From Pommie To Aussie

My journey of migrating from the UK to Australia solely and landing my dream job.

This story will tell you how I immigrated from London, United Kingdom to Melbourne in Australia, obtained my Permanent Residency (PR) and landed my dream job after the PR even though I have experienced many hardships.

The main idea behind telling you my story is:

  1. Anything is possible if you commit and dedicate yourself to it
  2. If you are planning to migrate to Australia or to any other country solely, have a proper plan from the very first day you arrive.
  3. Have a very strong mindset to help you recover from any setbacks you experience
  4. Keep “fighting” and move forward
  5. Hope for the best, plan for the worst in every situation

This story is for:

  1. Immigrants
  2. Inspiration Seekers
  3. People having a hard time staying motivated to follow their dreams, passion and ideal life
  4. People who have lost hope

For Immigrants: I have seen many friends who came to Australia as International Students after 6 months of graduating, they went back to their home country when they couldn’t see hope. I didn’t want to be one of them even though I didn’t come as an International Student. You will find out how I came below.

Migration Idea

The whole idea of migration started when I got hired by a company, DST, UK and was sent to Melbourne, Australia on a secondment for 18 months.

When I came here, I fell in love with this country and enjoyed every minute of my time here. You may be thinking “Why? London is better than Melbourne”. Well, my reason was that Australia has a good work-life balance and the people are friendlier. They actually smile! Whereas in London (where I’m from) life is hectic. There is no work-life balance and people are grumpy - probably because they are so busy that they don’t have time for socialising. 18 months in Melbourne flew by and I had no choice but to go back to DST, UK. I worked there for 5 months. Even though my family was there and I had a good job that paid well, I wasn’t feeling as happy as I was in Australia. That’s when I knew that my happiness is in Australia and I want to move there. I spoke to my manager and asked if I could be transferred to Melbourne. He said there are no vacancies and I could go to India instead. I refused, then handed in my notice and came to Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa.

Journey to PR

From the first day I landed my objective was to get a Permanent Residency (PR).

As I had more than enough savings to survive on, I went travelling for the first few months around Australia living a backpacker’s life. I was spending like a millionaire.

After meeting new people, I found out that my only option to extend my visa was by doing farm work. So, I did that for 3 months in Queensland. It was hard and physically intense however I made it through. Then, I returned to Melbourne with a peace of mind that if I can’t find a Software Development job with sponsorship, I can still stay here for another year.

An IT job was extremely hard to find. I was applying and getting responses back however, the companies & recruiters were rejecting me just because I didn’t have a PR. I realised that having a PR is a game changer. Even though things weren’t looking hopeful anymore, I didn’t give up. I started to do odd jobs to make ends meet whilst job hunting.

One company (can’t disclose their name due to confidentiality reasons) wasn’t bothered about my visa status as they saw the potential in me. Not only they offered me the job but sponsored me too. I’d be forever grateful to that company. We lodged the Sponsorship Visa as soon as possible, however it was taking way too long (more than a year and still nothing). As I was already in a defacto relationship, while I was working, my partner was sorting her prerequisites for the PR. After she fulfilled the PR requirements, we had a faster option to get PR by me attaching to her and giving her 5 extra points. With this option, I wouldn’t be allowed to work until PR is granted. Hence, I quit my job and lodged the PR. Few months down and our PR…..

Job Hunt as a PR Holder

I started applying to Software Developer jobs, this time as a PR holder. I started to work in logistics part-time as I need to make ends meet again. Yes, Melbourne is expensive!

When I wasn’t working, I was coding, studying for certifications, applying for jobs and networking by going to meetups. Following were the main ones:

This meetup brings software professionals together. For instance, !issues they !are having at work, side projects, learning new technology and they want to share about it etc. I got my mentor from here. If you want surround yourself positive people who will push you to be better version of yourself everyday and are based in Melbourne, then join here. Highly Recommended from experience. Also Sponsored Coffees, thanks to Robert Walters

This was related to Amazon Web Service tools. It has FREE workshops about the new things you can do within AWS along with free food and drinks. Feel free to join this group here. See you there I guess.

This meetup is for people who want to succeed in life with anything they are trying to do, whether it be career goals, personal goals, relationships etc. The reason I attended was because it’s full of positive energy. You hear from people already achieving their goals, sharing their success stories which makes you realise that if they can do it, so can you. So, if you want to turn your life around like me, i’d highly recommend to join here.

I changed my circle and started to spend time with people who are already where I want to be in the future. Positive thinkers and do-ers. I literally gave up my enjoyment time. I started to volunteer for an AWS Reliant Startup in my free time as I wanted to constantly enhance my skills. I started to attend conferences. Even though I was physically tired it didn’t stop me from following my dream. There were days when I was exhausted after work however tiredness didn’t stop me. I was too focused on making my dream a reality. Sometimes, I was living on Red Bulls. I went to interviews in my lunch breaks from the part-time job if the interview slot were very limited and it didn’t match my days off. Every time a company said “No” to me, I said to myself “Next” because I believed in myself and I knew I had the right attitude. If not now, one day I will succeed. It may be hard but it’s not impossible. Even though it was confidence crushing, I didn’t let it get to me. When I fell down, I learnt from the experience and kept moving forward. I wasn’t afraid of failure. In fact, my determination and mindset got stronger after each rejection. One thing that really helped me keep my mindset was listening to motivational speeches on YouTube everyday for 30 minutes. I wasn’t able to give my partner the time she deserved however, she didn’t complain. Instead, she supported me because she knew how important my dream role is for me.

Obtaining A Mentor

As I was going for a Junior Software Developer, I researched about what makes a brilliant Junior Software Developer. One of the top tips was to find a mentor. Obtaining a Mentor And How He Changed Me One of the Meetups I attended (DevCoP), the co-organizer decided to be my mentor. He thought I had all the “ingredients” to get a job, however, I didn’t know how to mix them. Based on the fact that I’d do anything to get my dream role, I did exactly what he said. He pushed me out of my comfort zone.

He recommended that I start a YouTube channel of coding and explaining my thought process. A new video every day regardless of how busy I am. At first, I did pretty bad. However, as time went on, I was becoming smooth and confident in explaining the code and the thought process. This really helped me in the technical interviews (describe in Recruitment Process section below).

He pushed me to get a Mac.

After getting it, I realised why. I became productive, doing more in less time. This increased my confidence.

He also pushed me to start writing blogs (this blog was his idea too).

He pushed me to create my own website below and can be found here.

As time passed, I felt I was changing for the better and LOVED THE FEELING!

He mentored me (and still is) for 3 months and I landed my dream role. Below is how.

Getting A Dream Role

I applied to 130 jobs. I got a lot of silence and rejections until I applied to a company where I have now secured a Junior Software Developer role.

In total, I had 3 interviews - 1 general, 1 technical and last one of cultural fit with some team members.

Recruitment Process

I applied through Seek. After a few days, I received a call from the recruiter that he was putting me forward to his client as I was AWS Certified and all the employees of that company are certified. The next day, he schedules a General Interview with the Director for a week later. I started preparing two nights before the interview. I looked up the interviewer on LInkedIn and the company the night before.

General Interview

On the day, as soon as I saw the interviewer, I socialised formally and told him that I have a stammer. I didn’t want him to mistake my stammer for nerves. He wasn’t bothered about my stammer which was nice. The interview took place over a “coffee catchup” at a cafe. While having a chat, we felt a connection of “good employer and employee”. I took my laptop and showed him my work and what I do in my spare time. After an hour, the interview ended. One day later (I was volunteering at ComponentsConf), the recruiter called and said I have progressed to the next stage, the daunting technical interview. I felt happy, determined and scared all at the same time. Why? I didn’t know what to expect. I asked the recruiter, he wasn’t aware either.

Technical Interview

The technical interview was with the Founder and a Developer, again in a cafe over coffee. I told them about my stammer too. They weren’t bothered by it either. I thought the developer will ask me some technical questions around my knowledge and experience. However, this wasn’t the case. I was given a problem to solve in Java (being a .NET developer) and had to show my thought process. To be honest, I took longer than expected. That being said, I still came up with the right answer. Next day, the recruiter told me I PASSED!! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!

I progressed to the final interview which would take place one week later. It was with some other members of the team to see my cultural fit. Again, I didn’t know what to expect and what the structure of the interview would be like. I prepared to my level best and left it to God.

Final Interview

The final interview day arrived. The Director introduced me to two more team members and we sat down in a cafe. Then the director went. I told them about myself, experience and skill and they told me a bit about the daily work and projects they work on (all exciting stuff!). I was asked 3 behavioural questions from which I answered 2 based on my experience and didn’t answer 1 as I didn’t have any experience in that situation. It lasted for an hour. We all went to the entrance of the building together and left for our respective destinations.

Everything was done now. The Director had to make a decision. I called my recruiter and told him I think it went well. I was told I would get a decision the following morning. I couldn’t go to sleep at night.

The next morning the recruiter called and said that the director liked me however, he still isn’t convinced. There were no more interviews. He suggested that I should write an email / text as to why I am keen for the role. As I was driving, I pulled over, wrote a whole paragraph to convince the Director to how much I wanted the role and sent it to the recruiter which he forwarded to the Director. Having received no response, the whole day I prayed, prayed and prayed to God and was losing hope.

Receiving an Offer

Finally around 5pm the recruiter called with an OFFEEEERRRRR and I accepted straight away.

All the hard work had paid off. I was so happy and emotional that I said, “I love you” (yes, I can’t believe I said that either) to the recruiter. My eyes welled with tears as I was speaking to him. As soon as I hung up, tears burst out and I thanked God Almighty for it. I called my parents and partner and talked while crying.

Lessons Learnt

It has been a long journey however, it gave me many lessons:

Never Give Up - on what you love and your passion. It may be hard but it’s not impossible. No matter how tough things get or life knocks you down, keep on standing up and move forward. I was already in pain (studying / coding late nights to be in practice with current trends and working in the day), I wanted a reward from it instead of saying to myself, it’s too hard and it “hurting a lot, I can’t do this anymore”.

Believe In Yourself and your abilities. Whatever your mind can perceive, it can achieve. I believed in myself and I knew it may take a long time however, it will happen. I was offered a full-time job where I was working part-time. I had an option to settle, however, I chose to follow my dream & passion and worked extremely hard.

Change Your Circle - Surround yourself with people who make you better and push you to go beyond your limits.

NO Excuses - Make time for the things that are important to you. If you have to live on caffeine, SO BE IT!

Never Fear Failure - See failures as “another thing that just didn’t work” and learn from it.

Take Risks

Dream BIG - If your dream doesn’t make your heart beat faster, it’s not big enough.

Convert Dreams to Goals - Replace what you dream which specific goals with timeline and see that every single day. Do everything that takes you a step closer to that goal.

Ignore the NAY Sayers

Energy - Spend energy on the things that you love to do and which takes you towards your end goal.

Plan - A goal without a plan is just a wish. Plan goals precisely and stick to it. And finally the most important lesson of all…

RIGHT MINDSET - I watched motivational videos everyday for 30 minutes to help keep me in the right mindset. If my mindset wasn’t right, the above wouldn’t work.

I started the role on 17th October 2019, and loving every millisecond of it.

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