"Come to Australia!" they said.
"There's loads of work in Australia!" they said.
OK, so nobody actually said that. To me at least. I think I just kind of assumed it, I'm not sure why. It's turning out to be a very inaccurate statement.
Since leaving Sydney, I have been in Brisbane for about 10 days. A large portion of that time has been spent searching for jobs. And despite having four variations of my resume (it's a resume because I'm in Australia, feel free to consider it a CV if you're in the UK), and three different cover letters, I do not seem to be succeeding.
I am signed up with, and have been regularly searching through a variety of recruitment websites using keywords such as CAD, AutoCAD, and Drafting (please excuse the spelling, I know it should be 'Draughting' but it's the Australian way) in the hope of finding a role as either a Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson, an Electronic Engineering Draftsperson, or an Architectural Engineering Draftsperson; because those three roles are on the Australian Consolidated Skilled Occupations List.
There are plenty of Architectural Drafting positions going, most are aimed at Architectural graduates, or those with a few years experience in "Project Home Builds". I don't quite fit the bill for them, but before I close the browser tab my Mum's voice pops up in the back of my mind and says "apply for it anyway", so I do.
I've applied for several of these positions, I may have applied to the same one a number of times as a result of shoddy website admin on one recruiter's part. I have heard back from none of them. My Mum's voice has another opportunity to appear again at this point saying "give them a call to follow up", so I do.
My calls are met with receptionists who very politely say something that sounds a lot like they've just been told by the recruiter to get rid of me.
Some of my other job search keywords concentrate on Lean Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Business Improvement, Management, and a few other select bits of jargon. I've also searched without keywords and trawled through page after page trying to find jobs worth applying for. I have experienced the same outcome with all these applications. It's remarkably disheartening.
Undeterred by my struggles at finding some sort of office job the likes of which I am used to, I have begun calling upon some prehistoric work experience from my exploits as a chef, and as a butcher. I've spent time scouring gumtree (as well as other recruitment sites) looking for bar, chef, cook, and kitchen hand work, firing off emails to all the adverts I could find that are within a suitable distance. I did at least receive one reply from this batch of applications, it simply stated "I cannot offer sponsorship, thanks for your interest".
In Australia, to work behind a bar you are required to have a certificate for Responsible Service of Alcohol, or RSA as its referred to. Last week I booked myself on a day course, held on Saturday, that would allow me to get said certification and now that I'm certified in being responsible I have taken to the streets.
I had already prepared myself with some printouts (courtesy of the local library at 20c per page) of a resume variation geared towards bar and kitchen work, and have spent the day walking down Boundary Street, calling in at every bar between West End and the CBD. I ran out of resumes, and now have the daunting prospect of making follow up visits/calls over the next few days.
It is dawning on me that finding work in Australia is a bit more difficult than I had originally anticipated.
Firstly, the fact that my visa only permits me to work for any one company for up to 6 months (unless someone's willing to jump through hoops to sponsor me) means that any potential engineering company is likely to bin my resume on sight, I'm not worth taking the chance on.
Secondly, I don't have recent bar or kitchen experience so getting that kind of work is tricky. None of the places I've called into have actively been hiring (except one cafe), they've taken my resume but I'm not holding out too much hope for any of those.
The whole not finding work thing poses another threat for me at the moment. I'm running out of money and it's not like I can pop down to the local dole office and sign on. If I don't have an income and my money runs out I have to reassess my location status.
I've just spent a while outlining my current thought process but it all reads very negatively so I'm going to delete it once I've written this paragraph. I shall sum up what I wrote by saying that I am contemplating returning to the UK, much earlier than expected. I've always been planning to fly back in October for a couple of weeks, I might stay indefinitely. I might even come back sooner, maybe next month kind of sooner, we shall see. There are a number of factors that will be part of the decision making process, I'll know better at the end of next week.
Of course, I might actually get a job, and in the interest of finishing on a positive note...
I'm quietly hopeful about the position of Brewery Technician that I applied for with a very large brewery. The advert listed responsibilities including Quality Control, Statistical Analysis, and Continuous Improvement among other things I have experience in. I like to think I'd out-perform any other candidate at that role and that I am in with a chance for the position. The closing date is July 30th though, so I have some time to wait to hear back. Added bonus: Beer!
The other positive came today, after I'd handed out all my resumes and was doing my shopping in the local Coles supermarket; I received a call from a company that I'd sent an application to last week. It's the first call I've actually had from a recruiter, and they sounded quite positive. The company deals in the hiring, and installation of equipment for large events; staging, exhibition booths, marquees, etc. Although I applied for basic ground crew work, I put an emphasis on my AutoCAD knowledge (they use CAD for the design of custom projects) and showed an interest in Project Management on my application as there were also listings for those jobs. I'm expecting to hear back in a couple of days to see if they'll offer me an interview. If they take me on I'll be pushing my way upwards as fast as possible. The lady on the phone said they hire quite a few "travellers" which is positive for me, and that they've sponsored people before but I'm not getting my hopes up about that yet.
Phew, that was a lot of words for you to cast your eyes over. Sorry for the lack of photography stuff, but my life isn't all pictures.
I did take three shots on a walk the other day though, one for each primary colour (completely unintentional), here they are as a reward for reading so much of my waffle. Until next time...