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Wellington is a place where it’s easy to enjoy life, while also getting the job done. Work-life balance well and truly exists in this region rich in scenery, cuisine, culture and the great outdoors. Wellington recorded the highest satisfaction rates with life in general, in the Nielsen Quality of Life survey.
“For me, the perfect Wellington weekend starts on Saturday with a run,” says Sam, “Then I head off to the Underground Markets on the waterfront. At night I head down to Chow for dinner and cocktails with friends.
“Sundays are usually pretty relaxed, with a stop in at the produce markets by Te Papa to pick up weekly groceries, followed by brunch at a favourite cafe. Afternoons are spent at the beach or walking the hills that surround the Wellington region.”
Workplaces in Wellington have a welcoming and relaxed work culture. The ethos is ‘work hard, play hard’, meaning commitment to meeting team goals is expected and rewarded.
Smaller teams are less hierarchical, so people need to work together and be flexible in order to meet project goals. It also provides learning and development opportunities.
“Every day I look forward to hanging out and creating awesome stuff with my colleagues,” says Sam. “If we need to pull a late one we’ll order in Pizza Pomodoro and head to Golding’s Free Dive for drinks after. We often bounce ideas over a table tennis match. One day I’ll win a game!”
Only 62% of Wellingtonians rely on a car as their main mode of transport, compared with the New Zealand average of 84%. As well as a reliable and frequent bus network, Wellingtonians are known for walking, running and riding to work.
“I live on Tennyson Street, right in the heart of the CBD,” explains Sam. “It only takes me six minutes to walk to work in the morning. After work I can go for a run around the bays or up to Mount Victoria, depending on where the energy levels are.”
“One of the best things about Wellington is that it’s compact, so everything is handy,” says Sam. “There are so many lunch spots near our office that I can try something new every time I go out. Although I do have some favourites – nachos at Midnight Espresso, or a burger at Ekim. Mid-afternoon, a coffee and salted caramel cookie from Leeds St Bakery – two minutes away – is hard to resist.”
In Wellington you can be part of a vibrant economy that’s open-minded and globally-connected, yet still collaborative and supportive. Companies such as Carnival Mobile, Weta Digital, 8i, Xero and Social Code work with clients throughout the world from their Wellington base, with Carnival Mobile and Social Code also having offices in New York and San Francisco respectively.
“One of the first things I do in the morning is check in with our New York office on Slack,” says Sam. “We collaborate with them on projects before their day finishes, then we get stuck in to getting it done in Wellington. It’s a nice rhythm to the day.”
Take a look at all the career opportunities available in Wellington.
Wellington is a tech-oriented city teeming with start-ups, SMEs and global game-changers. It's a hub of connectivity and energy; a city built around doing.
What people love about working here is the collaborative community, with people from all backgrounds and at all levels being generous with their time and ideas.
“It’s a creative, innovative community where there’s always something to learn,” says Sam.
Take a look at IT jobs in Wellington.
The Carnival Mobile team founded the world's first iPhone app company in 2007, and have led strategy and development of more than 120 apps for Fortune 500 brands. With 15 #1 apps under their belt, you might say they’ve found the secret to keeping mobile communities engaged. From their offices in Wellington and New York, Carnival Mobile has led mobile strategy for global powerhouses like Mondelez, AB InBev, CNN, DreamWorks and Kraft.
"The variety and opportunities are endless," says Sam.
Tucked between harbour and hills, Wellington has over 360km of walking and biking trails. An ocean swim, hilltop stroll or waterfront jog is a lunchtime favourite with many workers, with the compact CBD meaning the city’s offices are just a quick walk away from either.
“I love to run, and finding a new track around the city is really exciting,” says Erin.
“On the weekend I also like to wander around Oriental Parade, walking the dog and maybe taking a dip in the harbour. The ultimate Wellington weekend would also include checking out the shops on Cuba Street, coffee and cake at Loretta, heading up to the Botanic Gardens to take in the view, dinner at Ortega, then checking out a band at Havana.”
Xero accounting software is among New Zealand’s biggest ICT success stories. Formed in Wellington in 2006 - where its global headquarters remain - the company has expanded internationally, with offices in Australia, the UK and US. In June 2014, Xero topped the Forbes Magazine "100 most innovative growth companies" list.
"The company is full of opportunity", Erin says.
“Xero is expanding globally and hiring like crazy - there’s a diverse range of ICT roles available. We have digital marketers, SEO specialists, PR roles, production managers… but it’s not all developers and coding. I work in strategy – the most interesting part...at least in my opinion!“
Even in fast-growing companies like Xero, a laidback-but-professional Wellington work culture is the norm. People like to feel a personal connection to their team and teammates, and collaboration, rather than competition, is encouraged.
“When I started at Xero four and half years ago there were 50 of us. Now there are over 1000 staff and people are always asking me how they can get a job here,” says Erin. “Often in an afternoon I’ll take a walk around our offices, introduce myself to new people and catch up with others. We’re growing fast, but face-to-face conversations are often very inspiring.”
Xero owns a suite of paddle boards, bought to make the most of the Wellingtons beautiful, accessible waterfront, and giving Xero staff some lunchtime fun.
Wellington’s layout enables an inner city lifestyle that, thanks to bush-clad hills and a wide open harbour, feels compact but not compressed. Only 62% of Wellingtonians rely on a car as their main mode of transport, compared with the New Zealand average of 84%.
“City living in Wellington is still affordable,” Erin says. “Everything important in my life is within 2-3 blocks of my home (work, friends, restaurants, waterfront, my yoga studio). I walk to work in the morning, stopping on the way to grab a flat white from Bernie’s on the Bay.”
It’s an exciting time to work in ICT in Wellington, which is experiencing a Silicon Valley-like boom. Developing digital exports and enhancing the city’s knowledge economy means the close-knit creative community is pumping with projects, challenges and innovations.
“There’s always something brewing in this place,” says Erin, “a product release, a new office opening somewhere in the world, an extra paddleboard purchased for our boatshed - which I have gone out on in the harbour a lot this summer. There is never a dull moment!”
Search Wellington jobs.
Wellington is a progressive city with a can-do and collaborative attitude. Long a fertile environment for artists, a creative community of a new kind are feeding off the energy of New Zealand’s culture capital.
“Wellington is a funky little city with a laidback culture,” explains Erin. “I love that I can wear Chucks to work and not feel under-dressed".
“I’m part of the Women in Tech community which is really thriving. It feels like, especially here in Wellington, we have the power to bring balance to what’s traditionally seen as a male dominated field.”
Wellington has rich farmland on one side and the ocean on the other. Fresh ingredients are right on hand - Sunday is grocery day for city dwellers, who flock to the popular (and very affordable) waterfront food markets.
The capital city’s mix of cultures and culinary influences has led to a thriving cuisine scene, which has been described by Vogue as ‘a locavore’s dream’.
Erin, like most Wellingtonians, is happy to take advantage.
“There are so many places to find great food all just a short walk away in Wellington. We’re really lucky. I recently discovered The Greek Food Truck on the waterfront and it’s now become a regular.”
With the most highly-educated population in New Zealand and a world-leading screen sector that attracts both significant capital investment and expertise to the city, Wellington is fertile ground for startups.
Wellington has the highest concentration of web-based and digital companies in New Zealand. Combined with an enviable lifestyle and low cost of living, the region is fast becoming the hottest tech enterprise hub in Asia-Pacific.
"It’s a great time to be working in the sector", says Zheng, who migrated to New Zealand from Australia with her family in 2000. “I think Wellington is New Zealand’s Silicon Valley. There are already a lot of high-growth tech companies to invest in, as well as great quality of life.”
Take a look at all the great jobs going in Wellington.
Wellington’s layout enables an inner city lifestyle that allows you to make the most of every minute. Traffic jams are not a daily talking point…or even a feature, really. Only 62% of Wellingtonians rely on a car as their main mode of transport, compared with the New Zealand average of 84%.
Like many Wellingtonians, Zheng’s daily commute is more like a weekend stroll.
“I live in an inner city apartment and walk to work along the edge of the harbour. I’ll pick up a coffee or jasmine tea from Mojo along the way, and by the time I’ve finished it, I’m at my desk, ready to go.”
Even in tech sectors, personal relationships are key to sealing deals and driving business forward. Rated as a ‘walker’s paradise’ by WalkScore.com, Wellington makes it easy to move beyond email, phone calls and video conferencing to build deeper working relationships.
“I love to take the opportunity for a spontaneous coffee catch-up with a client,” Zheng says.
“Wellington is nice and compact, so it’s easy to walk to a meeting with practically anyone. Often a walk with coffee along the waterfront, chatting about my client’s business has both of us buzzing with ideas.”
To compete in a global marketplace, Wellington’s tech sector recognises the benefits of working together for growth. A series of incubators, accelerator programmes, networking events and investment schemes are designed to help fuel the growth of the community as a whole.
Zheng plays a leadership role in that effort.
“We’re part of a close-knit, supportive tech community in Wellington, filled with world-class entrepreneurs who are approachable and always willing to help. I sit on the advisory board for the Summer of Tech initiative, which places students in paid industry internships. It’s all about maximising people’s potential.”
Flexibility and innovation are two of the keys to success in a fast-moving marketplace. Wellington has always attracted artists and is now inspiring a whole new generation of digital creative talent. By absorbing and enhancing that culture within the team, Zing Design has successfully collaborated with a wide range of clients from software developers and not-for-profits, to banks and investment companies.
“No two days are ever the same at Zing Design,” says Zheng, “and I love the fantastic team I get to share those days with. Right now, I’m listening to the Zing Design playlist through Spotify, which is curated by the staff. It’s a really nice way to get a feel for our individual and collective spirit at any given time.”
A busy schedule of industry events regularly brings international experts and entrepreneurs to the city. Events such as Webstock, WDCNZ, EdTech for Export, AnimFX NZ and TEDxTeAro bring some of the brightest industry names from around the world together with Wellington’s best for seminars, workshops and a collegial craft beer or two.
“It’s important we stay connected to the global tech community,” Zheng says.
“Wellington hosts some amazing tech conferences that regularly attract top-quality international talent. And once they take a look around they’re always hugely positive about what Wellington’s doing and what the future holds.”
Like most Wellingtonians, Zheng is a keen foodie.
“I like to grab some delicious produce for the week from Moore Wilson’s boutique supermarket, which is where the chefs shop. On the weekends I love a long breakfast with kindred spirits at Floriditas, yum char at Regal, and pizza at Loretta – though not necessarily all in the same day!”
They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and we reckon that’s true.
We enjoy around 2000 hours of sunshine a year, which is about 30% more than London, a bit more than Auckland, and just a little less than Melbourne. It’s true we’re known for fairly fresh winds from the ocean at certain times of year – which helps us have one of the lowest air pollution indexes of any city in the world.
So that makes walking between meetings pretty enjoyable really.
Sam Jarman @ Carnival Mobile
Erin Connolly @ Xero
Strategic Programmes Manager
Zheng Li @ Zing Design
UX Designer, CEO & Founder
But don’t just take our word for it - click on the desks above to learn why Wellington works for some of our city’s top tech talent from Xero, Carnival Mobile and Zing Design.
Below you’ll find all the reasons why Wellington is an incredible place to live and build your career, the essentials you need to know for working in New Zealand, along with a taste of the amazing job opportunities currently on offer.
From Ruby on Rails Developers and Application Architects, through to Structural Engineers and Project Managers, there are hundreds of IT jobs being advertised in Wellington right now. But don’t just take our word for it... take a look yourself and search for your next job now.
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Wellington has the most highly educated workforce in New Zealand
Source: Statistics New Zealand
The first digital accelerator in NZ, Lightning Lab, started in WellingtonCreative HQ
New Zealand has one of the lowest gender wage gaps in the OECDOECD Employment Database 2014
Wellingtonians have an average commute to work of only 5km