The story so far

Friday, 11 September 2009

Job Hunting

Thanks to the disasterous performance of the British economy over the last year or so I have decided I need to find a job in Australia, rather than live the life of a surf bum.

In fact, this has been the chief cause of concern for me. The world economy is bottomed out (although Australia seems to be coping better than most) and I have just resigned from a well paying and seemingly stable job at Detica. I couldn't afford to eat too much into our modest savings or we would erode our deposit too much and wouldn't be able to afford a decent house in Aus.

Both our families had been good to us. My parents had put us up for three months allowing us to put rent savings into our Australia fund. Hannah's (not really wicked) stepmother had also offered us somewhere to stay on Sydney and her son Matt, a room in Coffs harbour. Sue's family had always welcomed us with open arms and would really help us find our feet in Aus.

Even so, with only 1.90 dollars to the pound, I was concerned about changing too much at this rate and was really considering the possibility of having to start work as soon as possible after arriving rather than after Christmas as planned.

Since announcing my resignation from Detica, I've had quite alot of help from colleagues putting me in touch with contacts in Australia. One colleague, Simon set me up with contacts in both Telstra and Alcatel Lucent and I had phone conversations with both this week.

As ever, personal networks seem to be the way to go and this seems to be particularly true for Aussie job hunting.

On Tuesday, I talked to a contact who works for Telstra in IT Architecture. That would be an ideal role for me and I was pleased to hear what he had to say. My experience would be ideal for some of the projects they are currently working on and although not hiring aggressively, if the right CV hits the desk of the chief architect, there are jobs to be had.

He offered to put my CV in front of the chief architect, but advised me to wait a while as he might want me to start immediately if he liked what he saw.

It was also encouraging to hear that one of his friends who had been job hunting in the same market space had recieved six potential offers. In Australia, the government is also sponsoring a national program to deliver broadband to the masses - this National Broadband Network could be a good source of jobs.

The following day I spoke to a senior recruiter at Alcatel Lucent. She also had positive news - while they are not hiring aggresively, there are jobs to be had. In fact, if I could have started in October, there was a perfect vacancy I could have been put forward for.

As with Telstra, I agreed to wait for awhile and be back in touch mid October.

Two things struck me about these conversations. Firstly I may have pressure on me to start earlier than planned if I apply for jobs now. Secondly, the Australian telecoms industry is Melbourne based and it would be probable that the best jobs would require us to live away from Sydney, our target city.

This blog allows people to post their views. I've not had any comments yet, but on this subject I would be interested to know what people think.

Should I be brave and wait to January before I start work, turning down jobs if necessary?

The Melbourne question is a bigger issue. We wanted to live in Sydney to be near family, but Melbourne is only one hour away by plane or a day's drive. That's not so bad. There is skiing about an hour away but the surf beaches are just over an hour away from the centre of The city. I had planned to spend alot of time on the beach and this means ideally living twenty minutes away. I certainly want my commute to be less than half an hour.

Hannah of course went straight to the computer to check house prices and information on the region. It seems we could get a bigger house in Melbourne than Sydney and that certainly appeals.

Time to do some more serious thinking...At least now it will be thinking about all the possibilities rather than worrying about getting a job so much.

-- Posted from my iPhone