Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The next hurdle: finding a job–and success

Moving to Australia was not that hard as I had all the qualifications, but settling down would be much harder. At least, that is what I originally thought. First of all, I needed a job. Without a job, I cannot have my own place (well, I cannot afford to have my own place), buy a car (without a car, you are going to waste a lot of time) and do anything for that matter. Finding the first job in Australia is the hard part, because there is a risk for the company when hiring someone who is new to the environment. After that, "people say" that it gets easier.

So, in the first few days, I had one goal: find a job as soon as possible.

Soon after leaving Japan, I made a connection with someone in Japan who offered to hook me up with recruiters here. Unfortunately, it did not yield me with any job opportunities but I received some good advice. And then, I did what everyone would do. I prepared a decent resume (which I had started couple of months ago and was continually evolving), updated my LinkedIn profile and applied to jobs on popular job boards like Seek and Indeed. I mainly applied for C/C++ related jobs, but it was underwhelming because most of the opportunities were for Java, C# and web development jobs. I wanted to go in the direction of C# development, but nobody would want to give me a shot without any commercial experience with C#.

But then I got lucky.

One of my former colleagues who had moved to Australia a while back, was resigning from an embedded hardware/software company thus a vacancy opened up. I went for the interviews there, and I received a job offering; probably my friend's influence helped a lot. It is a known fact that internal references get a high priority when filling positions. My experience developing the printer drivers, which was not exactly embedded, but close enough, must have helped too. It was a decent pay for a first position and there was the opportunity to try out new things, so I accepted the job. But it is a bit far away from  my cousin's place. It takes about 1.5-2hrs to get to work from there using public transport. But it would only be for a short time as I am looking to move into an apartment/house near my office, so that would cut down on the commuting times significantly.

I had several phone interviews from several other companies too, some of which I did when I was in Sri Lanka. The ones I did when I was in Sri Lanka did not advance any further, probably due to my lack of immediate availability. I got one HR phone interview after arriving in Australia from a company that had a fabulous working environment, and they invited me to a test and a formal interview, but I had already taken that other job, and I did not want to waste someone else's interview slot, so I rejected. I got an invitation to a phone interview from another company as well, but it was too late (and they took a whole month to sort it out), so I rejected that as well.

So, now I have a job in Australia. It only took me like 2 weeks to secure a job, so I am very pleased. There are people who go on without jobs for months and months. So I should consider myself pretty lucky. But to be honest, the luck only helped me get the interview. It is my experience/capabilities that got me the job.

Objective one complete; to finding an apartment then.

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