I intentionally pushed the job hunt story to the end as it extended over the course of first three months and I thought it would be easier to explain with the preclude of how we settled in. When we came to Australia, the only people we knew here were A and S. Both had got jobs within a month after their arrival. We had thought that the hardest part was getting the visa and the house, school etc were anyway a piece of cake. We were not prepared to face the Baap of all struggles, as we didn’t expect it to strike us with prodigious magnitude. While we were at Gordon, amidst all the initial formalities and house hunt we were still actively looking for jobs. My problem was that I had expertise in X domain back in India but unfortunately for me X is scarce(To the extent that I only found one opening so far, which was only open for citizens to apply) in Australia. But luckily I knew a tool which was commonly used in X as well as Y. So, I had to apply for jobs relative to Y but apart from the tool related stuff, everything else was new for me. And I can’t lie to save my life, that too an impromptu one. I did get a few calls and I even had a telephonic interview where I sucked. It broke my confidence into pieces. Abbas consoled me – “It was obvious that you screwed up the interview as you are not a pro at Y domain”. That was the first failed interview of my life and many more were to come L Abbas, on the other hand, received just one call in May which didn’t proceed much as their pre-requisite was someone with a car 😛
Then came June and we got busy with House, School, planning of shifting, hunting second-hand stuff etc. We also noticed that there were no calls whatsoever and the job postings dropped considerably too. I received one call from company R and they called me for a catchup at their office. When I went, the HR and a senior interviewed me and then they connected me to an SME on call who asked more technical questions. At the end of ordeal, I was very positive and they seemed happy to take me too. When I came back home, the HR called me and informed that they were looking forward to taking me onboard but waiting for their client approval. Once they got that, they would like me to join from Monday. That was too easy and quick right? We were so hopeful about this job and were even worried how the shifting would happen as we were to move on Tuesday. But that call never came and we kept waiting that week. Then I finally picked the phone and called the HR. He told me that it was a shame that the client has still not come back and the change of their approval seems bleak as the Financial Year end is approaching and most companies will open up positions only from July once they allocate budget for the new Fin year. It shattered our hopes, devastated my positivity. Then is when we realized that we had come to Australia at a very wrong time. The job market would open up only in late July and pick up in August.
Abbas received one call in the first week of June from a company D which also went on-hold after the initial dawdling. Once we shifted home, we didn’t even have internet connection for two weeks. We came to know from Indian Store lady that we could access free internet at Library and she even suggested that we must keep an eye on local newspapers. Once Mantam started going to school, we would use the library and later A also lent us his pocket wi-fi to use. But there were hardly any jobs anyway. We started applying for all kinds of jobs. But even jobs like cleaning, storekeeping, receptionist, admin required a certification. Abbas even went to the mall in search of casual jobs in stores. But we didn’t find any. Nobody even responded. It was an extremely depressing phase. We were trying to calm our agitated souls by saying to ourselves that situation will improve in July. I made friends with a few school mums and even got an order to make birthday cake at one of their daughter’s birthday. I thought I would atleast do this and also put up a Henna stall or sell earrings etc.
Then came July and we were still in the pavilion waiting for an opportunity. We had reached the zenith of desperation. S had a friend Ro in Melbourne, who was also looking for jobs. We would frequently speak to him and he gave us a lot of new ideas. He even asked why we were only looking for jobs in Sydney? Since our Visa entitled us to work anywhere in Australia, he suggested that we must look in other states also. We widened our search and immediately I got a call for interview at Melbourne. We thought this was meant to be and Abbas told me that I must go. We booked flight tickets both ways and I was to stay a night at Ro’s home. With so much hope, I studied a lot on Y domain, prepared myself for the interview. It was like a Do or Die situation. That was the only ray of hope in sight. I directly went for the interview from the airport after landing. The bubble of hope burst right from the first question. I could sense that they were looking for someone senior with Y skillset and the kind of expectation that they had would take me years to get there. All I had prepared for was at intermediate level. I knew the outcome would be negative. I called Abbas after coming out of the interview and he put a brave face and told me to relax and enjoy the stay without any household stress. But later Abbas told me that he cried after hanging up. He felt so helpless for making me go through all this while he wasn’t even getting any calls.
To be continued…