In which moving to Australia is considered a failure

Not much has been posted from the time from I arrived in Sydney until Justine and I started our Journey, part two. This is a quick and dirty summary of how my dream of moving to Sydney came to be considered a failure.

I’d been staying with Tom and Felicity, Justine’s Aunt (Dad’s Sister) and Uncle since October 22nd. We’d had a decent enough time together – I’d see part of the city during the week and look for a job to sponsor me, and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I’d either tag along with Felicity as she did chores, or did stuff for her kids, or I’d help Tom in the yard. They were living in Kellyville, which is about an 90 minutes outside of Sydney by bus. It wasn’t very walkable, but I did manage to see quite a bit of the world, but it was, in essence, a suburb like all suburbs all over the world.

I found my job search to be unproductive, and the Sydney vForum was a pretty spectacular failure in self awareness. To go to such a thing and expect to press the flesh enough to find a job might work for someone more outgoing than I am, but I’m an introvert at heart, and such efforts drain me. An interesting side note is that the first two companies I saw upon entering vForum were Isilon, which shared a building with my last company (and sold to EMC for Billions a few weeks later), and F5, which was about ½ a mile from that building. Cue “it’s a small world after all.” Eventually I wrangled an interview for a position with someone downtown, but not with a company, but with a consulting agencies. Now that I’m on the ground, and have been talking to people both in and out of IT, I’ve found that it’s quite hard to get hired by a company, as most companies prefer to have consultants, and rely on staffing agencies to get those people for them. And the consulting companies won’t (or can’t) do the sponsoring, but rely on the companies to do it. From the brief talk I had with an Irish woman, she didn’t offer up any hope, but she was gentle in explaining the difficulties.

As time has passed, I’ve talked to a few other people about the job situation. Justine’s Aunt mentioned that hiring slows down near the holidays. A South African couple we met had just moved here told us it took them a few flights and about 2 ½ years to get his visa in order, and then it was a visa that only allowed him to work in places other than Sydney or Melbourne (essentially there are two types of visas. One where you can work anywhere, which is more difficult to qualify for, and one for the less desirable areas, which is slightly easier to qualify for, and is supposed to be the quickest way in) There is a third visa, where you’re sponsored by family, but more on that later. I even spent some time talking with a friend of Justine’s Cousin Cassie, who was in interior design. She mentioned that even moving from Sydney to Melbourne was something she wasn’t able to do, because who you know seems to matter quite a bit. She was Australian, and that was probably the most disheartening. We also talked to Justine’s other Cousin – Louise, who is trying to get her long term boyfriend here. They had quite a story of difficulty, and that visa is supposed to be one of the easiest to acquire.

As I learned more about the various visas, I realized that a family sponsorship would be my better, or maybe only, option. Shortly after Justine arrived (12th November), something happened that ruined our plan of staying with Tom and Felicity. Justine was uncomfortable staying with them, so we headed out late on a Sunday night to strike out on Sydney on our own.

Without the option of a family sponsorship, and the bleak options of other visas, I’m throwing in the towel, and calling my move to Australia a failure.