First week as a Marketing Assistant: check. Definitely a huge step up from my last job. Last night we went out with a friend and met a bunch of new people, and they were all shocked that I have only been here two months and already have a “real” job. I’m a bit shocked myself, when I really think about it, that I was able to get this job so easily.

Related: Job Hunting in Australia on the Work & Holiday Visa

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I really didn’t think I was going to get the job. My interview was a very short, informal meeting with the Marketing Manager, and I didn’t feel I had really been able to sell myself enough. But I must have said something right.

I do believe my accent actually helped me a little bit, as my boss told me that he interviewed one French guy that he had to say no to pretty much right away because his accent was so heavy he was afraid he’d have trouble communicating with the store managers.

At any rate, all that matters now is that I’m working and making some money! It doesn’t hurt that my job is actually not so bad. The first day or two I didn’t like it much. I didn’t immediately hit it off with my coworkers (my desk is a little bit away from everyone else, but as I’ve started to actually work with them I’ve been invited to lunch and such), and I had no idea what exactly I was supposed to be doing.

I was basically acting as a middle man between my boss and a freelance designer (who the other day gave me a five-minute warning that he was going on vacation for a week. He apparently sent an email about it the afternoon before but our email system was down and I never got it.), and I had no idea where I was supposed to find all this information I needed. My boss is crazy busy and it is difficult to find time to sit down with him and get solid answers. I have to block out time in his Outlook schedule and hope he can fit me in!

But of course starting any new job is difficult and overwhelming at first. I am focusing on one huge project, putting together the Merchandising Standards Manual for all of the company’s stores in Australia.

The company owns all the duty-free shops in all the airports here in Oz. And just to give you an idea, there are six in Sydney’s airport alone — including the world’s largest duty-free store (or the largest in the southern hemisphere, depending on who you ask). They also own numerous stores in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Cairns airports as well. So that’s a lot of stores and a lot of manuals to create.

The standard intro manual that all stores will get had been completed, but I am responsible for editing and updating it (which I have almost finished), and the manuals for one of the Sydney stores and a couple of the Brisbane stores are mostly done, but I have since discovered are entirely outdated and will have to be completely redone.

This means I get to go to the airport quite a bit, which is actually pretty fun! I have to update the store floor plans, take pictures of all their promotional sites (there are lots, especially in the new store which is about the size of a couple department stores put together), find out what promotional materials and how many are allocated to each store for each promotional site, and much, much more.

The more I dive into the project the more I realize how incredibly huge it is, and how unlikely it is that I will be able to finish it in two months! However, there is a chance my contract could be extended, and I could very possibly get to fly out to the other airports which would be awesome!

Overall I’m very happy with how things are going, and it’s nice to have a job with some variety, that keeps me busy (the worst is sitting around bored staring at your computer screen and constantly refreshing your inbox!), and that is in a somewhat personally interesting industry. I am learning a lot of new things — now I can certainly add knowledge of retail marketing to my resume! — and gaining some good experience.

I like working on projects and knowing exactly what I need to get done. I get to do a little bit of photography, a little bit of layout and design (I’m hoping I will be allowed to do a bit more in this vein rather than always have to ask a designer to do everything for me), even a little bit of architecture (floor plans coming out my ears!) and investigation. And of course I’m interacting with a lot of new people — store managers and buying managers and many others — and will hopefully soon be able to remember all their names!

The only downside at the moment is that Oscar’s and my job schedules are so different. I get home around 5:30 or 6 and he often doesn’t get home until 9 or 9:30. By then I’m tired and want to go to bed soon, so we don’t get that much time together. And he also works on Saturdays (though it’s optional) which I hope doesn’t last too long. So hopefully tomorrow we will do something fun since it’s our only day with more than a few hours together!