Mid last year, I did the three toughest things that you can do as a job seeker – move countries, move industries and move job roles.
This whole process was incredibly difficult. There were a number of times where I second-guessed myself, even wondering if some part of it is delusional. However even if it was, I would consider it the entrepreneur kind of delusional where you just know that it’s going to happen in some way, shape or form.
After spending most of 2014 thinking that I’ll be landing in Sweden, I decided that the most practical step was Canada. Not only was a temporary two-year work visa available for me, but the path to permanent residency also looked straight-forward. It was an English-speaking country, and I already travelled in the country (for a few months). I ended up spending a few months in Vancouver, going to two one week conferences/events that I had already planned to go months before and then moved to a bigger city, Toronto.
I found that while the job market in Vancouver was quiet good, the housing availability there was the downside. As soon as I saw what the rental market was like in Toronto, I made the decision to move only two weeks later.
The decision to move to Toronto ended up validating. Not only am I still here but I have also travelled a bit outside of Canada and to the east side of the US. Not only that, but the flight and travel opportunity to Europe is better.
In the lead up to and during the move, I somehow managed to move industries, twice. Once in private banking and wealth management and another in software.
Industries can only be classified as locations. So while the former was mainly US and Europe, the latter was primarily US and Canada.
I experienced ‘industry culture shock’ for the first time when I moved from Australia to the UK. I went from working within major events and festivals, was known as a founder for a creative industries startup … then the following year, I was working for a cause as online marketer for a medical education and global health charity organization and my startup was floundering.
The second time this time, I still got ‘industry culture’ shock but to a lesser degree.
Moving job roles
Again, I have done this twice in the lead up to the move and during. Once as an Analyst to research and compose briefs (in the finance sector) another as Customer Success which was more into testing/QA/user support rather than the account management spectrum.
The former involved working with UK/European colleagues. The latter was primarily Canada and the US.
The culture associated with the two industry and job role moves was as different as night-and-day. Completely, unmistakably different.
In a short space of 1.5 years I have managed to move countries (once), move industries (twice) and move job roles (twice).
Where to now?
Other people, well at least my parents, probably think that I’m some sort of job-hopping, country-hopping career rabbit – of the Australian pest variety. It is so difficult to hide who I really am. Maybe I can hide it for a short while, but I’ve lasted a day or two before I realise that there really is no point.
This ‘chaos’ has been all planned out since I was 20. Even years earlier than that. I remember once, in the library, writing down my plans to freelance while travelling around Europe.
I have been implementing my plans to do this – to live and work around the world and with a time horizon spanning for 10 years. From 2011 right through to 2021.
What would be your 10 year plan? And are you actively implementing it?
I find that, once I get to the 5 year mark, then the 7 year mark, then the 10 year mark…who knows, maybe we can get up to 20 years or more.