This part “Christmas Message”, part Summary of the year and part thank you to all the fantastic wonderful people I have met and hung out with this year.
But, wow, what an up and down year this has been… I feel in some ways that this Christmas is a deja vu of last Christmas (ie being unemployed), but there has been so much that has happened this year that things are quite different this Christmas. So here’s a bit of a rundown of the year.
Well, I’ve had 2 jobs this year – a Consultant at Hands-on Systems, which I loved, but left after 3 months as I was headhunted by ProjectCentre for my perfect job, combining my IT and Construction Skills. That job lasted just over 3 months, and I loved it, and thought I was doing a great job and getting the product ready for release and then I was “retrenched” – I won’t go on about it, but I’m still very angry and upset about that one.
So back to the horrible world of job hunting and recruiters – I can’t say how much I hate job hunting! I have such specialised skills that recruiters won’t even look at my resume because it just does not “tick all the boxes”. I have found some great recruiters that really do their job well, but some of them are so bad I just have to hang up. The problem is that my Ideal job that is combining IT and Construction just does not exist as construction companies don’t think that they need to spend money on IT. However, if I can get in there and start working, they see how valuable my contribution is. For me the biggest hurdle is getting to the interview stage. I tend to do much better once I’m in front of a potential employer.
With the impact of the GFC, I’m concentrating my job hunting efforts in IT rather than Construction as I think that IT may weather the financial storm better, but I won’t rule out construction – I won’t rule out any job doing anything as long as it pays the mortgage.
I have been doing some great work on contract for the few months I’ve been out of work, and I’ve enjoyed doing it, but I can not earn enough to live… right now I’m just earning enough to keep a few bills paid and living very frugally. Also, I hate contracting. I hate not knowing where the next few hours work is coming from. I hate working alone (although I do have a small team for my current work which is good). So I do really need to find a full time job that pays well, so I can feel settled and secure once again.
In January I have some more contracting opportunities and I will be back to the job hunting again, and will try some other tactics rather than dealing with recruiters too much. So here’s hoping that 2009 will be the year I get a good job where I earn enough, I am valued as an employee and I love going to work. And I wish that for everyone else too!
Another up and down year this year… I’ve had a persistent nagging bronchial infection for a lot of the year which has not been great and it curtailed playing Underwater Hockey for much of the year. Luckily there was a good stint of a few months mid year where I felt great and well, and that coincided with my Trip… so that worked well.
I’ve still been doing Feldenkrais all year, have been doing it now for at least 15 years and still get so much out of it. It’s rare for me to miss a Saturday class and I love going and love catching up with all the people in the class for coffee after.
I’ve also been doing my Nordic walking most weeks. We now have only a very small group of regular walkers and it’s difficult to keep the group running but I enjoy it so much I will keep it going.
But overall, this year has been the worst health I’ve had for many years and I really hope 2009 will be much much better.
Well this is the year that I finally did it… finally got to London, Europe and Dubai. I now feel like a real member of the human race having at least seen London and Paris, and Dubai was amazing.
Despite the GFC and the dollar crashing a few weeks before I left, I had a great time and loved the whole trip. I won’t go into a lot of detail here as I’ve written a few blog posts about it already and you can a selection of my photos on Flickr.
The highlights of my trip were Bilbao, the Be2Camp in London, Wales with Emily, Paris and Dubai.
I would love to travel again now… so hopefully an opportunity will arise some time in 2009!
This is the aspect of my life that has been the best year ever! I have met such wonderful new friends this year and have been to so many great events that it has just been so great. This is mainly due to Twitter and the Sydney Tech Community which is thriving. Some of the excellent events this year have been
- New Years Eve (thanks @ceibner)
- Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum (thanks to @trib for the ticket)
- Earth Hour Girls night out
- Regular STUB events (thanks @happener, @funkycoda and @alegrya for organising), including many Picnics too
- Girl Geek Dinners (@damana you rock!)
- Various catch up’s with @trib and @mspecht when they have been in Sydney
- Interesting South No. 2
- CodeCamp Oz (we missed @ceibner but I had a great time with the boys)
- Demos Happen Here Comp (thanks to @rog24 and @coatsy)
- PubCamp (thanks to @jedwhite and @mediamum)
- TechEd Week, Women in Technology event (even though I did not attend TechEd)
- Web 2.o University, Web Directions Week and AussieTUB (even though I did not attend Web Directions itself)
- GirlTUB x 2 (excellent evenings out with the twitter girls)
- Sydney Open Coffee (thanks @kimheras for an excellent idea)
- SBTUG (Sydney Business and Technnology User Group, thanks to @craigbailey & @aussienick)
- BarCamp x 2 (one which I helped organised and the other thanks to the org team esp @funkycoda)
- NSW KM Forum (thanks to @cheiftech for including me on the panel at the last minute)
- WebBlast (thanks @russmaxdesign and @happener)
- Very regular catch up’s with twitter peeps – Nano STUB’s Micro STUB’s, Mini STUB’s
I’m sure there are others that I have not mentioned, but wow, that is some list!
And the excellent non-tech events
- Family Wedding in Tumut in September
- Various trips up to the Gold Coast / Brisbane
And a very special mention to the people and events during my trip
- GGD in London
- Be2camp in London (thanks to @eepaul, @pbroviak and @martinbrown)
- Green Drinks in London (excellent evening)
- Dinners out with people in Barcelona during World Architecture Festival
- Wonderful Family and Friends catch-ups
Next year is shaping up for another big one with
- New Years Eve again (thanks to @ceibner again)
- CupCake Camp in Feb
- More STUB’s
- Another BarCamp or 2
- The remotest possibility of a Be2Camp in Sydney some time
- Definitely more GirlTUB’s and GGD’s
- We definitely need another Wild Wicked Wanton Women of the Web 2.0 event (looking at you @silkcharm)
- I really hope to get to more conferences in 2009
- I need to start to get to Social Coffee on Friday mornings (thanks to @servantofchaos that organises this)
- ooh and my Family trip in May to celebrate my Mum and Dad’s 50th Wedding Aniversary, and a family Wedding in March
And I just have to make special mention to the biggest group of wonderful people on twitter this year that I have had the pleasure to hang with
The girls: @ceibner, @kcarruthers, @silkcharm, @pixel8ted, @alegrya, @misswired, @mediamum, @damana, @headwellred, @christydena, @bronwen, @allidc, @zuzu, @aussieAna, @dekrazee1
The the guys: @trib, @funkycoda, @dizzystuff, @lstoll, @aussienick, @cadbloke, @angusscown, @nickhac, @stillgherian @apostrophepong, @snarkyplatypus, @mpesce, @nathanaelb, @rog42, @coatsy, @ryancross, @fush, @flungabunga, @seancarmody, @marclehmann, @sethyates, @jedwhite, @maniacd, @jamesbreeze, @mspecht, @aDB, @warlach, @coliwilso, @liako, @eskimo_sparky, @gregdwyer
The UK Peeps: @martinbrown, @eepaul, @melstarrs, @jodiecarnegie, @amcewen (and of course @pbroviak virtually)
And all the Perth / Melb / Canberra peeps that were around for AussieTUB and I’ve probably left many people off the list, but thanks to you all!
Wow, I really hope 2009 is even more social, I meet even more people and the Sydney Tech community has many many more great events!