Over the past seven years, The Australian Community has connected over 5,800 Australians living in New York.  We reached out to members who have returned home, and asked them to share their perspective on living in NYC and their transition back to Australia.

Q: How did NYC change you professionally?

Kara Landau

Traveling Dietitian

“My time spent abroad in NYC not only enhanced me personally, but it no doubt helped shape my professional career. The respect Australians have for you as a result of your ability to gain experience on a global level, and in particular, a progressive and competitive city such as NYC, ensures huge leaps and bounds can be achieved in a short space of time once you return home. For those that are willing (or wanting) to bring some of the NYC tenacity back to Australian shores, there is no doubt that the sky is the limit when it comes to achieving your goals back at home.”

Kate Collinson

Digital Marketing Consultant

“Had I not lived in New York, I very well might have fallen into place on the well beaten career path. Sure, there’s a bit of scar tissue there. One thing I noticed when I lived in New York was how I had to consciously make an effort to be kind and compassionate. Let’s face it – people move to New York for themselves and their own hopes and dreams, not yours.

It’s basically one big city of type A personalities. Sure, generosity and kindness can be found in a few places (your local bodega, a yoga teacher, a random person on the street), but New Yorkers are mostly living in their own little worlds – carefully crafting their ‘personal brand’ and trying to ensure they’re making the most of living in the greatest city. They’re tough. When you’re surrounded by this every day, it’s important to catch yourself and cultivate some humanity.”

Peter Haasz

VP, Business Development and Strategy

“Compared to Melbourne, New York felt like a place where people were more generous with their networks and more supportive of people willing to go out on a limb with an idea. For example, if you talk to somebody in a bar about an idea, in Melbourne, you’re likely to hear “Interesting, but have you thought of X?” whereas in New York, you’re likely to hear “That’s fantastic! Let me introduce you to X.

Coming home to Melbourne gave me mixed feelings. Melbourne can feel like a place that is far away from where things happen. Overall, I feel better as a human and as a business professional for having lived in New York. I still try to get there at least once a year to ensure I never lose that sense of possibility”.

Jeremy Chapman

Digital Partnerships Manager

“New York taught me to seize opportunities daily. The engaged business community, the energy in the air, the sheer volume of events happening in the city, you can’t help but be in the moment and have a constant opportunistic attitude. This naturally carried over to the work place career. One clear distinction between Australian cities and New York is the diversity and range of opportunities that are available. The relevant transferable roles and then the types of roles and companies you’ve never heard of and wouldn’t normally come across.

I was 3 years in to a career in Finance in Sydney and managed to carve out a desired career in technology during my time in New York. Something that would have perhaps been more of an uphill battle in Australia.”

Juliana Plahn-Brewer

Agency Account Manager

“My job in New York required me to get things done yesterday, and although I worked for an extremely high powered boss in New York, in hindsight I learnt so much that I wouldn’t have in Sydney in a comfortable and familiar environment. I needed to be challenged and to get out of my comfort zone to realize how far I could be pushed to achieve something amazing in my career.

I felt that all the tasks I completed at my job in New York seemed impossible. However, the greatest pleasure I had was when I found a way to complete them. Employees at my workplace in New York said that now that I had experienced working in New York- that no job would be as hard as the one I was doing- and they were right!

Returning back to work in Sydney, my new boss found that I was finishing tasks in half the time, had heightened attention to detail and was always on the lookout for new opportunities. Basically I brought the New York working mentality back to Australia and the efficiency scared people.”

James Boulton

Marketing Performance Manager

“Get out of the city! NYC is a work hard and play hard environment. Go in there with thick skin and an openness to network and meet as many people as possible. The city is full of connections with amazing people and amazing backgrounds but don’t neglect the most important person – you!

It’s very easy to get stuck in the city and never leave. Always something happening and never a dull moment but you must overcome your #FOMO sometimes and allow yourself to recharge….after all, you’ll be working harder than you ever have before!”

Read Part 1 in the Series:

What is it like transitioning back to Oz?

Read Part 3 in the Series:

What advice would you give to Aussies contemplating the move to NYC?

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About The Australian Community

Founded in 2011, we connect more Australians in America.

If you are a professional Australian taking your career to the next level, or the U.S. is the next step in your company’s global expansion, we can connect you to all of the resources you need for success in America.

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