Opening this blog feels almost like wiping a thick layer of a dust from an old book you found in an attic… 🙂
However, I haven’t been quite inactive when it comes to blogging. Instead, I’ve been cheating on this blog writing a different one… But, I can explain it!
When I moved to Auckland about 18 months ago, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have my favourite spot, my top restaurant, I didn’t know where to get a good chocolate cake or yummy ice-cream, and I didn’t know where to take my friends and what to show them when they come for a visit. I decided that I cannot live like this much longer (especially that part without knowing where to get a good chocolate cake!) and that I needed to put on my shoes, pack a bag, grab a Lonely Planet, have enough data on my phone and go out there and explore. To encourage or motivate myself, I decided that I will write a blog and describe all my findings there. Maybe there are other lonely people in Auckland who don’t know what to do and where to go (or where to get a good chocolate cake) and they will appreciate my ideas. So Auckland: Inside Out was born! I deliberately spent more weekends in Auckland (instead of going to Raglan), and explore. And it’s been a great ‘journey’ so far! I have made new friends on the way, I found my first, second and third favourite chocolate cakes, I know where to take you for a surf or for a run or just for breathtaking views, and I know where and how to best spend lovely Saturday mornings or rainy Sundays. You wanna party? I’ve got this covered as well, no worries :).
Getting to know Auckland more and more, I slowly started falling in love with the place. “When are you moving back to Raglan?” is quite a common question when I’m down there. “Hmm, as much as I love Raglan and part of me wishes to be back here, I really enjoy Auckland and I don’t think I have quite finished with it just yet.” First, I need to find a job in the CBD, that’s my current dream I want to fulfil.
Now, why CBD? Driving there is a nightmare and parking there even a bigger one.
But I don’t want to drive there, I wanna travel to work by ferry! The house I currently live in is right next to the ferry station. Every morning, when I eat my breakfast, I watch ferries passing by. When I go to work and walk to my car, I see people rushing down to catch the ferry. Same thing, when I get back home in the afternoon. I use every single opportunity to catch a ferry, but I want to do it on a regular basis. I want it to take me to work. Hm, is this a reason good enough to look for a new job? If you ask me, yes! And I know I will probably be fed up with it after two weeks. I know it is actually quite expensive. And I know that it is probably not a pleasant mean of transport when it’s rainy and stormy. But hey, I need to try it.
A new project: finding a new job! I didn’t quite know what I would like to do (well, at least I knew where I wanted my new job to be located, which I think it’s a good start…). I cannot practice law here, as my Slovenian law degree is not valid in New Zealand. And to be honest, even if it would, I am so out of it that I wouldn’t really make a good lawyer. I really enjoy the events industry but monitoring upcoming jobs for a while I realised that there are not many opportunities there (especially if I want to narrow my targets to work within a walking distance from the ferry in the CBD). The next closest thing is marketing and this looked much more promising with plenty of job opportunities (and in the desired area), the only problem I had, was the lack of direct experience with marketing. So, I decided to go back to uni!
At a time, this seemed like a brilliant idea. I would gain some knowledge of marketing and more importantly, a qualification recognised in New Zealand. Since I am a New Zealand resident, I also pay Kiwi student fees (which are still expensive but at least 4 times cheaper than international fees). And during the winter, when the water was cold and the weather dark, gloomy and wet, I actually enjoyed spending my weekends behind books. Well, this has changed by now! I have an exam in two weeks and I haven’t been in such pain ever before. I really struggle being inside when the weather is getting better and the water more appealing, not to mention that my brain is just not used to memorising things anymore… 2 more weeks…
Anyway, once I figured out what I sort of wanted, I decided to start looking for a new job. There was just one little problem I had. Job searching necessarily involves interviews, which often take place in the middle of a working day. How do I explain my sudden absence from work or the sudden increase in meeting in town to my boss? How will I come up with all the excuses, all of a sudden? I decided to take a different approach – “I will tell my boss that I don’t want to work for her and my company anymore!” “Are you insane??” was pretty much a response I got from my friends when I told them of my master plan. “You are pretty much quitting your job before finding a new one…”
I told my boss, anyway. I wanted to be open and honest, she has been really good to me in the past few years (I even got my residency because of her). I know she struggles to find new people to do my job, so I wanted to give her as much notice as possible. And I also needed her help, as in New Zealand all the new employers are checking your references which have to be your previous bosses. Now, how would I have come around that, I don’t know? So, I told her. She was surprised. “Why?” “Well, you know… because I really want to travel to work by ferry.” “You are not serious?? Do you want to sleep over and let me know your decision tomorrow?”
Looking for a job this time round has been an interesting experience. In the beginning, the answers I mostly got were “thanks, but no thanks”. If I managed to get to an interview, I blew my chances there. “Man, do I really have to talk that much??” I was lucky to come across a really helpful recruitment agent (most of the jobs here go through recruitment agencies) who finally gave me some very useful tips about writing my CV. “Hm, you want me to include all these into a CV? But how do I squeeze all these information on two pages??” “Who said it has to be on two pages only? You can have a CV 12 pages long, I will stop reading when I will not be interested anymore.” Once my CV was up to Kiwi standards, I started getting more positive answers. Another super helpful recruiter trained me further for interviews. “Right, you will meet this person and she will ask you this and thi, how will you answer? No, not good enough, include this information, and then stop talking. No, you don’t have to mention this. Good, go now, you are ready!”
And? Yes, I have found a new job!
Again, I was extremely lucky. One of the assignments I was doing for my uni, I needed to do in pairs. Since the whole course is online, finding a person to group with, was quite a challenge. However, our professor put me in touch with Analiese. We caught up, discussed how we are going to do our assignment and while discussing ‘the business’ she mentioned that she works in a marketing team for Media Design School (a private tertiary education provider, sort of a private uni for design studies). “Oooo, that sounds very interesting. I would like to do something like this as well!” “Well, we are actually looking for someone to join our team. I’ll send you the details.”
The job description sounded very interesting and very much what I was looking for. I applied for the job and (because my CV was suitable this time) I got an invitation to an interview. I met with a HR person and my future boss. We had a really good conversation, but I didn’t really think much of it. They were asking me all these marketing questions, which I did answer, but in my own way. I have no direct experience with brand and product management, social media and content marketing, although I do similar stuff all the time. When they mentioned that they have got plenty of good applications, I thought I was out. I thanked them, thanked Analiese for the opportunity and left. But I was wrong! They called me back! They liked me! And they offered me the position! Yupiiiiiiiiiii :).
I start in November. I’ve already bought a ferry pass… 🙂
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” A.P.J. Abdul Kalam