Thursday, April 30, 2015

CH258: A Posse Ad Esse

...from possibility to actuality.

The more I stay here in Sydney, the more I realize that there is so much to be thankful for. Prior to moving, I've had all these fuzzy dreams and ideologies and wishful thinking on how my life will be like when I move. I was going around Europe comparing and noting down how I was shaping my hopes and expectation for Sydney in my head. (Call it wishful thinking)

While things did not exactly start the way I had hope for them to be, I still feel immensely blessed. I sometimes wonder to myself before going to sleep (I like to introspect and digest thoughts before transitioning to the next day) why so much good has come my way. If karma was real, I feel the scales have tipped over.

I was preparing for the worst case of not finding a job for 6 months and struggling to settle here in Australia. There were a lot of people saying that it will be tough to find a job - on the lines of - give yourself at least 3 months or 6 or a year to find job. I got a job short of 3 months (10 weeks) and I am more than thank ful for that.

It's a job that is in the field I am in and it's a progression from where I left off in Singapore. It's a Senior consultant position with a small consulting firm, and from the get-go, I am liking the vibe of the office. I get to work with other senior consultants and for the ~2 weeks I've been here, I can tell I can get along with the people I will be working with.

What overwhelms me with this blessing is that from a lot of people I've gotten to know here in Sydney, a lot of them found jobs that were off tangent to the track they were on. Lower salary grade, zero experience, start from scratch.

Friends and Family
I am thankful for the friends I have. Old friends, new friends. I stayed with one of my closest friends from University for the first 10 weeks that I lived here in Sydney. She's one of the truest friends I have and she's also my confidant. I'm the type of person who gauges my affinity to people based on "wavelength" and she is one of the few people I am definitely 100% in-sync with. 

When the year started off and I was in New York, I told myself that for 2015, my resolution is to be a better son, better sibling, better uncle and better friend. I came up with that resolution after I met a great set of amazing people when I was in New York. (I had a friend I met when I was on vacation in Bangkok (almost a year ago from now) who introduced me to this friend in New York). I told myself that for 2015, I will work on being the person who my friends would want to go to - to talk, to have a drink with, to hang out, to be the person who would listen to their problems, to be the person they could trust.

I've come to a point in my life (nearing 3-0) that I enjoy a small group of people I trust and love being with, than a big group of unfocused relationships.

A huge chunk on how I managed to make it through to moving and finally starting to settle here in Sydney is due to my family. I love the kind of dynamic I have with them now. I'm happy to have received such strong support from my parents and siblings - on the financial and emotional aspect of the move. It's humbling to realize that despite the distances we have from another (Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Quezon City, Middle East) we are able to be there for each other when needed - in part due to technological advances.

More than anything, I am thankful for the friends and family who believed ...

More than anything, I am thankful for the friends and family who believed I will be able to make it and push through the challenges of moving to a new city and country without a job and with only savings in tow. There were several occasions on the 10 weeks of being jobless (longer than 10 weeks if you count the trip to US, Europe and a couple of weeks in Manila) where I questioned the timing and decision to move. I was comfortable living in Singapore - with a stable job, a good source of cash flow, etc. But I knew I wanted something more ... more stability and security. And after everything, I finally reached a point in my life where those possibilities can become an actuality.


I am thankful that I was able to apply and get approved for Permanent residency here in Australia. Now that I found a job and have started working here for almost two weeks, I am excited by the other possibilities I can think of making an actuality. Despite being relatively the same in terms of expensiveness as compared to Singapore, there is a difference in the quality of life. On one front, the amount I am paying for rent in the place I am staying in here is about the same as in Singapore - except it's more spacious. On another front that I was surprised about is that despite having higher tax than Singapore, based on my initial computation, my net here will still be higher than my gross in Singapore. That lead me to realize that Singapore has become a saturated market for my skills.


Friday, April 17, 2015

CH257: Start of things to come

This week was rather busy. From finding a place to move to, to looking for the best FOREX place to change the USD I brought with me, to applying for a credit card, I couldn't be any happier that things are about to change.

I've decided to just for the time being find a room instead of my own flat. Getting a flat here would usually entail it being unfurnished so there would be costs like getting my own refrigerator, furniture, setting up internet etc. I found a place which would just be a 5 min walk from a train station that is 4 stations away from my workplace. It's all settled and done. I'll move into it on the 25th as the place is new and they had renovation works.

Another pleasant news was getting approved for my ANZ credit card (ANZ frequent flyer black) two hours after they received the documents they requested from me! Now I can start building up my credit score :)

Patience does pay off.

Monday, April 13, 2015


As I posted into my twitter account recently, I am officially FUNemployed! After 10 weeks of looking for a job here in Sydney, I finally found a job that is in my field of experience and a permanent position at that. It's a step in the right direction towards settling here in Australia. Previously, I have mentioned that I am open to finding jobs that may be off-tangent to what I do just so I can have a paycheck and get to start living again, as opposed to living off of my savings. But I promised myself I will be patient and avoid just jumping on any job because of the following reasons:

  1. Pay range - I have 6 years of experience in the job I do and the salary range will be entirely different if I shift career just because I was finding it difficult to get a job in a competitive SAP market.
  2. Career progression - My long term goal is to either to become a Project Manager or a Solutions Architect. (I am still interested in Big Data so a Masters in that direction is still something of an idea I play around with in the back of my head). So staying on the career path I am in - where my current role (Senior Consultant) is - is still in the right track to the two progressions I have plans on becoming
  3. Easier said than done - What I noticed in the few jobs I sent my CV to - to test the grounds of shifting career - was that it was easier said than done. Given that I have 6+ years invested in the work I have been doing, it would seem that entry level positions are more open to finding fresh graduates or entry level people because they will be cheaper I guess.

So it was beyond elation and excitement when 6 hours after my second interview (technical), I got a call from the HR Manager telling me that they were offering me the job. 1 hour after my interview, she called me up to ask for my references which I readily gave (they were ready from previous requirements). I was looking at flying off to the Gold Coast to celebrate my birthday to get my mind off the anxiety of waiting for the news on two job prospects (I had an interview as well last Thursday with a different company).

Anyway, I wasn't too excited with celebrating my 29th birthday primarily because I don't like the number. 29 is a prime number! And my 28th year has been most amazing so maybe I was trying to hold on to being 28. 28 saw 2 trips to Europe! I turned 28 in Portugal, touring the fairy-tale like castle of Sintra and exploring the western most tip of the European continent among other things. It was a year of travel and freedom! 27th was more stifling and learning more about myself in the context of a relationship, so I'm totally over being 27. But 28 was the best year of my life so far! I met so many great friends - and I also had to leave many of them when I left Singapore. It was a year of personal development, transformation, and enlightenment!

Why am I even still talking about 28 and rambling like an idiot?! I just got a job for my 29th birthday! I think it's the best gift I can ever receive in the context of my life I am in. Not only for financial reasons, but it felt like when I got the job offer the day before my birthday, that it was some sort of sign akin to "Welcome to Adulthood!" Time to look for insurance, a post paid plan (again), set up my savings and investment, etc!

I may not like being 29, but whoever said they liked being adults and worrying about bills and life? 29 will be my transition period to being 30 which is a year I feel look forward to more!