An office of one’s own

I could get used to having a few reasons to celebrate, which is what we have been doing in the past 5 weeks. There was the offer of a permanent job after a number of stints in contractual roles; then, the following day my Australian permanent residency was granted after years of waiting, spending roughly AU$10,000 in applications and professional fees, countless documents, anxiety, and keeping an eye on a Facebook group for tips and updates.

Life is starting to look up after years in limbo for both myself and my husband who himself was in the middle of a career shift when we got married.

It’s not the biggest office in the world, but it’s more than the confines of a cubicle.

Apart from the technical aspects of my new work, another perk is the literal corner office that I will be occupying which sits right at the end of the corridor and away from prying eyes of co-workers. It’s small, but it’s more than the confines of cubicles to which I had become very familiar over the years. I have my own lockers and the usual gadgets, two heaters, a fan, a view of the outside world, and I could close the door if I wanted to concentrate on a task.

I have been a week and half at the new job that not only requires me to manage documentation on operating procedures and policies, but also organise activities necessary to get/maintain an ISO accreditation. It’s a promising role and far less dead-end, to say the least, than the previous jobs I had held since moving to Perth. Of course, that is not to say that I am not thankful for every opportunity that came my way: a job is a job when you’re building a new life in another country and there are bills to pay.

After signing the employment offer with the new company, I submitted my resignation letter to my then-manager whom I wasn’t sure was happy or sad about having to find another person to fill my role. I couldn’t tell either if the timing was right, because the company had recently been acquired by a Japanese organisation. But as much as I loved the incredible work-life balance there that allowed me clock in at 11:00 every day, there was only so much I could do in that role, which was contractual in the first place, as organising online translations ate up too much of my time and did not allow me to do what I really wanted: technical documentation, creating learning content, things related to knowledge management and learning and development.

How my job evolved over the 11 months that I was there was a far cry from the expectations that we set at the start of my employment. I was still thankful for the opportunity, but we all knew that I was not allocated tasks that I wanted to accomplish and that also meant they were not getting good value out of my presence or the salary that they were paying me. If that was not enough to convince them that I needed to take the next opportunity that came my way, I didn’t know what would. I had the feeling my contract would be continued, but I didn’t want to be forever in limbo either.

I shall miss my powerful work gadgets, the assistance from some of the brainiest and friendliest people I’ve had the chance to work with, running around Herdsman, the shower rooms and lockers downstairs for when I needed to change into my running gear, and being comfortable, but I need to move on to new challenges.

My old work station

Here’s hoping that the new job will be a good one and that I would be able to meet the expectations laid out on my job description.