Johanna Pitman

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“If someone has been overseas 10-20 years, they have very specialised skills…In a sense, they can bring a skill set you didn’t know you needed. Whereas in a skill shortage, it is all about an identified need.”

While the headline of a ‘skills shortage’ appears to be welcome news for any Australian expat planning to come home and find a new role, CEO of Johanna Pitman warns it may not be the silver bullet expat think it is.

Johanna speaks from her experience not only as CEO of the professional network for global Australians who works with industry, government and Australia’s overseas expat community, but also as a 15-year expat herself who returned home in 2007.

Expats who are specialists in their field or who have spent 10 to 20 years away from Australia, need to be conscious of their ‘specialised skills set’. This skills set can have advantages delivering Australian organisations skills they ‘didn’t know they needed’ but can also be challenging in a skills shortage where organisations are looking for very specific skills to be met.  Johanna offers advice for how expats should approach the today’s local job market and how they should best position themselves and their experience.


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