2012 never was a year to just stand idly by and play nice.
It’s been an utter shit to a load of people I know. I thought I’d made it through unscathed, I mean, only 6 or 7 weeks to go before 2013, I’d be fine, right?
Well, for the last 3 months, I saw trouble ahead, but the good ship Charlie, despite steering hard a port, struck the iceberg of economic uncertainty fair and square. Yes, the mining industry, with all it’s ‘locked in investment pipeline’ is busy unlocking and re-assigning cash from Australia as fast as it can, and unfortunately, my job went with it.
I saw it coming – well, not perfectly, kinda like the Titanic in James Cameron’s epic film – it was a glancing blow, but ultimately whatever action I was taking was already too slow.
So I find myself on the dole, unemployed, redundant, retrenched.
Actually, after a day or so, I got out from under the multi layered cloud of righteous indignation, disbelief, sadness, bitterness, disappointment and that hollow feeling when you know you only have a few weeks worth of income and then thats it and got into action.
It’s mid November, an historically shite time of year to be job hunting and the economic climate is frankly is nothing like our government is spouting (that’s a topic for another day too..) So this wasn’t time to hang about.
I’ll come clean – I’m an IT contractor, so I don’t expect to work for the same company forever. I’m a kinda like a hired gun, a specialist brain (ok, that’s taking it too far) to apply to problems for a short time and then it’s onto the next thing. I was expecting it to last another maybe 12 months as I had a project to deliver, but I’d already done the hard bit, the bit I’m actually paid the really good money for – the next instalment could happily be done by other people.
As a contractor, I’m also paid quite good money, as I’m not expected to work 235 days a year (or whatever the maximum working days is) so my rate compensates for this up and down cycle of work. So this is actually part of how it’s meant to be.
Plus my now ex-employer is actually a very ethical company I think – despite the image that lefty green environmental groups love to paint, Rio Tinto are a good company to work for with a good solid ethic. Yes, I got made redundant, but they paid me more than my minimum contract states and we didn’t part on bad terms. Yes, I’m disappointed that they kept some and let me and others go, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles and my project was in funding limbo where other projects were not.
So I’m not going to starve. Well, not just yet, anyway.
Action is important – treat finding a new job like a full time job.
I updated my CV before I’d even finished my last day with Rio. I’d changed my LinkedIn profile and updated that fairly heavily. I also started ensuring my LinkedIn network was up-to-date with some of the people I was no longer going to be having coffee with every day. I’d got onto seek.com.au and found every vaguely relevant job and made a plan of attack.
I called a load of people on day one of being at home.
I made sure I knew the state of current opportunities and ensured that my current agent was on the look out for me. I called a new consultancy that was recommended to me. I applied for a couple of jobs on the list I’d collected. I met a contact in the industry for lunch.
Then, people started calling me. Once the word is out there and your social media interaction gets on people’s radar, then things get interesting. Nothing has firmed up with this yet, but it’s certainly a very interesting development.
I guess it’s just good old fashioned networking, but the interesting thing about social networking is that people can see that you’ve been looking at them. Which then means that some of them get curious to see why I clicked on them – then – well…obviously I don’t actually have a new job just yet, but treating the search seriously and being proactive and nosey is paying dividends. I guess it depends what happens next, but the signs are good that I’ll be back in business before I even get a real dip in income.
In other news, I passed my bike test first time. I had to ride it home the long way along the beachfront on a gorgeously sunny day. My life totally rocks.
In your face, 2012, I’m not going to let you win.