From the moment I arrived in Sydney I downloaded various job search Apps and hammered out dozens of applications, confident in the knowledge that I would be snapped up oh so quickly. Sure was naat that simple!
I have previously struggled with my career in the sense that after university I went straight into a PR & Events role for a luxury brand. Whilst I enjoyed the role, there was no room for progression and the pay was pretty abysmal. Following 2 years and becoming focused on wanting to earn more casheesh to enjoy my life in London, I decided it would be a great idea to chase the EA dream (said no one ever) – basically a glorified PA – purely for the earning capability.
So ..I moved companies and moved again to land an EA role for the Founder of a property firm – the lady I supported was such an all-around unpleasant character that she is known by all my friends and family as ‘Satan’ – we are talking office tantrums where she would smash her keyboard into pieces; I was unlucky number 4 of her EAs in the past year alone. Satan behaviour aside, becoming an EA was another career error… I was now in a role that paid fairly well, but involved booking Satan in for chin threading appointments – it was mind-numbing, mortifying and again, offered no progression.
Sometimes I feel like my career has been a process of elimination. I am driven and ambitious, but I haven’t found the right avenue yet that I can apply myself to.. which has been a source of both disappointment and frustration. I want to do something I enjoy, that pays more than a tuppence and doesn’t entail being someone else’s bitch. Too much to ask? 🤷🏼♀️ Affirmative thus far.
In a sense, that’s why moving to Sydney was perfect for me at this point in my life – it’s back to the drawing board for my career. 🤔
Before launching into my Sydney job search, it seems necessary to give a bit of background on the visa situation: I came across on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). On a WHV you can stay in Australia for one year and you can only stay in any one role for up to 6 months. Should you like to extend your WHV another year, you are exiled to the outback of Australia for THREE MONTHS to do regional farmwork. Yuck. & I can tell you right now – I aint cut out for D@ farm lyf – I AINT PICKIN NO LEMONS. 🍋👩🌾
On the flipside, if you find a role on the ‘Skilled Visa List’, which is now dwindling, you can get sponsored for a two year period; this can then be extended at a later date.
So the job search began –In some naïve, idealistic sense.. I had thought it would be plain sailing. It wasn’t.
After solidly smashing out the applications for 2 weeks, I was totes alarmed when my phone wasn’t ringing off the hook with offer after offer. If there’s anything moving to Sydney has given me – its resilience and a thicker skin. You find yourself taking so much rejection and experiencing so many knock backs, that sometimes it’s tough not to get disheartened / consider having a Britney circa 2007 style meltdown (brolly gate – you know the one). You’re doing constant applications and trying to play the ‘you’d be soooo luck to have me’ card in interviews, despite your sheer desperation to land a role and land it fast, since you’re working against the clock and acutely aware of the fact that you owe $1600 in rent in 3 weeks and have zero income.
However, after receiving cream pie after cream pie based on the fact that no companies offer sponsorship in events (the industry I was targeting), I was thrown a curve ball – a global recruitment company contacted me to ask if I would interview to join their Business Support desk – with sponsorship on offer. Having previously turned my nose up at this career, which actually I didn’t know too much about, I agreed to an interview and went away and did my research.
The more I read about recruitment, the more I liked the sound of it and thought it may actually be the role for me – sales role, create your own success via commission, progression opportunities based on performance, fun work culture, building relationships (vino lunches compulsory), competitive salary AND for the pièce de résistance: sponsorship; tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. So after 3 interviews I was offered the role and started a few days later – 5 weeks in to my arrival date to be exact.
Kissing a sweet farewell to my Queen of Sheeba funemployed lifestyle wasn’t easy – but it’s a total relief to feel that I may finally be on the right career path with a great company.
Based 53 floors up in the centre of the CBD with amazing views across the city and harbour, I am feeling like I have lucked out. There are 70 people in the office – majority British (coz our chat is better), all around 23-35 and I have never seen so many hotties let me tell ya – apparently dipping ones pen in the company ink is rife.. and I can see why. SEX SELLS PEOPLE.
I am now 6 weeks in and loving the role and the culture – I am on a team of 8 girls who are all an absolute hoot and I would undoubtedly be friends with each of them independently of work. The Aussie gyal next to me is potentially ma new best m8 and on Friday following a meeting with HR at Merrill Lynch, my Manager nearly vommed in the lift up to our office following a big night prior. Nothing is taboo with these ladies & I love it. It really feels like a fun & supportive sisterhood and reminds me of my girl gang at home that I miss so much!
Slightly worryingly however, there’s been recent talk that recruitment may be taken off the sponsorship list in the next couple of months.. so thank the Lawd they are accelerating my application and fingers crossed it goes through without any hiccups– Not only do I want to stay with this company for the foreseeable future, but I have also come to the conclusion that I would pick peanuts in the outback with a smile on my face for another year on these sweet Sydney shores!