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Old Oct 9th 2005, 7:13 am   #1
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Default Back from Sydney

I've just returned from a trip to Sydney to attend a few interviews, look for houses, validate my visa and so on.

I flew with Japan Airlines who I can recommned to anyone shorter than about 5ft 4ins. Being well over 6ft, the outward leg of my journey was a bit cramped to say the least but apart from that, the service and food on the aircraft was very good. There were no delays either. Any discomfort on the outward trip to Japan was forgotten when they upgraded me to business class for the entire remaining journey into Kingsford Smith, and for the trip home. Now that was bliss and I thank them for that, although I probably won't fly with them again.

So one hire car, one mobile phone and one map later, I was on the Harbour Bridge and heading north up the Pacific Highway to look for digs for the week. Once settled in, I took a look around the West Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook and Dural areas at the houses on the market up there. Wow. They may be McMansions but they sure make my McMatchbox in Hampshire look unfit for human habitation and for around $400 a week, I'm not complaining. I drove around the area for hours, stopping to breathe it all in and get a feel for the place and I have to say I absolutely love it up there. It will make a perfect place to aim to touch down and will be great for the kids. The schools look splendid too (Cherrybrook Primary, John Purchase Primary both being highly recommeded). As with pretty much everywhere in Sydney, the traffic was heavy during rush hour but not solid.

I spent the public holiday on Newport, one of the northern beaches. Every man and his dog were on the beach that day, and still there was plenty of room to move. Later in the week, I looked round the south east, Malabar, Maroubra, Coogee. On Maroubra beach, I practically had the whole place to myself. Magic.


I'm in IT and had organised a string of interviews to attend over the week. All I can say if you plan the same is to come highly prepared. The skills bar is set very high, and your experience (although relevant to your CV) may be worthless if you cannot turn that into tangible evidence of your capability. 10 years in IT means crap compared to 6 weeks relevant recent experience managing a technical project through to delivery. Certifications are not as weighty as they are in the UK either. Also be prepared for a huge chunk of salary to go astray.

Out of 5 interviews, I landed 3, 1 possible pending funding, and 1 rejection which according to local experts is pretty good going.

Now to a personal reality check. I flew home with 3 job offers and I'm probably not going to accept any of them. Clearly, it had been creeping up on me for months, but this trip really did accentuate the fact that my love affair with IT is over. I'm very pleased to have done so well at interview, clearly my technical skills nurtured in a large IT multinational are worth something, but the fact remains that I reckon I wouldn't be happy in any of those roles, and thats what matters at the end of the day. Huge challenges, high pressure, lots of domestic travel, time away from my family.....can't say it adds up to an attractive package personally so I'm looking at my options.

As for Australia, it's still the dream (and very soon will be reality) but I've learnt a lot by doing this precursive trip and my feet are somewhat nearer the ground because of it.
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Old Oct 9th 2005, 11:13 am   #2
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Default Re: Back from Sydney

Interesting. So are you considering a complete change of direction job-wise?
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Old Oct 9th 2005, 12:20 pm   #3
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Default Re: Back from Sydney

Quote:
Originally Posted by <")))><
I've just returned from a trip to Sydney to attend a few interviews, look for houses, validate my visa and so on.

I'm in IT and had organised a string of interviews to attend over the week. All I can say if you plan the same is to come highly prepared. The skills bar is set very high, and your experience (although relevant to your CV) may be worthless if you cannot turn that into tangible evidence of your capability. 10 years in IT means crap compared to 6 weeks relevant recent experience managing a technical project through to delivery. Certifications are not as weighty as they are in the UK either. Also be prepared for a huge chunk of salary to go astray.
Very interesting. I am also in IT, ( although emigrating on an earlier skill in electronics). Mine is financial software programming / analyst /business consultant.

May I enquire what in IT you are in. You mention project experience etc.

I am out of time right now but might try and PM you later.


Good luck,

Brian.
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Old Oct 9th 2005, 1:55 pm   #4
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Default Re: Back from Sydney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutch
Interesting. So are you considering a complete change of direction job-wise?
Speaking for me personally, I think IT is not as attractive a career choice as it once was. Offshoring has made sure of that. Yes, I am definitely looking at alternatives.

In realistic terms, a slight change of course rather than a complete change of direction will probably be more appropriate. I have a family to support, although I haven't ruled it out.

In the UK, I am a systems engineer, solution designer and technical infrastructure architect for a global IT company, degree qualified (although not in IT related subject) and several industry certifications (MCSE, CCEA and so on) with experience in the major industry sectors (finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail).
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Old Oct 9th 2005, 2:25 pm   #5
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Default Re: Back from Sydney

Quote:
Originally Posted by <")))><
Speaking for me personally, I think IT is not as attractive a career choice as it once was. Offshoring has made sure of that. Yes, I am definitely looking at alternatives.
Interesting observations. I've just come back from a three week trip to Sydney where I was recruiting IT people for our Australian division and I'd agree that the market is weak - from a candidate's point of view. I'd estimate salaries to be at least 30% down on the UK market. This is particularly so for more junior positions where there is a lot of competition from recent arrivals from lower cost environments such as India and China. However, from doing many interviews on my trip it's obvious that the English language requirement for PR status is simply not policed to any serious extent so being an Anglo might give one an edge.

Some skill sets demand a big premium, CCIE Voice is particularly hot at the moment. I could not recruit anybody at a remotely reasonable rate and ended up relocating someone from Kiev to Sydney!

A sober assessment of one's marketability is definitely needed before taking the plunge!

Mercador

Last edited by mercador; Oct 9th 2005 at 2:27 pm.
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