Hi everyone! It’s Saturday morning and I’m currently sitting in my bed with my laptop on my knees, steaming cup of coffee by my side. It’s so foggy outside that I can barely see out the window, but the birds are still chirping away, blissfully unaware. I love weekends that start like this.
April has been my favourite month of 2019. By far, the best part of this month was my graduation. Earlier this week I graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA/LLB (Hons) and I couldn’t possibly have asked for a better day.
From my friends taking time off work to snap pictures to being surprised with flowers by my amazing Alumni Relations team, everyone made me feel so special. It meant the world to me to close that chapter of my life surrounded by people I love. When I am thousands of kilometres from home, I know I’ll treasure the memory of everyone coming together for the day.
The other really exciting thing this month is that I’ve started looking for a job in New York. My plans have evolved since I last talked about what I wanted to do in January. Back then, I was hoping to create a portfolio career of three different part-time jobs. I’ve since realised that I might need the stability of one full-time role in order for my move to be viable. It would allow me to maximise my learning, build my brand and hopefully afford a room with a window. Once I’ve secured my main gig, I’ll switch gears to organising a side hustle.
My job hunt has been an interesting process so far. After applying for one job online and seeing it had over 200 other applicants, I remembered that the US job market is different to the New Zealand one. Up to 80% of jobs over there go unadvertised and are filled through networks. While networks are important in New Zealand too, most of my friends simply applied online for graduate roles and now have pathways clearly mapped out. I’ve had to shift my mindset from what do I want to do to who do I know, taking into consideration that it won’t always be obvious how the dots connect.
One of the ways I’ve done this is by creating a short video on LinkedIn. In the video, I talked about my career goals and experience as well as the sort of role I’m after. It was the first time I’d ever written, filmed, edited and uploaded a video on my own, but I figured anything would be possible with a little Kiwi ingenuity. The video has since been watched by almost 4000 people. New Zealanders all over the world have been sharing it with their networks, most of which are people I’ve never met. I’ve been completely blown away by the response and the willingness of Kiwis to help fellow Kiwis. Needless to say, I’ve got my fingers crossed it leads to something.
Besides graduation and my job hunt, April has also been a pretty eventful month for my social calendar. I’ve been trying to spend as much time with my family and friends as I can before I head off to the US. Looking back, I can count four lunches, three gym dates, two nights out and one spontaneous pancake party to name a few! I think this momentum is likely to continue right up until I leave, with activities already planned for every weekend in May. If anybody reading this would like to hang out with me: please send me a handful of specific dates and times. Once it’s in my calendar, it’s happening!
I’ve also gotten out and about to a bunch of cool work-related events. My favourite would probably have to be a function on Taking Tech to the USA hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce. I talked to some interesting people during the networking part of the event and it honestly felt like I was back in New York. I always find it energising hanging out with entrepreneurs because they are so enthusiastic about making their dreams happen.
May is set to be big. I think my pace of life is going to amp up a few notches now that I’m less than two months out from my return to the US. I’m sure there will be many days of working 9-5 in New Zealand and then getting up at 3am for phone calls to New York. I’m also getting admitted to the Bar, speaking to the Rotary Club of Downtown Auckland and potentially planning a trip to Wellington. Stay tuned!