August 10, 2007

Are You Willing To Eat Dirt To Smell Greener Grass?

I am ruminating...

Yes, it is waaaayyyy past my breakfast and now, I'm ruminating my food and thoughts.

Anyway, I had a "ping" from my friend who is now in Australia on MSN. She never really "pings" me unless it's to ask something. Heck, all of my close buddies tend to do that. I tend to "ping" people to cakap kosong (smalltalk) to pass the time. I digress... as usual... ** roll eyes **

Friend: Hello. How are you?
Me: Hey! Long time no see. I'm ok.
Friend: Want to ask you something.
Me: Sure, wassup?
Friend: You in programming?

Now, I've passed my biz cards so often to these friends and they didn't bother to check it out. My job scope has changed from junior programmer to technical architect in the span of 9yrs. Heck, they don't even know what is MSC. This.. despite them being lawyers and accountants. Don't they read the papers?? Go figure.

Me: Nope. I've moved on.
Friend: What do you do?
Me: I'm in code design and management now.
Friend: Ohh
Me: Why?
Friend: My friend's firm are hiring programmers. Will you be interested?
The company will get the work permit and then you can get visa.
Me: No.
Friend: Why? You want to come over or not?
Me: Yes but not now.
I'm in a project which will take me into mid-2008.
Unlike your job, I can't leave a project mid-way.
Besides, I think I'm technically too old to be a programmer now.
Friend: Ok. It's your choice.
But the longer you wait, the harder it will be.
Me: Why?
Friend: It does not matter whether you're technically young or not.
It's always hard to get the same job level when you move over.
You always almost got to start from scratch again
Me: What???

At this point, I got a pissed off. My friends in Aust have been pestering me to come over for ages now. Sure.. I'm in my early 30's and am still young. However, to compete for a job with people 10 years my junior? I think it's a bit risky, don't you think?

Besides that, my 9yrs experience count for zilch??? WTF?????

I told my friend off saying that in IT it is almost never the same. But she didn't respond. Probably got pissed off with me and went off.

So, I messaged another good friend.

Me: Eh... Ask you something...
IT Friend: yeah
Me: Would you go over to another country to start from programmer level again?
IT Friend: no
Me: My friend said that our experience here count for nothing when we go over
IT Friend: GTH
Me: Yeah.. I went WTF??
IT Friend: Which country is this?
Me: Aust
IT Friend: That place is one ego and screwed up place.
Me: Tell me about it...

I can't blame my friend. He was interviewed by some Aussie company for a high position and they were asking some nonscensical questions regarding software architecture. They even asked him how he got the knowledge. WTF. He was smart to turn down the offer as the package was not good enough. It was enough to just "get by" in Canberra.

So, the question is, would you be willing to eat dirt so that your kids/future kids can get to get better grass? There were many stories about doctors/lawyers having given up their profession just to be char-koay-teow seller in Australia because they could not get a job. As to the reasons why they can't get a job was not revealed, maybe they had a language issue or their certificates were not recognized. Who knows?

I've also heard some success stories from my mom's friend where after going through a migration agent, her daughter's who's an auditor managed to get a better position with one of the big 4 overseas.

My friend got her PR easily on her own, i.e. without the help of the migration agent. When she went over after having about 4 or 5 years experience, she found that it was difficult to get a job, despite having a professional certification in Finance. It seems that her CFA was worth zero dollars.

I'm not saying that if you are going to Aust, you'll won't be able to find a good job. Just that like in any job hunting situation, you have to find what suits your needs and career path plans. With the world being so flat, I believe that people will be searched out for their skills and hopefully, where their experience comes from will not result in ZERO years of experience.

So, what would you do?

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