• edwinamarieking

Diary of a Thirty Something Migration Agent

I debated whether I should write this but I realise the reason I have been so successful is because of my honesty and determination in doing what I believe is right for myself and my clients, despite the consequences or what others believe, and this has not led me astray to date.

On international women’s day I wrote that I had never felt sexism..maybe I was young, naive and blind but over the past few months I can honestly say as a young, female business owner I have been belittled, bullied and intimidated in blatant shake downs - by clients and people in the industry. Clients have thought that I would back down and just give them what they wanted because I was scared, despite them being completely in the wrong and having no ground whatsoever.

Industry “professionals” have assumed I was a newbie with little knowledge - and told their clients to spread this information. Just because it took me years to get my own PR in order to get registration and hold a 2018 registration number. You know what they say about assumptions though ;) I have used this to my advantage every time.

I want this to be a message that I will never back down. You can try to knock my confidence, call me names and threaten my reputation but anyone who knows me, knows the truth and those who don’t, don’t matter. I am quite shocked as the communications I have received would never have been sent to a male in this industry. I don’t know when it became okay to harass and disrespect professionals to this extent, yet it seems to have become an accepted part of the migration industry. It becomes more frustrating because it is impossible to argue with a fool without bringing yourself to their level.

I am not okay with this and I will not stay quiet.

I will unfortunately be forced to restructure our consultation process to protect myself and my team from this unacceptable behaviour. While it is just a few, unfortunately these few have limited my capacity to help others and stolen my time and attention constantly with zero respect or gratitude.

I have always loved reaching out and helping those who have been genuinely stuck. I have found solutions where others said there were none - now I have been blocked from doing this by public “support” groups and my ethics, professionalism and empathy have been used against me to blackmail me into giving into demands.

I just want to say I am so thankful for the amazing support network I have around me - the KCM team, my legal team, my partner, friends and my family. With them I have been strong and had the ability to deal with these issues head on.

Yet today, being sick and having to deal with this nonsense I thought what if I wasn’t so strong, what if this happened to another agent who was a sole trader, who didn’t have the support system and connections that I have..

I guess my message is think before you act because everyone struggles and words have impact. An agent that I studied with took his own life last year and I really feel the need to speak up and hold people accountable and put it out there that nobody is alone in this industry. I am always here for support, particularly for those who have reached out to me. I am perfectly fine but I wont sit back and just allow this behaviour to continue and in the words of Tom Petty, I won’t back down!

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