staying long term or if you are looking for a good quality job down under, you should find someone that can help you to get prepared and that can offer you employment opportunities, migration advice, and possible study options.”

Our tip is to look for companies that can point you in the right direction and that specialize in jobs positions for non-residents. They will not only link you to employers looking for WHV staff but also help you with visa options and possible sponsorship.

Good luck!

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