Escape plan: Get a job – 3

Having arrived back at the first stop of our ‘escape route’ (Wallace, Victoria) less than six months after leaving, we didn’t waste any time getting on with the task of job-hunting in earnest. Although returning to Victoria was mostly so that Kim could celebrate her ‘milestone’ birthday with family and friends, we’d also been doing it very tough financially for a couple of months, and needed to get back on our feet again. With the camper trailer set up in Kim’s parents’ backyard, and a huge, secure space that Banjo could explore to his heart’s content during the day (when he wasn’t sleeping, that is), we hoped to be able to capitalise on the opportunity for both of us to work, with minimal overheads (thanks to the generosity of Kim’s parents).

Ballarat being the nearest major city, we focused our efforts on the few labour-hire agencies there. It didn’t take long for Paul to be offered a job, but there was a catch: the contract was until 30 June, meaning we’d be in one of the coldest parts of Victoria for ANOTHER winter! We did the sums, consulted Kim’s parents to determine just how far their generosity would extend, and gritted our teeth, deciding we’d see it through in order to put ourselves in a much better position financially than we were in when we left Melbourne. At the height of summer, it seemed eminently do-able!

After a long break from working, Kim was very keen to get a job quickly too, but after a couple of weeks without luck it looked likely that she’d need to head to Melbourne to find anything half-decent. One Ballarat agency advised her that her CV was ‘too specialised’ (she ‘specialises’ in administration…), and suggested she approach the local university directly; when she followed up her online registration for casual work at the local university by phone, she was advised that the HR office didn’t handle casual vacancies…hmmm. So to Melbourne Kim went, three times, meeting with several agencies, all of whom made very positive noises about her skills and experience, but none of whom followed through. Finally, having applied for a Ballarat-based role with the agency for whom she had temped in the past, she made the trip to the agency’s Geelong office for an interview; a few days later, on the morning of her birthday, she received confirmation of a four-week assignment…a nice gift indeed!

Knowing that the temp assignment would definitely not be extended (due to the nature of the job), Kim continued to look for work throughout March and into April. When the local university advertised for staff to work on a project until the end of June, she jumped at the opportunity, and successfully applied.

It’s already a bit chilly for our liking, and it’s bound to be a long, cooooooold winter, but with both of us gainfully employed, we’ll put our heads down and our tails up, and make the most of having two incomes again…It’s only weather, after all!


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