musings

Mid year report card

Okay half year mark of 2017, where did the last 6 months go? I say it every year but the last 6 months have flown by especially quick. I also say that every year.

I remain cautiously optimistic although while still feeling incredibly frustrated with myself and my inability to find work. I don’t want to moan though, today feels like a good opportunity to reflect on the last 6 months, on the cool things that have happened and what I have learned along the way.

January

It was wedding season in Wellington, I was in a wedding party which took up my January. It was a fantastic time, I kept busy and got to hang out with my friends. I don’t want to sound overly confident or anything but I reckon I can throw an excellent bridal shower.

I make good cake.

February

I finished up at my job of the last four years and officially booked my ticket to Melbourne. It was a month of ‘see you laters,’ it was emotional af. The anxiety of moving countries would come and go, one minute I would feel absolutely fine and then without warning I would feel overcome with nerves and would joke about taking my dog to Australia with me.

This is Millie, my dog.

March

I did it, I left Wellington. Part of me wasn’t sure I’d go through with it as I have been known in the past to say I was going to do things but then it would never happen. The first month I just explored, hung out at NGV, got use to the trains and buses and got myself acquainted with Melbourne. I saw The Book of Mormon which was the coolest thing I have seen on stage, period.

April

Not my month, although it really should be my month, after all I was born in April. I was dreading it though, first birthday away from friends and family. Nothing particularly noteworthy happened, I went to my first networking event which was good, but I would urge anyone new to networking to not wait two months to get in touch with the people you meet. Follow up asap!

May

My first interview! For a job I did not want…

I was relieved I didn’t get it, although proud of myself for getting through a group interview for the first time and putting myself within shot of being considered. Any interview practice is good.

I was also social for the first time in months with people my own age, I needed that. I set up a Instagram food account with friends, and I started this blog!

June

I networked more, I went to a party after a very long time, I talked about that here. I had another interview with a recruitment agent and it went really well, it was the most relaxed I have felt in such an environment ever.

And finally to cap of my June just yesterday I did my first temp job! My recruiter literally woke me up and sent me to cover reception for an organisation. I was flustered and did not know what was happening for the first hour, but I got it done and that’s a tad more experience now under my belt!

That’s it. First 6 months gone just like that. If I could grade myself I would probably give myself a C+. I’ve done okay, so much more to do though. I will give myself a higher grade in December.

Time to get to work.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Harry

I know its not actually his birthday, but its been 20 years since his world came in to our lives.

I owe the Potter universe and JK Rowling so much, who knows if I would be such an avid reader if I did not pick up those books when I was 11.

The characters in these books were my superheroes growing up.

The way I got in to this world was maybe quite different to others. I had been gifted the books by a number of people, but I didn’t read them, maybe I tried but I would get easily distracted when reading (I still do) so I never got far with the books. But then November 2001 we went on a school trip to see the Philosophers Stone and my world changed, I walked out of cinema thinking oh. my. god. why haven’t I read these books yet? When I got home, I went straight to my room and picked up the Chamber of Secrets and that was that, I was hooked. It took me a month to finish book 2, but then I binged the rest, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and back to the Philosophers Stone all in a month and for an 11 year who barely read up until that point it a huge deal.

Then the long wait. It would be another 18 months till I could read another Harry Potter book. Harry Potter was my first fandom, I was up in all those forums, constantly checking all the latest news, the first fan fiction I read (which was completely PG) was Harry Potter related. The first time someone spoiled a plot development of book, tv show or movie was with Harry Potter (It was Sirius dying btw, I was so mad). Harry Potter was my gateway fandom, one minute I am reading the books then before I know it I am holding a sonic screwdriver on one hand a light sabre on the other, while waiting for the Avengers to come help defeat us from evil in this world. If it weren’t for my fandoms, I honestly don’t think I’d be the person I am today and it all started with this series.

So thank you to Harry Potter, I can’t imagine a world without it in my life, I would not be the person I am today. A few of the books are now in tatters, but I will treasure them forever.

Happy Monday

Green Light came out about 3 days before I left NZ to move to Melbourne and I had this song on repeat on the plane ride over. I had it on repeat as I was too tired and too emotional to change the playlist, I felt like I was in some cliche movie montage of a female 20 something about to make a massive change in her life, which I was. Anyway Melodrama is an excellent album, I’m sure you’re already listening.

Hi I would like some friends please

I would like some friends please.

When I first went to university in 2008, I lived in a hall of residence, best time of my life right? No. The first few weeks were the worst, I was incredibly shy and not sure how to come out of my shell, that set me up for the rest of the year. I went the whole year with not many people knowing who I was which was incredibly lonely for an 18 year old. That is not to say 2008 was a terrible year altogether I had a good group of school friends who kept me going and some fun was had. That experience of not being able to make friends has kind of held me back ever since, and now having thrown my self in to the deep end of moving to a new country I am reminded that I have grown a lot in the last 10 years but there is always the danger of me going in to my shell.

Making friends as an adult sucks, especially when you have moved to a city where you barely know people your own age. But I went to my first party over the weekend, my first party since my own farewell party from Wellington back in February. I was so so close not to attending, I was coming up with all the excuses:

  • I’m currently about an hour out of the city coming home at night would be a mission (and it was a mission).
  • I’ll be awkward (I was a little bit)
  • I’ll say something stupid (I did).
  • I don’t know anyone going (big lie I knew a bunch of them).

I am happy to report that I am pleased I attended, it was a boost to my confidence. That evening reminded me that I could still socialise and talk to people. It was the first time in months where I got to meet people my own age. I’ve been so use to hanging out on my own for so long I think I definitely needed a night out. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t dreading it, I spent all day in bed thinking I don’t want to go, but I have to go. I was saying things to myself such as “You can do this Anushka, you are a grown up 27 year old person who can go out and be social.” Once I got to the bar and the liquid courage set in I was alright.

I met some nice people and who knows if I will actually get the chance to hang out with them again, it might just only be through their Facebook updates, but hopefully I can continue to push myself to go out and do more. Melbourne is a pretty rad city to live in even if you don’t know many people, so it should be even better with a good group of friends.

I let that bad experience in 2008 define me for a long time, although insecurities remain, I am more confident and more sure of myself now. As I have mentioned before in other posts the more you push yourself, the better it will get. I really need that to continue to be true. In order to get out and meet people you have to find that extroverted side of yourself, its definitely there and ready. If there are other shy introverted people reading this post, I hope my little story of hanging out in a Melbourne bar for a few hours on the weekend can encourage you to go out and find what you want too.

Hi I would Like A Job Please

“There are no entry level jobs anymore,” reading that line in this article I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I obviously knew this was the case, that no entry level jobs exist. I still think I am relatively new to the job market, even though I have been working since 2013. I want and need a job where I can be trained up and something which will allow career progression.

Going through multiple job postings a day it is very easy to feel disheartened and feel like you have no experience whatsoever. I also get very anxious applying for jobs, probably due to imposter syndrome, I start overthinking and then I never apply. I was feeling all of this earlier today and I am channeling that frustration in to writing this post. The top skill I emphasize in all my cover letters and CV is my written communication, so what better way to highlight it than write a post on everything I have learnt in the last few months while applying for jobs.

For example one thing I have learnt in the last little while is that everyone will give you advise whether you like it or not.

For Example:

  • Take the first job that comes your way even if you do not like it, then spend time looking the right job in your field.
  • You need a niche!
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • “Is there any other courses you can take to learn new skills?”
  • Excel! Databases!
  • Get Linkedin, reach out to people.
  • First job is always the hardest to find, after that it will get much easier!
  • “Anushka I think the best option for you is to get a policy job in government.”

But I really should teach myself Excel.

I really should take the first job that comes my way, as money is nice to have.

I don’t have a niche, I said that in my very first post on this blog. I studied marketing, international business and international relations. I’ve worked in media intelligence and human rights, there is no clear career path which is exciting but also stressful.

Its really hard to write cover letters for jobs you are not excited about, but you have to apply for them anyway because you need a job. Networking is important, making contacts is important and most of them time people are really glad that you have reached out to them.

There are days when I feel that I am useless, especially when the generic rejection emails come in. There are days when I wonder if studying as much as I did was a good idea, I have a lot of self doubt. I can’t take any new courses, three degrees is enough and my student loan is massive, I will teach myself stuffΒ  (I currently have a tab open on my computer that says SEO for wordpress). Volunteering is a great option, I got to intern last year for Amnesty International and got a lot from that experience. It is a bit stressful having to need years of experience for some volunteering roles, but that’s just how the working world operates in 2017. It sucks, but that’s how it is.

Random tips that I am trying to implement in my life:

  • The minute you see a new job posting apply for it, do not delay.
  • Treat the job hunt like a job, don’t stay in you PJs till 2:30pm and search for jobs in bed like I did today.
  • Be grateful for the advise, even if it may not be the most useful advise.
  • Be grateful you have the opportunity to apply for work.

The biggest thing I have learnt is to be patient and have no expectations, make use of of your free time and learn new things! Also have at least one free day a week where you don’t stare at the computer all day. There will be many hard days but eventually someone will take a chance on you and me, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Good luck to all you job hunters out there!

 

Happy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! Start of the working week here in Australia (we just had the Queen’s birthday long weekend). Feeling rather anxious at the start of this week, but I am reminding myself to stay grateful. Here’s what I have been listening to all weekend, Dear Evan Hansen is so so so so good! Now that it has won the Tony Award I hope it will stay put on Broadway for quite sometime yet, so I can come and see it!

The Art of Combating Loneliness

The last three months have been the loneliest, strangest yet also most exciting time of my life I guess. Lonely as I am yet to make new friends in this new city, strange because it is a new city and exciting because its a new city. You hear all these amazing stories of people moving overseas for the first time getting their job within a week, finding the perfect flat and friends almost immediately. None of that has happened to me yet, most of which is due to my own doing, I am an introvert, I have anxiety, I am a serial procrastinator, these three combined is not a good mix.

I’m doing things for sure, but the last three months is probably the longest I have spent on my own. Last week I made a solo theater trip to My Fair Lady, it was great, I’ve seen two other shows by myself too (Matilda and The Book of Mormon). The more and more things I see by myself the more I think that it might be nice to share this experience with someone. Though I think of myself as introvert and love my alone time, I am starting to worry that I am spending too much time on my own.

Last week IΒ  had some friends visit from Wellington and I forgot how nice it was to socialise with people again. Hearing from my friends I realized that I need to stop putting things off, I have to stop waiting forΒ  things to come my way I must go out and get them, even though going out and getting it makes me incredibly anxious. Not that I didn’t know any of this before, but it is time to actually make an effort.

People move at their own pace I think all I need to do is pick up that pace. I’ve done a few things in the last week to start changing that, I signed up to a networking event that will be happening in two weeks. I’ve also arranged to meet two contacts next week for coffee to discuss career options. I’ve been attending Toastmasters here, which is a public speaking group, and I gave a speech after only attending the club for a month. I’m going to make myself attend some meet up events (I’ve been saying that for the last three months *insert laughing emoji*) and I have downloaded some apps! Bumble, Hey! VINA, Huggle and even Tinder. Hey! VINA is for women to make friends with other women and I am using it right now, honestly it feels strange to swipe left or right on potential friends but let’s see how that goes.Β I’m usually very shy at first but once you get to know me, good luck trying to keep me quiet.

So the art of combating loneliness? Be proactive. Just keep doing things, move at your own pace but keep doing things. I’m attempting to go for one new thing a week. One of my friends always tells me you just have to do what you love and the right people will come your way. Let’s see how it works out.