I Left My Job At An MNC In M’sia For A National Produce Line In NZ. This Is How It All Happened

Taking the leap of faith.

Exclusive Story by WeirdKaya – Reproduction requires proper crediting and backlink to us. Kindly acknowledge the efforts of our editors in sourcing and conducting interviews.

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Imagine yourself in this situation: You’re currently holding a job at a reputable multinational company (MNC). At the same time, you’ve got an opportunity to go for a working holiday overseas. Would you rather stay or give it a try?

In an exclusive interview with WeirdKaya, a young lady in her mid-20s shares her story of how she took the leap of faith in pausing her busy work life while embarking on a working holiday journey in New Zealand and how it has benefitted her.

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Vanessa tan at her uni graduation
Provided to WeirdKaya

Stepping foot into an MNC

Like any other graduate of her age, Vanessa Tan, who holds a degree from a university overseas, went around looking for a job and eventually was able to secure one at a reputable online shopping platform in late 2021.

For her, getting a job there was a blessing as it’s common knowledge that it’s no easy feat to land a position, let alone secure a job interview.

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I went around scouring for information about the company and applied for a job via its website. After several rounds of interviews, I was blessed to get the job offer.

“At my former company, I am responsible for the curation content to ensure the quality and legitimacy of the listings on the platform.

“Also, I was accountable for the platform’s compliance with Intellectual Property (IP) laws based on brand complaints and the authenticity of the listings. The main idea was to maintain the platform free from counterfeits and IP rights violation issues,” she explained.

Vanessa tan with colleagues at shopee
Provided to WeirdKaya

Throughout her time at the company, Vanessa said her work experience was largely positive thanks to the working culture and supporting system despite her heavy workload.

“As a whole, the working culture was great and I had a lot of supportive colleagues. However, overtime and heavy workload have driven me to take a step back to reconsider the definition of work-life balance.”

An opportunity for her to slow down

Although Vanessa was enjoying her work at the MNC, the thought of hitting the ‘pause button’ on her busy life has popped up in her mind.

“Going on a working holiday has always been in my bucket list and I began doing my own research in my early 20s as well as gathering feedback from those who had already gone through it.
Vanessa 1
Provided to WeirdKaya

“Originally I planned to apply for it during my late-20s, but based on the feedback I got, I realised it may take years to secure a quota where there were certain criteria that needed to be met, such as applying for it before you turn 30 and being eligible only once in your lifetime,” she said.

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Not knowing whether she would be successful in her application and having taken the buffer time into consideration, Vanessa submitted her application along with a payment of approximately 455NZD (RM1,320) as her first attempt.

Much to her surprise, her application was successful approved by the New Zealand government in less than two weeks — a far cry from her friend’s experience, who tried unsuccessfully for more than three years.

While thrilled over her successful application, Vanessa admitted that she struggled over whether to take up the offer or stay at her occupied yet comfortable zone.

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Vannesa 1
Provided to WeirdKaya

It took me time to decide because I loved my job despite my heavy workload.

“However, the majority of my time was mainly focused on work without realising the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. That’s why I felt it was time for me to take the offer and treat it as my career break.

“Furthermore, I saw my successful application as a ‘sign’ for me to broaden my horizon and take a step back from my busy work life.” she shared.

During the grace period following her successful application, Vanessa transitioned out of her job while kick-starting her plan in New Zealand before embarking on the new chapter of her life.

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As she sat on the plane en route to New Zealand, Vanessa said she was filled with excitement along with a tinge of sadness over having to be away from her family and friends.

“Thankfully,  my family and friends were quite supportive of my plans and it wasn’t like I was leaving for 10 years or more. So, everything was alright for me.”

Living & working in New Zealand

Upon touching down in Auckland, Vanessa took a week to settle down, Meanwhile, she obtained her first seasonal job and a place to stay for her next stop at Te Puke, a town that’s widely known for its kiwifruit cultivation.

I left my job at an mnc in m’sia for a national produce line in nz. This is how it all happened | weirdkaya
Provided to WeirdKaya

According to Vanessa, working holiday visa holders like her work as seasonal workers who handle tasks related to the current season’s produce. In her case, it was the kiwi season.

“I’m currently working night shifts at one of the largest national produce companies in New Zealand from 7pm to 5am (3pm-1am Malaysian time), six days a week. My main task is like the final round of quality control, where I’m responsible for ensuring the quality of the produce pallets before they are shipped away,” she explained.

Vanessa tan checking kiwi pallets in new zealand
Provided to WeirdKaya

While most would find it difficult to adapt to the different time zones, Vanessa had little problems doing so thanks to the time she spent adjusting to the New Zealand time before starting her first position.

When asked whether the living cost in New Zealand is too high to cope with, Vanessa said that it was more than enough to get by with her pay.

“I’m not into shopping and my main expenses either go to my rent or groceries. So, I believe it’s sufficient for me,” she quipped.

No regrets

While some might have a tinge of regret over leaving their comfort zone and stepping into the unknown, Vanessa does not hold such sentiment regarding her decision to do so.

Personally, I think our decisions shape our present, and there is no time machine to redo what we’ve chosen. Rather than having regrets, having the courage to take trials matters.

“I believe that my current experience in New Zealand will benefit my perspectives, expand my connections, broaden my horizons, and build my skills in handling difficult situations,” she said.

Vanessa also added that thanks to the working holiday, it has allowed her to fully immerse herself in the lifestyle and culture of a foreign country, as what inspired her during her study abroad.

Vanessa tan in sweden
Provided to WeirdKaya

‘Embrace life’s uncertainties’

When asked whether she would recommend her peers to embark on the same journey as she did, her answer was a resounding yes.

Vanessa tan and friends in nz
Provided to WeirdKaya

I believe a working holiday is a precious and unique experience and it’s one that your future self will thank you for.

“I understand that you may be able to maintain at a stable pace in the corporate world, but if you ever have the chance to take a pause from your busyness with life’s uncertainties, just go for it,” she shared.

I left my job at an mnc in m’sia for a national produce line in nz. This is how it all happened | weirdkaya
Provided to WeirdKaya

Currently, Vanessa’s working holiday visa is due to expire in August and she’s looking to extend it. She added that she would like to continue exploring the scenic country before returning to her homeland, Malaysia.


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