Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Career Opportunities (The Clash)

So I'm back again and only with a day gap between posts-that hasn't happened in at least a year!

I'm hoping for your help;  I need some career advice.  Remember when I went for that dream job and I didn't get it?  Well, the most amazing thing happened yesterday.  The lady that I interviewed with back then sent me an email to let me know that that position had just become available again and that she encouraged me to have a look at the job posting again.  Not that that means it is a sure thing, but when does it ever happen that you put in for a job, don't get it, and then they contact you 6 months later suggesting that you try again for the job??  I'm really excited!

The help that I need from anyone reading this is:  I have to resubmit a cover letter and my resume.  What can I do to my cover letter to make it different from last time?  Do I just give a general overview of the last one to remind her why I am the best candidate for the job?  Do I change it completely and say different things?  (For background-the job is helping US students get settled in Australia in a uni program and fielding any questions they might have about life here, helping them get in to internships, showing them around the City, etc.  So on my last cover letter I spoke about the fact that I can relate to these students as I originally came out on a study abroad program myself, I faced and continue to face the same feelings of homesickness and of being foreign in a new country, that I have a teaching background, that I enjoy meeting and working with new people, and that I want to help make these students time here the best that it can be so they love Aus as much as I do).

I also did a mock up of a weekly newsletter that they send out to all of the students after my first interview- should I resubmit that?

Thanks in advance to anyone who has advice!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guess Who's Back, Back Again? Shady's Back, Tell a Friend

I guess I actually have the best excuse in the world as to why I haven't posted in 6 months- I was out living life! So many things have changed since I last wrote but a lot of it was just normal life stuff that it really didn't need its own post.  I'll give you the overview of all that has changed since I've last been on, although sadly, I'm sure not very many people check in here anymore!

1.  I got a new car.  So glad to be done with my last p.o.s. and now I'm driving a newish Hyundai Tucson and it's comfy and fun to drive and makes my 2 hours of commuting in the car so, so, so much better!

2.  We moved!  I don't remember what the final straw was that finally broke the camel's back and lit a fire under our bum to move from Budgewoi and the little shack there- it was probably either the black mold we were finding everywhere or the fact that it was raining so much that our driveway was constantly a mud pit that did it, though.  So we moved about 30 minutes closer to Sydney.  Although it has added about 15 minutes each way to my commute, MOTH Dude's work day has shrunk by nearly 2 hours since he doesn't have to drive 20 minutes to his parents' house, drop off his car, get driven to the station in the morning and do the whole thing in reverse on his trip home at night.  Now he walks to the station or takes a short bus trip.  This has been a god send!  Plus, we love our new little house.  It's got wood floors, 3 (tiny) bedrooms, a wood burning stove, air con, and in the backyard there is a fig tree, two mandarin trees, two orange trees, and we put in a garden of tomatoes, jack-o-lantern pumpkins, basil, jalapenos, bell peppers, spaghetti squash, and corn that are all going nuts!

We're allowed a dog at this place, too, and we are starting to look at pound puppies to rescue.  I always had pets growing up, though MOTH didn't, and I feel like it doesn't feel like "home" properly until we get one.

3.  I didn't get a few more dream jobs I put in for.  Didn't even get interviews!  I'm still at the same place and still not loving it.  The work is fine, I've gotten a way thicker skin and don't even get angry or upset when people are screaming down the phone line at me, what I can't deal with is the office politics.  I put in an application to get in to an Emerging Leaders Program and got rejected.  I asked for feedback and it was very general overview type of stuff, no specifics as to what was wrong with my application to keep me from at least getting interviewed.  I'm using the feedback constructively though and am working to prove I deserve to be in the program this next year.  I also hear I get a very good pay raise in July and because we are able to take leave at half pay, I already have enough leave accrued to take off 6 weeks for the wedding in September/October.  Because I'll continue to accrue days off between now and then, I plan on taking a day off per month on those months where there aren't other public holidays for mental health days-this should improve my mood significantly!

4.  MOTH Dude and I are both in weddings (other than ours) this year!  MOTH is best man for his old uni friend the Red Head and I'm doing bridesmaid duties for my friend I've spoken about before, LC!  We're very excited for both couples getting married.  After us in September, pretty much all of our friends will be married, at least all of our Aussie friends, and we will officially be old!  Haha!

5. I read a quote in September that said something along the lines of "The time you've known a person shouldn't be the only reason you consider them a friend" and then the blurb went on to say you should only keep friendships that enrich you.  I really took this to heart and evaluated a dying friendship that I had been holding on to and decided it was time to let it go.  I didn't contact the person and have some big dramatic scene.  I just chose to stop reaching out and tellingly, that person hasn't contacted me since September, either, so I feel more justified letting go. That's not to say that the whole thing wasn't or hasn't been painful but I gave myself a bit of time to mourn the loss and then I got on with it.  Now rather than focus on the loss, I focusing on all the amazing people I DO have in my life and whom I CAN count on.  We recently put together our address list for the wedding and it's pretty overwhelming and amazing to see, in numbers, just how many people we have that love us.

6.  More wedding stuff-I just returned from a super short and super expensive trip to California.  I was over from December 30th until the 12th of January.  In that time, we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all on one night, celebrated my Dad's 60th birthday, and got TONS of wedding stuff done.  My sister, Nae, was also in town and we hadn't seen each other in nearly two years so it was awesome to get that time with her.  Even though neither one of us is a girly girl, she really stepped up in to her maid of honor/horror role and was there with me through all the boring planning stuff.  We didn't even fight, we might have had a snippy moment or two, but there was no fights so maybe she missed me as much as I missed her or maybe we're just more diplomatic as we've gotten older and have learned to bite our tongues unless it really matters.

She and my Mom came dress shopping with me and we found the One!  (I won't post a picture of it in case MOTH Dude stops by here, but you can google it, it's Casablanca 1827 and I'm getting cap sleeves put on it and putting a belt around the middle of it.)  I love it and it was right in my budget. We also found the bridesmaid dresses and a dress for Mom and they are going to look great!  I kept MOTH Dude's Mom in the loop during planning as she only has the two boys and mother of the groom doesn't get a lot of fun jobs and when I sent her a dress she said it made her teary eyed and I was going to look beautiful.  That was really special for me to hear.

7.  Nae is dating a South African!!  They seem really well suited to each other- they like cooking and organic gardening and getting outdoors on adventures.  He seems like he treats her really well and has an amazing family who has taken her in already.  I think we are all nervous that we will lose her to South Africa, as well.  It is still early days, but I think he might be a keeper!  We are hoping he'll be able to get off of work to come to the wedding and that maybe even his parents will want to come out and party with us.  I'm not sure if he deserves a blog name or not yet, but I thought of a good one-I'm calling him PBJ since he has three names between his first and middle names and the initials are nearly the same and I'm sure, like Aussies, South Africans aren't huge fans of the PB&J sandwich combo.

MOTH Dude and I plan on taking a mini moon to Mexico for a week after the wedding and then we're saving up to head to South Africa to hang with Nae and safari in 2013!

Then we'll be really, really old and have to start thinking about terrifying stuff like having kids and what glad to have another year and a half to prepare myself mentally for that challenge!

Anyway, I think that's everything.  I'll try and be more frequent in my posting.  We do have exciting things coming up so hopefully I'll have fun things to write about.  Plus, I still have about 15 recipes I'd love to share with you guys, but I've been slacking on my own food photo taking so I may just have a post with links to the recipes I've found and loved and how to tweak them to make them even better.

Happy Australia Day for Thursday! xx