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A matter of over-experience?

Is it possible to be too experienced for the Australian market?

This is what some of you have been claiming in the comments on our recent article on the seeming lack of Australian jobs. Off the record, recruiters say it’s true.

The problem seems to be that the lure of the Sydney lifestyle is encouraging bankers from overseas to apply for jobs that are way too junior for them. And local recruiters just aren’t buying it.

“We do tend to get people coming from overseas who are happy to apply for jobs just to give something a go, even if they may be above the skill level,” says one. “The market doesn’t really want to entertain them because they want someone who’s going to be working their way up towards a job rather than stepping back just to take it on temporarily.”

Given that Australia’s a tiny financial centre compared to, say, the City of London or Wall Street, Matthew Gribble, associate director at Michael Page, says there just isn’t the depth of roles here and migratory bankers can’t find their niche. “It’s quite common for people who have worked at banks in London and New York or major financial services centres that are much larger than Sydney to come with very specialised skills in a certain area,” he says. “So they may not find that same kind of job as they had in one of those markets in Australia – they may find that they’d be coming in at a broader role.”

Comments (8)

  1. I am very disappointed and nervous after reading the comments. I am joining Melbourne Business School in Jan 2008.

    I have 5 years exp in IT, india+germany. have a big brand name on my resume. So i was hoping that after finishing my MBA, i will get a good job in Australia.

    But i dont know what to do now. should i not join MBS? any experiences about the school in particular. or about the job market for fresh MBAs?

  2. this article relates to jobs in finance and not IT

  3. Attracted by lifestyle, repelled by ignorance, stupidity and a pursuit of all things mediocre!

    MBA want my advice go to the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, by-pass the (un)clever country and its mediocrity.

    Quote “Given that Australia’s a tiny financial centre….”Unquote from Original Article. Yes a tiny financial centre with an equally tiny brain. The issue is tall poppy syndrome, which Australia and the HR industry are turned into an artform.

    Why is it that non ex-pat locals are promoted above their level of imcompetency, whilst those returning from overseas are over experienced, to intelligent, to much of a threat to those around them and the list could continue…………?

    A wealth of knowledge floods this country and yet as a nation we fail to take advantage of this, yet Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA embrace this knowledge and grow stronger.

    Look at how Singapore has grown and developed with no natural rescources except the talent and brains it has managed to attract, a country where excellence is actively pursued.

    What happened to the Australian idea of giving people a fair go?

    More HR excuses!!…..PLEASE!! What a ………………………. Reply
  4. Reality is, if you have spent any time working overseas, the quality of jobs you have done far exceeds those available in the Australian market. My answer is to go back overseas. Pay is great, lifestyle is great, tax system is great and you dont have small minded employers or recruiters to deal with.

  5. The market in Australia is rather small by international standards and employers favor experience and local knowledge over education. High flying degrees like MBA dont carry the same level of reputation in the Aust market when compared to US, Asia etc. So it would be a waste to do the MBA, unless you want to use it in USA, Singapore, hongkong etc markets.

  6. In defence of the Recruitment industry, we are acting on instruction so please don’t blame the middle man because we are an easy target.

    The fundamental problem remains that the banking market in Australia is small and there are simply not enough opportunities for everyone to slot in. What happens to those locals who do not want to go offshore? Surely loyalty should be rewarded, especially when the next generation do not undertand the meaning of the word.

  7. Re: Anon’s Comment

    It’s now clear from an HR’s point of view that it is not quality recruitment but loyalty is the name of the game. Loyalty should be put in the different perspective. This is the reason I suppose that new migrants have a real difficuty of finding jobs in Australia even if more qualified than the locals.

    It seems the equal opportunity law here and other non-discriminatory regulations have been forgotten. It’s a wake up call.

  8. Good point. I hadn’t tuoghht about it quite that way. :)

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