Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

Job...check (even if it is temporary); Job Prospects...check (second interview planned, more recruiting agencies in the waiting); Apartment...check.   This week I am working at a temp job, I have an apartment, I have an interview with a company regarding a more permanent position, and I've decided to buy a car - a big change from just one week ago.

Working 9 to 5:
Over the last few weeks, I have been contacting recruiting companies in order to find some temp work.  I met with one particular agency about two weeks ago, when they had me come in for an "interview."  I arrived, filled out piles of paperwork, and then they set me in front of a computer for testing.  What I thought would be a few brief tests turned into 2 1/2 hours of mind numbing delirium.  First came the Word and Excel tests.  These tests were based on Word and Excel circa 1957 and only allowed 2 tries before assuming you were a moron and wouldn't get the answer.  Keyboard shortcuts were only partially working and descriptions of icons didn't show up when hovering with the mouse - I was crippled.  (Sample question:  Move to page 8 of this document without using the page down key or scrolling.  Seriously?)  I would like to know who scrolls using the "Go to" function.  Clearly, the creators of the tests aren't users of the software itself. 

I managed through the software testing and typing test (over 70 wpm - I can't believe that was my only B in highschool).  And then they set up three more tests - verbal, math, and analytical.  Despite having regular flashbacks to the GRE, I managed to pull through and score pretty well.  (1 of 30 verbal questions:  Which one does not belong:  Sister, Daughter, Mother, Man, Child, Husband).  At the end of the tests, I met with not one but three lovely ladies who were in charge of the recruiting.

It all paid off when I received a call for a job from one of them last Thursday.  I was enjoying my day exploring the zoo with a friend and her kids (I can now mark "see a kiwi" off of my list).  I started working at the Museum of Transportation and Technology (MOTAT), on the following day.  My role has been working with the Director of Operations to update the budget and prepare the presentation for the board. It's quite interesting stuff considering I'm just a 2 week temp.  Trolleys drive by my office occasionally as they move around the facility and I get to enjoy planes, trains and automobiles during my lunch break. (Pictured: A view of a portion of the campus, courtesy of the MOTAT website)

And, in the meantime, through a friend I heard about a position that had recently opened in the marketing department of an international company with an office in Auckland.  Although they were looking for a permanent hire, they agreed to look at my resume.  I sent it in on Tuesday.  By Friday, I had spoken with the HR department in Sydney and agreed to apply officially online.  I did on Saturday afternoon.  On Monday morning I received a call from Sydney again, this time to set up an interview for the position on Wednesday.  Immediately after the interview on Wednesday they called to set up a second meeting on Friday morning.  Things certainly move quickly.

Off the Streets of Auckland:
While trying to find work, I've also managed to find an apartment in Auckland.  As of this week, I will be moving into a townhouse in Parnell (a nice area downtown just south of the CBD). I have a tiny room (somehow I found something even smaller than my studio apartment in Chicago) but the three levels I share with flatmates more than make up for it.  Unfortunately, you'll have to use your imagination to determine its greatness until I can properly post some photos and details.

Things to be thankful for:
- Networking: still the best way to find a job hands down
- Sea fishing trips, even if everything I caught had to be thrown back, I still count it
- Things falling into place at just the right time


  1. Congrats Jessica, both to your immediate successes and to your ability to maintain a sunny outlook.

  2. $$$$$ - yeah!!! Sounds like everything is falling into place! :)