DSGamer Down Under (Australia) and back

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Good luck with the job search, DSG!

Thanks. Hopefully I hear from recruiters starting tomorrow since Aussies don't work weekends.

Sad week this week. My wife thinks she's close to being offered a second year here and she's not sure if she wants it. The exchange rate is killing us in terms of paying off debt back home and while she loves living abroad she wants that debt gone. So we've been grappling with that lately and she's been stressed about it.

Tough call. Money isn't more important than happiness, but debt can be a big weight on a person. Good luck working through it.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Tough call. Money isn't more important than happiness, but debt can be a big weight on a person. Good luck working through it.

Money isn't more important than happiness. So true. I think she's getting stressed about the idea of committing to a job when the exchange rate is making it so hard to finish off that debt. Otherwise the choice is obvious.

Maybe think about how much interest that debt will generate over another year and then say is it worth it for us to stay here for that much money. My guess is it will be a relatively small amount of money and you guys will say that it is definitely worth it for your happiness there.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Maybe think about how much interest that debt will generate over another year and then say is it worth it for us to stay here for that much money. My guess is it will be a relatively small amount of money and you guys will say that it is definitely worth it for your happiness there. :)

It's good advice. We're already in that space, to be honest. We've already been calculating living here as a net loss given how hard it's been to find a longer term contract. It's just a matter of how long we want to do that versus going back to the US (or another country with a more favorable exchange rate) and seeing how long term employment and a better exchange rate might work.

It's definitely not something we factored in that heavily when we made the move. We were just happy for the adventure and a change, but now faced with the choice it's something we have to consider.

Still haven't found work yet. I feel like there's a chance my wife gets low balled in negotiations and our Australian experience ends up being that I was unemployed for 7 months and then we moved back home.

The experience has been great, but looking for work here is an awful process. Not a great combination with the high cost of living. Today we started discussing where we'd go if we went back to the US. Outside of the whole thing where companies rarely get back to me regarding Jobs, I really like Australia.

Good luck!

Sonicator wrote:

Good luck!

Thanks.

I'm going to ask since someone from Australia replied. I'm not picking on you, just glad someone replied.

Is it at all possible that my resume is being tossed in the bin because most of my experience is in the US? I'm trying to figure out what to do differently that most companies just never get back to me. Obviously I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to networking as I don't know anyone here. So I'm relying on recruiters and applying for jobs online.

Good luck, DSG!

I know you've heard this from me before DS so it would be good to get a different perspective, but I don't think that will be standing in your way. I can't remember if you've brought your visa situation up in this thread... That's the only thing that tends to get in the way of international experience from what I've seen.

Something else that *might* be giving you grief - Sydney is a pretty competitive dev marketplace that has a bit of an ageism problem, so don't be afraid to apply for senior coding roles since they usually necessitate a more mature candidate pool. From what you've mentioned earlier you've certainly got the chops!

Good luck with it, I'm quietly cheering you on from the sidelines along with the greater GWJ clan

DC Malleus wrote:

Good luck with it, I'm quietly cheering you on from the sidelines along with the greater GWJ clan :)

Thanks. I appreciate that.

I only apply for senior roles. I do worry that I have ageism and my weight working against me. It's been hard to shut out the idea that we may have to go home for those reasons alone. Because we aren't suitable for here... It's terrible because I'm starting to feel a chip growing on my shoulder and it's all this job search. People are very nice to us. I like the weather and the general vibe of the country. But we're not setup to run a deficit here forever. I don't know.

For building up a network, attending the user group meetings for your skillset can be good. But I feel like you need a certain confidence to socialise with mostly strangers which I sometimes have trouble with. The not getting back to you thing might just be cultural difference? I seem to remember that was the case when I was job hunting.

Yeah I'll chip in by saying many employers don't take the trouble to thank all applicants for their troubles in making an application so I wouldn't take it in a negative way, it's how it is in Australia.

You have my sympathies DSG. I'm 9 months out on my own now as a lawyer/accountant and it's taking a while to build momentum in gaining clients. I have an office in the CBD now and rent is a big overhead that kills many small businesses in the first couple of years. My savings account isn't looking so healthy either but I'm enjoying myself immensely more than I had in the past 8 years and for me that is worth the financial cost to the family unit. A couple of big opportunities have come in recently from clients and contacts I've looked after in the past and it's giving me reason to keep my hopes up. Is it worth reaching out to the contacts you've made here for a lead? A word of praise from a trusted source is worth a lot in the Australian job market.

I've hinted pretty heavily that I'd appreciate their help. I wouldn't say this to them, of course, but this would be especially appreciated since they dangled the carrot of potential long term work and it never came through.

I'm not sure what else to do with them. I even went in today and worked with them at a 25℅ discount so their remaining budget could stretch. I can't bend over backwards much more.

I mean, in the US they undervalue you by assuming work / life balance is optional. And I do think that's worse. I would prefer to stay here. But if I'm not working and my wife doesn't get a great deal on year 2, this may be a 1 year experiment before we move on to the next country. I'm finally starting to come to terms with that even if I don't like it.

Bfgp wrote:

Yeah I'll chip in by saying many employers don't take the trouble to thank all applicants for their troubles in making an application so I wouldn't take it in a negative way, it's how it is in Australia.

You have my sympathies DSG. I'm 9 months out on my own now as a lawyer/accountant and it's taking a while to build momentum in gaining clients.

I appreciate all of this, to be clear. I'm just frustrated and venting a little (a lot). The constructive help is appreciated. If I'm destined to go home in 4 months (ouch) I may try to find hourly gigs just using an ABN and handling the rest myself. I just need to figure out where one finds gigs here. Lord knows I haven't had much luck finding jobs.

It may not be optimal, but have you already looked at the big consulting firms? IBM, SAP, Oracle, etc? They are usually always hiring devs to send out on their contracts from what I've seen.

DSGamer wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

Yeah I'll chip in by saying many employers don't take the trouble to thank all applicants for their troubles in making an application so I wouldn't take it in a negative way, it's how it is in Australia.

You have my sympathies DSG. I'm 9 months out on my own now as a lawyer/accountant and it's taking a while to build momentum in gaining clients.

I appreciate all of this, to be clear. I'm just frustrated and venting a little (a lot). The constructive help is appreciated. If I'm destined to go home in 4 months (ouch) I may try to find hourly gigs just using an ABN and handling the rest myself. I just need to figure out where one finds gigs here. Lord knows I haven't had much luck finding jobs.

Venting is healthy, and this is the place for it!

It occurred to me last night that part of my frustration stems from the fact that I've been unemployed 6 out of the last 11 months. I was laid off in October and we were on the way to Australia to check it out that week. Since I couldn't take a job in the US once I knew we were moving I was out of work until the move. Then I found a gig and then things have been hard since that gig.

It occurred to me that part of this might just be that I'm lonely. With only my wife I have no social prospects outside of work mates and right now I have no work mates.

Hmm there's a tech startup place in Sydney (Fishburn?) you could swing by. Plenty of devs there, you will make a lot of network connections and might pick up a few opportunities. At the least you'll be hanging out with like minded techies.

DSGamer wrote:

It occurred to me last night that part of my frustration stems from the fact that I've been unemployed 6 out of the last 11 months. I was laid off in October and we were on the way to Australia to check it out that week. Since I couldn't take a job in the US once I knew we were moving I was out of work until the move. Then I found a gig and then things have been hard since that gig.

It occurred to me that part of this might just be that I'm lonely. With only my wife I have no social prospects outside of work mates and right now I have no work mates.

Do they have meetup.com stuff over there? I've gone to some board game meetups in the last year.

Hang in there, DS, best wishes that your adventure continues.

See if there are any volunteer opportunities?

It's a done deal, it appears. The assignment here was only ever going to run through the end of this year. That's fine. We had hoped it would yield opportunities to stay, but heaven knows I've had an impossible time finding work that was steady, so we can't count on that. And we still have too many obligations in the US to take a drastic pay cut. Especially if I'm not working. So I think unless something crazy happens we're going back at the end of the year.

Now to figure out what to do with the time as I prep for a return and a job search at the end of this year / next year. Also big decisions about where want to go next. Maybe it's finally time to go to Texas where our family is.

Where in Texas?

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Where in Texas? :D

Our family is in Waco, Dallas around there. We would consider anywhere, though, honestly. We like Austin based on a limited sample size, but there seem to be good job markets in Dallas and Houston as well.

Austin is great, although the Austinites say it's getting crowded.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Austin is great, although the Austinites say it's getting crowded.

I worry about that with any sizable city in the US with a critical mass of tech jobs. I'm not sure how to find the sweet spot. I guess that's what we take the next 4 months trying to figure out.

Well, if you have any questions about Houston, neighborhoods, whatever, I'm happy to help. Also, Hemidal lives in San Antonio if that becomes a consideration.

A friend of mine works in Austin in some form of IT, btw, though I think it's web design. I think it goes without saying that y'all will probably have the best shot at finding jobs you're both happy with in a big city.

Plenty of GWjers in Texas for job stuff I think