This is a guest post by Aerij Tallat, who came to Australia around 3 years ago as a Master’s student. She is now working at one of the big 4 telcos in Australia. An avid traveller, reader and a foodie, she can be reached through her Instagram.
We’ve all been there where we start to question everything we’ve been through to get where we are. We also question, at times, if this is all worth it. I for one used to have this thought at least once a month!
I was always one of those girls who never fantasized about getting married at 23, and have a kid at 24. Not that there is anything wrong with this ideology, but it just wasn’t me.
I always believed there was more to life.
However, never in my wildest dream I thought that one day I would be sitting in Sydney, with a Master’s Degree in Construction Project Management, writing an article about how to get through your first few years here.
I think my odd thinking got me here.
The universe gave me the motivation I needed to get here, and I pursued it. However, like many things in life, the main reason I thought I was coming to Australia for didn’t really work out well. Looking back, it all makes sense why it didn’t.
And I’m sure your expectations from Australia might have been different as well when you first moved here. You might have faced a challenge or two that you weren’t prepared for. Or, more importantly, you might still be in that phase of figuring out how to manoeuvre your boat?
Here are 3 mindsets that kept me going through some of the hardest times of my life after coming to Australia:
1) Be Your Own Cheerleader
I am an introvert, which is why I find it challenging to make friends out of people; I struggle making the first contact. At times, I have even struggled to figure out whom to put in my emergency contact number, as I literally couldn’t think of anyone that close.
In times like these, it is important to realise and accept that you are your own cheerleader.
Learn to acknowledge how far you’ve come when there is no one to remind you of that.
For me, I always used my sales bonuses to reward myself. I would buy something to wear, or go on a small trip, or maybe just go for a nice dinner because I wanted to acknowledge the hard work that my mind and body were doing.
When you start treating yourself the way you want people to treat you, wonders happen. You start to make friends who acknowledge your successes as much as you do. And you are celebrated everywhere you go, because you start exhibiting pride of the little successes you’ve achieved.
2) Learn To Suck Up The Universe’s Plan
We all have a plan right? But then something happens and it knocks out our cute little plan out of the park!
Learn to be ok with it. Suck it up.
I know it’s easier said than done but honestly, what else can you do? Even if you whine and complain all your life, the time won’t go back, right?
What I do in such times is evaluate my efforts, and if I genuinely conclude that I gave it all, then I get at peace with myself.
I tell myself that all that energy will pay off some better way.
And if I come to a realisation that I could have done better, I tell myself to try harder the next time.
Once I got fired on the spot from a security job, because I was leaning on the wall, as I was really sick and couldn’t find a replacement to do my shift. Isn’t it brutal? After crying my eyes out on my way back home, I managed to be at peace.
It pushed me harder to look for another job. And a week later, I landed a job that paid 50% more than that security job.
Here’s another example. We all love to make the best out of summer breaks. But I told my manager that I am fully available to work and would really appreciate some extra shifts. She told me to ask other store managers of the same brand about the availability of shifts. And so I did.
But as soon as I started to get more shifts, my original manager fired me saying that she doesn’t like me working at other stores. She cancelled all my shifts at her store and even had other managers cancel my shifts too. (B****!)
My takeaway from this? She will be in this job forever, while I will add this bitter experience to my story some day. A story that would be worth telling.
Switching jobs for the past two years made me realise that I never got comfortable in any of those jobs. Instead, the job hunt kept me on my toes, and unlike many people who stay stuck in odd jobs, I managed to get out of this odd-jobs cycle, with a great offer, even before I graduated.
3) Prepare For The Future
When you start your first few years abroad as a stepping stone, the mishaps will happen. Don’t let them shake your boat. Keep your eye on the prize. Remind yourself more often what you’re here for.
One technique I use is to physically do things that will indicate that I am ready for it. For instance, I bought a dress for the job interview 3 months before I even applied for my first job. And when I gave the interview, I bought another one that I was going to wear to go in to sign the contract.
Everyone has a different definition of preparation. Some people want to master the conversation skills and the speaking style, while others want to master the topic of the interview. For me, it is always about my first impression.
I dress well because it gives me confidence in myself.
This is my way of preparation. So whatever you think is your kind of preparation, do it, before the opportunity presents itself.
In a year worth of work in retail, I managed to load my wardrobe with formal clothes I was going to wear on my dream job. By doing this, I showed myself (and the universe) that I am serious about my goal. I am investing in it and I am ready for it as soon as it comes. I was eventually able to score a great job at a big 4 telco, 2 weeks before my final semester results came out.
It’s ok for everything to be chaos at times. It teaches you what is important and who is important. Complaining will never get you anywhere.
If you give it all you have, it will come back in a better way. Always remind yourself to be thankful for the opportunity of living in this wonderful country. How many are at much worse in life, stuck in a job, country, relationship, or a situation, that they definitely cannot get out of? We’re in a country where hard work pays off monumentally.
If you’re devoted, you will be able to fast track your life. Failures are momentary, success is eternal.
Be humble for what you have, and share and cherish what you’ve learned along the way. Remember, there is more to life.
– Aerij Talat
P.S. For guest posts on AustraliaYours, email me at [email protected]
If you’ve an Engineering degree, I’ve detailed Step-by-Step process in easy words that I did to apply and get my Australian PR (without hiring any Migration agent) in this Free Ultimate Guide