Friday, 11 March 2011

Day 4 in Sydney: We have a home & I've got a job! (11th March 2011)

Was up at 8.30am and headed out by 10am to the bank to collect our Visa debit cards and a bank cheque for $3000 issued - this was for the bond and a month's rent in advance for our new place, almost half the amount we transferred to Australia! Eeks, I had better find a job fast at our current rate of spending. We aren't planning to transfer more funds over unless absolutely necessary.

Back at Regis for final prep for my interview and around 11.30am, we headed out, me taking the train from Central to North Sydney for the interview while Jono walked to the Google office where he was having 
introductions and lunch with his immediate team. Cost me $4.40 return ticket and it was easy to find my way second time around, arriving well ahead of time. 

Ok, I feel terribly overdressed for my interview - my interviewer (same guy as in the first interview) turned up in t-shirt and 3/4 pants and I was wearing a work shirt, pants and jacket. As usual, he was fussing about his coffee and I refrained myself from rolling my eyes, patiently waiting for him to get ready. The interview this time included the HR manager who was based in NZ so the interview was conducted via conference call. It was weird talking into the phone (we were on speaker mode), answering questions about my personality and whether I worked well in a team environment etc. As strange as my interviews with this company has been, I thought it went alright even if it only took 20 minutes. I was told that I was one of three applicants that was short-listed for a second interview for the permanent role and I would find out the outcome by Monday. Well, let's see what happens - if it doesn't work out, I'll have to start actively looking for work next week.

I headed back to our accommodation to meet Jono and he accompanied me over to Chilli Cha Cha for lunch before we headed to Erskineville to meet property agent Sarah of Park Properties to sign our tenancy agreement and collect the keys to our new home. I
 can't believe we are parting with three grand today - THREE GRAND! 

While we waited for Sarah to review the documentation, Hayden rang me to say I've been offered the job. Oh my god! That's great!! The offer however was not what I expected - the base salary was lower than market rate (dollar for dollar, it was similar to what I got in my last job which is bad when living costs in Sydney is much higher) and because the branch in Sydney is new, there are no benefits or bonus schemes in place. Oh...The recruiter assured me they were in the process of doing so and that there would be a salary review in 6 months time. Hmm, the role does sound pretty interesting with plenty of opportunity to grow and build on my current skills...I decided to accept the job (even though disappointed that Hayden told me the job would be within my salary expectation only to be told it wasn't when the job was offered) - I needed a foot in the door in the Australian job market and hopefully the pay cut wouldn't cripple me financially and/or affect my current lifestyle. "Come by the office on Monday and we can sort out the contract," said Hayden. Right, so that's it - I don't have to worry about looking for a job any more. Yay! Work starts the following Monday with an induction session the Friday prior - yep, it's all happening very quickly. 
Wow, I couldn't believe how smoothly our move has been so far. We pretty much got everything sorted in 4 days! :)

We popped by our new place to go through the inspection list which we are to return to the property agent within the week, noting down damages if any. You know, this is our first home for just the two of us. I can't help grinning - we have our own place! 
It's going to be awesome :) We've already lived together for almost a year so this was just another step in our relationship, living on our own, in addition to the move to Australia, of course. View of our apartment block:



We headed back to the city around 6pm. 
Dinner this evening was at Paddy Maguires Irish pub in Haymarket. The pub was buzzing and crowded with people who were gathered for Friday after-work drinks. We managed to secure a table outdoors and had pub food of Beef Nachos (with beans, salsa, sour cream and guacamole), Steak Sandwich (with lettuce, tomato, caramelised onion, BBQ sauce on ciabatta bread and fries)  and beers as we watched passerbys from a variety of nationalities make a beeline into the pubs and restaurants in the area. Cost us $44.50 for our meals which tasted like what you would expect in a pub (not particularly good or bad).

Back at Regis to chill out for the rest of the evening only to learn that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake had hit Japan earlier today, causing a 6-metre high tsunami which swept away homes and vehicles, and flooding buildings as it moved inland from the eastern coastline of the country. 
Christchurch has had a bad series of earthquakes in the last 6 months and now this? I don't know what's happening to our beautiful Earth but this is all very scary and sad to me :'( We were lost for words watching the news on TV and see how quickly the tsunami destroyed towns. Poor Japan...


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