Job wanted (in Australia)

Today I started looking for a job.

The last time I did that feels like a very long time ago, although technically speaking that is not true of course.  Having been a seasonal worker in the scuba diving industry, I have had several jobs in the past four years, which were all preceded by some form of application procedure.  But in the diving business, a great deal of recruitment takes place through networking, references and informal and generally badly documented long distance arrangements.  And when you apply, you generally know exactly what kind of job you want and what kind of job you’ll get.  Dive master, instructor, cruise director, dive centre manager… they are all pretty boxed in.  Sure, at the level of location, team members and service standards, things can be different.  You can apply for a job at a dive centre in a 5 star resort on a remote exotic island or choose to work for a high traffic dive centre in a budget back-packers corner of this world, but in essence, the job is the same.   Once you have your PADI qualifications, you have established that you speak several languages fluent enough to convince yourself, your employer and your students that you can teach in those languages and you have social skills that make you fit for the transient relations characteristic of the tourism industry, you’re good to go. Any job application you send out is like the other and it becomes more a matter of a lucky draw.  There are thousands of people with the same skills out there dying to work in Thailand on the beach, or in the Maldives on a resort, or in Egypt on the beach…

The first time I really applied for a job was in 1999.  Last century that is.  I was about to finish a post-graduate International Relations course and my student life was fast nearing its expiration date.  The problem was that I didn’t really know what kind of a job I wanted.  It had to be corporate, preferably located in Amsterdam, should provide lots of career & international opportunities and couldn’t be anything too specialised – I had, after all, graduated in the mother of all generalist studies: European studies.  I always say I learned very little about a lot.  Not that I regret it, but…

Anyway, with that vague checklist in mind, I started applying for “Management Traineeships” with all the big Dutch corporates I could think of.  You can’t get any more generalist than that, right?  I had no affinity with the airline industry, but I was interviewed by KLM.  I had no clue about telecommunications, but I was psychologically tested by KPN.  I had no background in IT but lasted three rounds during the Oracle procedure.  In the end, I got into the management traineeship from ABN AMRO Bank, my only link with that company up until then being my rather red bank account.  I had no clue as to what I wanted other than the set of criteria I mentioned before and still I managed to talk my way into a company that trained me, developed me, invested in me and cherished me for the next nine years.  Over the course of that period, I applied for new jobs internally thrice, but on these occasions I was coached and supported by Talent Managers, High Potential development trainings and all sorts of career tools that were offered to me on a silver plate.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this Dutch flagship company and learned an awful lot, both in the workplace as well as during all these high-flying talent trainings and courses.  And I do believe that I actually also brought some value to the company, although proving that would be an impossible task.

But here I am again.  Looking for a job in Australia and not really knowing what I want.  Although…

It should definitely not be corporate, preferably a small or medium sized business.  It doesn’t need to offer international opportunities, since from my perspective I am after all already abroad.  The business or the intention of the owners should somehow make my heart beat faster.  I don’t want to work 80 hours a week, not even for a big fat salary, because I want to be able to practice yoga in the morning and have time to discover this wonderful country together with Stefano.  I want to see smiling faces of clients and guests on a daily basis and I want to see concrete results of my work, I want to feel I make a difference for the business, for myself.  I’m looking for a place where I can use my professional, academic and intellectual skills but where the atmosphere is personal, small scale, focused on the team and on the passion for the business, rather than on deadlines, financial figures or meaningless power point presentations.  Oh, and yes, I need an employer that will sponsor me for a work permit in Australia (tiny detail).

Today I scanned through dozens of job postings and I chose three that I replied to.  One is for the position of Office Manager of a chain of barbershops.  Not that I know anything about the hairdressing industry, but what appeals to me is that it is a business that has been set up by three Indian brother from Kenya.  Five salons and a Barberbus in four years.  Small, family business, ambitious, growing fast, looking to reach a next level of professionalisation.  It just sounds cool and it feels like I could definitely add some value.  Another position I applied for is even better.  Listen to this: Wine Bar Supervisor.  Now if that doesn’t make my heart beat faster… Located in a tourist area on the West coast where my favourite white wines come from, a business run by a couple with sheer passion for wine and food, cool restaurant with black board menu and lots and lots and lots of wines for sale, by the bottle or by the glass.  I would jump through the roof if I got that job!

But it’s early times, no idea whether they will find me as interesting as I find them and no clue whether they will be able to sponsor me for a visa, but the whole process of self reflection, thinking about the future and making plans with Stefano has got me excited, vibrant and full of energy.  Tomorrow the job hunt continues.

And should all fail, I can always go to Asia to finally do that yoga teacher training of course…

I win, either way.

This entry was posted in All, Life Travels IV ~ Nov 2012 - May 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Job wanted (in Australia)

  1. Jose says:

    Kind of in a “back to the grind” mode myself. Best luck with everything!!

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