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From Escape to Employment: Hadi's Journey of Resilience and Success in Australia

Discover Hadi's inspiring journey from fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan to securing his first IT role in Australia. With the support of HOST International and a mentor from Microsoft, Hadi overcame numerous challenges, built his network, and never gave up on his dreams. Read more of his story of resilience, determination, and the power of mentorship.

My name is Hadi, I’m from Afghanistan. I arrived in Melbourne on 3rd September 2021 after the Taliban takeover. Before I left Afghanistan, I was working as a Network Engineer for an international company.

Once I had settled myself in Melbourne and had all of my admin complete I felt ready for a job in IT. I thought it would be easy to get a job here and there would be lots of opportunities. I was wrong. I kept applying for jobs based on my overseas qualifications and experience. In total I applied for 100 plus roles. I became tired of rejections or not getting a response at all. After that I realized I needed to make changes to my approach. I had limited connections and no local experience. I was introduced to HOST International where I received lots of support regarding my resume, career goals, interview skills, how to position myself for the right role. HOST Linked me with Janhavi, an Industry Mentor from Microsoft. Janhavi helped me a lot. She helped me refine my direction, she encouraged me to complete more study to stay up to date with the industry. We met for an hour online every week until I got a job. When I had questions about work or study I would ask her about technicalities, the Australian workplace, and her experience in the profession. We practiced a lot of interview behaviors. It was good and helpful.

Through HOST I was also invited to some training and coaching from LinkedIn who really helped me build up my profile. They gave me free access to LinkedIn Premium where I did lots of online learning courses to continue my professional development.

I was eventually selected for a twelve-week internship at the Victorian Department of Family, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) by Career Seekers. Before completion of my internship I received a 6 month contract with DFFH as System Administrator and Developer. It felt amazing to finally get my first role in my profession here.

I found lots of difficulties settling into a new country, new life, new language with no family or friends to support me. I had to build this up by myself. But I’m proud that I didn’t give up when I faced challenges or difficulties. From the start I was saying to myself, I have to go on until I achieve my desire.

I would encourage employers to give a chance to people like me from a refugee backgrounds. Don’t focus on our lack of local experience and references but give us a chance and, based on our qualifications and overseas experience, let us prove our skills and talents.

And to people like me who are new to Australia, I would say that wherever you are you will have challenges, you will have to start from scratch, my advice to you is don’t give up, if you trust yourself you can make it. It is possible! Make a direction for yourself, set goals, don’t rely on one person or program but instead engage with as many people and programs as possible so you can build your network and learn from them all.

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