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Stepping stones to Australia

March 2, 2010

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, overwhelmed by all the things I knew I had to do and in turn completely unable to do anything especially relevant to the big upcoming move. (On the upside, I’ve cleaned out about two tons of stuff from my room.)

Today things finally started to turn around. I had forced myself into making a set decision and ordered a new camera last week (Canon S90, which I love already!) and was expecting it to arrive today. This morning I heard the dogs go crazy, and assumed it was my camera being delivered. Imagine my surprise when my mom yells, “I think your passport is here!” I couldn’t believe it; in fact I was more ready to believe that my old passport had arrived from Jordan than that my new, “expedited” passport had arrived after just a week of “processing.” Not to mention I was supposed to get an e-mail when its status changed — but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless.

The good kept coming, especially when I realized the passport is good for 10 years, not just two like they told me it would be in Jordan. Getting my passport finally put me in more control of my situation, and I immediately finished filling out my Work & Holiday visa application online. Things got a little hairy when it recommended me to attach some documents, but didn’t tell me what kinds, and in the end it wouldn’t let me upload any anyways. But I feel much more confident in things now that I have so much more time to get things done if I do hear from the Aussies requesting additions to my application.

Later in the afternoon my camera finally arrived, and running around snapping photos of the dogs and anything else of interest got me excited to finally get going again… to somewhere where it’s not just all white and gray snow and skies!

Still stress was freezing me from doing other very important tasks. Yesterday I received a message from a friend who had just returned from spending a number of months doing the same thing in Sydney. It had taken her a while to find a job and a place to live, and I started to panic with thoughts of arriving in Australia and completely failing and going broke. I became unsure about all my decisions, and I became even more stressed about all the things I should be doing already to work away at those problems but was sure I couldn’t succeed at.

Around graduation last spring I was ready to attack all these things (and even then they didn’t quite go as I’d hoped), but it’s been a while since I’ve really even thought about resumes and cover letters and interviewing, let alone rent and bills. The most effort I could summon was printing out some Australian resume advice and some old resumes, skimming over them, then setting them as far out of sight as possible.

But like I said, today was a good day, a moving-forward kind of day, and I couldn’t let myself start to stall and freeze up now. So as I was trying to distract myself online by refreshing Facebook or browsing links on Twitter, I distracted myself into some motivational articles. I stumbled across The Ultimate Goal Setting Post, which got me going a bit. Maybe I haven’t quite gotten “SMARTER” and sat down to set very specific goals yet, but I know that my goal is to move to Australia and get a job (preferably one I somewhat enjoy), a place to live, and make a living as soon as possible (i.e. in the first two or so weeks). And I realized (should I start writing Australian? – realised) that when I’m this stressed and overwhelmed, I need to take things one small step at a time.

So tonight I sat down with a pen and paper and started from the very beginning. Name, address, phone number, e-mail — my resume was already coming together nicely! Of course, then it got tough… Career Objective? Or Career Profile? Career Summary? Key Strengths? I knew it couldn’t be perfect right away, so I started out the best I could and eventually resorted to notes and bullet points, but with some time and effort it will turn into something functional. I sensed myself starting to stress again so I knew it was time to stop. I have time, I can work on work history and education tomorrow, other activities and achievements the next day, references the next. (NOTE: I’ve since written a post on job hunting and writing an Australian resume/CV.)

After burning myself out a bit on resume writing, it seemed like a good idea to post an update on here. Especially for Americans (who qualify for the Work & Holiday Subclass 462 visa, different from Europeans) there is very little information on this process. Once I know more about the status of my application I will try to provide as much detail on that process as possible (length of time, documents needed, etc.). (NOTE: I’ve since written a comprehensive run down of everything you need to know about the Work & Holiday Visa, especially for Americans on the 462.)

Right now my list of things to do is as follows:

– Complete resume
Book my plane ticket! (Waiting for more info on the fate of my application first.)
Search (and apply for) jobs in Sydney
Search for apartments
– Start setting aside what I’ll be bringing with me, noting what more I might need, and packing and organizing what I’ll be leaving at home
– Be prepared for other documents the visa people might ask me for (proof of health insurance, proof of funds, birth certificate, proof of education, etc.)
– Mentally prepare myself for the move, try to sit down and figure out more specific goals (jobs I prefer, what I want to get out of my experience in Australia)

Those are the main ones for now. It’s hard to believe that in probably two or so weeks I’ll be on my ways, should all things work out. It should be an exciting journey!


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