Well, I think it is time to discuss the "working" part of our our working holiday. Armed with a one year working visa for New Zealand, that allows us to pick up contract work with the same employer for the full 12 months, my job hunt started a month or two prior to leaving Canada.
My first step was revamping my resume to meet the format used here. There was not much tweaking before I had it sorted out to my liking. I decided leave as much detail as could even though I did not expect to be working at the same level or in the same industries as I had at home.
My next step was finding the most popular job search website in NZ. I uploaded my resume to http://www.seek.co.nz/ and started applying for positions.
I kept an open mind and applied for as many positions as I could (at least 200). With my resume I included a cover letter that spelled out my employment goals, visa information, and skill summary.
I started getting feedback from employers advising that they do not regularly pursue employees until the are in the country. I still kept applying and eventually was contacted by five different recruiting companies and set up interviews with them. It was great to speak with them to get a feel for the work climate here and what type of positions I could expect to find.
I was told to bring proof of my degree and I also brought a stack of reference letters so that there would not be any issues verifying my employment history as a result of the time difference. I also decided to bring a suit in order to be a formal as possible for interviews. Generally the level of dress here is fairly casual but I was told on more than one occasion that the suit was a good idea.
Upon arrival I re-connected with the recruiters and supplied current contact information. I then met with them in person. Because we arrived a couple weeks before Christmas I was not expecting much. Most companies shut down between Christmas and New Years with many of them not stating back up until well into the New Year. I was in luck though and had an opportunity to interview for an administrative position in a New Zealand based insurance brokerage. I ended up being successful with the interview and signed a six month contract that started on the ninth of January.
It ended up being a short but fruitful search that will allow us to save up here for some more future travelling. The only advice I can give for anyone that decides to do something similar is to be patient, be prepared and don't try to force things to meet your wants, just be confident and see what happens.