This morning I was reflecting on my eight months of job hunting when I moved back to Australia in 2017. For the past five years and three months I had been earning anywhere between zero and USD$200 a month. We had spent around $9,000 on a visa to ensure the love of my life could come and life in Australia. I had used up my savings, was receiving no superannuation and relied on the generosity of family and friends who supported my goal of developing a locally-run community centre that helped community members to break free of the dreaded cycle of poverty.
My partner and I arrived with no money in the bank, but fortunately, a roof over our heads, thanks to my family.
I feel emotional looking back at that time. I was applying for roles that I felt suited my skills and experience, but was told that I didn’t have ample experience in Australia. I had two interviews and one unpaid day with a Sydney social enterprise, whom I am still waiting to hear from whether I got the job (I think it’s a no?). My partner was experiencing culture shock, and I was experiencing reverse-culture shock. The blow to my confidence was devastating; I questioned my abilities, my knowledge and my worth. My parents gave us ‘pocket money’ each week, and even then, we would struggle to treat ourselves to a takeaway sandwich or a trip to the movies.
Thanks to a good friend, I was able to take on some contract work while job hunting. She gave me a lifeline; very very slowly my confidence started to grow but I was still going through a terrible time. To this day, I still struggle with my confidence. Those eight months left a lasting impact on my self-worth.
The reason I am reflecting on this is because I know that due to a situation out of our control, many people have lost their jobs and are still job hunting. Everyone’s situation is unique, but I know how scary and deflating the process can be. If you would like to know if I have a connection, or can give advice, please reach out. I am here for you.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, having difficulty coping or staying safe and need short-term support, please call Lifeline on 131 114