I read a Herald article last week which has been part of an employment-based theme that has been taking place for the last decade or so.

Highly skilled professionals who are sick of big city mortgages and costs, take their industry leading skills and work experience to the provinces. I have a number of friends who have done this successfully, selling their house in town and using this capital to set themselves up very nicely in Dunedin, Whanganui and Oamaru. For many, the transition is seamless, trading a high-paying job with a lot of responsibility for a role in beautiful rural New Zealand, with less stress and more family time.

The "Overqualified" trap

However, for many, it's not smooth sailing, as they are seen as "far too overqualified" for a role they can (and genuinely wish to) do standing on their head.


A good friend who has been an industry leader across the national marketing and PR industry, decided to make this transition recently. However for her, it has not been all smooth sailing. She has found many employers and managers are threatened by the skills and expertise she can bring to the local market, locking her out of great new personal and employment opportunities.

Sadly I agree that many provinces in New Zealand are missing out on world-leading talent, as some local managers feel they may be pushed out of their own role in the future by this "Jafa". However, there are two ways to market yourself to these types of people that will increase the chance of a positive outcome.

Ensure clear understanding

Helping an employer understand the reasons for why you are wishing to "step down" from a glamorous city-based executive role is vital. Ensure they are aware of the key points you wish to trade: less stress, more family time, shorter commute. The more you can help them see your vision, the stronger position you will be in.

Luxury sedan for the price of a Supercar

Another great option is to help them understand that for the same price as a luxury sedan they can get a supercar! In your CV, cover letter and interview make this very clear early on, helping them to transition their thinking from "threat" to "partnership". Let them understand that when you succeed in your role, you will assist them to succeed in theirs.

Small minded?

At the end of the day however, if a person is too small-minded and threatened to employ someone who can really change their business (and their local community) for the good, you have to ask yourself, would you want to work for that person?


I think we would all answer a resounding "no".

Contact Tom for a free LinkedIn or CV review, or to be your personal career coach. Visit CareerCoach.nz or CV.co.nz to find out more.