Working in PNG – the short version

I know I haven’t posted much in a while, actually – in quite a while…. Needless to say, it’s primarily due to the “PNG Work” factor. One of the things you get to experience here In The Land of the Unexpected, is the most work that you could ever crave for – it’s a workaholic’s dream, and a partners nightmare…

Before you decide to make the move, ask yourself “is 50 hours too much?”, “is 60 hours too much?”, “is 80 hours too much?”. Am I happy living my job, socializing with my colleagues, getting on each other nerves, dreaming work, having lunch interrupted by someone trying to do a deal, having your evenings and weekends decimated, your wife and/or husband pissed off with you. Yup – welcome to your Expat Job here in PNG! That’s not to say that there aren’t great rewards, however most of the unhappy expats are those that aren’t happy with the amount of work… Even harder is seeing other Expats (tax-free ones are the best) going off out of country, or over to Tufi etc, whilst you are doing the hard slog trying to get through to a holiday.

But then you have to take stock – you are living in the tropics, an hours flight from Cairns, with diving and fishing on your doorstep. You don’t need to both be working, someone does your cleaning for you, someone else is paying for you to live, and paying for you to go on holiday. You have membership to exclusive clubs, and party up every month. Life’s not bad, and it could be worst – you could be spending 2 hours a day in traffic, connected to work because Internet is so cheap – never getting a holiday, having your staff not respect you and your boss not caring that you are OK… Your partner does the same as you, and the kids forget that you are their parent…

It’s not bad at all πŸ™‚

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6 thoughts on “Working in PNG – the short version

  1. Hi Aaron, my husband’s interview is coming up in a month. We spoke about it and basically he decided the opportunity would be too good to pass by so if he gets an offer he will take it and I with our 2 year old have to go with him. Your information, including on the violence, made me feel better about the whole situation so just wanted to say thank you. Originally from South Africa we’ve been witness to similar violent situations so that just put a little perspective on it for me. (We now live in Auckland for the last 7 years) PNG is not a country you can just talk about to anyone. People will greatly emphasize the violence, scare the crap out of you and make you feel like your insane for possibly going or a bad parent for taking your child with you.

  2. Ah, so true!! I’m currently in the middle of a crazy work period… and with the boyfriend away for a few weeks it makes it much easier to stay in the office!! 😦 My blog has suffered majorly too.

  3. Your blog really helped me a lot. After weighing things out I finally signed a contract for a job in Lae as Company Doctor. We are just waiting for the permit coming from the Medicine Board of PNG.
    Since I have not come across so much information regarding Occupational Health and Safety in PNG, I just want to ask you if PNG gives importance to this as what you see in your company?

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    • OSH is alive and well here in Port Moresby, although it’s a bit n miss – however we do try hard. At our company we have a health and safety committee, regular reporting and actions. πŸ™‚

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