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Breathing...

A Very Hungry Caterpillar
So, next year my family will have no income. Again. We did that earlier this year, and we've only just gotten back to the point where we don't owe any one money from that time, and we've paid off the debts and stuff that we accumulated. We were finally going to have a month without Christmas or Birthdays or door payments...

Except not, I guess.

The IT industry is a funny thing right now. We didn't feel the GFC so much at the time, but we certainly seem to be feeling the after effects. Not that it's actually over, as far as I remember it being reported. It's caused some real uncertainty in IT, and we've been working from contract to contract with the hope of a permanent position. The promise was lost, however when the mining companies started to take a hit too, and so no permanent job for us.

So now I am looking for a job too. Full time, interesting, stable... I can do a lot of stuff. I am flexible, self motivating, and a pleasure to work with. But I haven't worked for someone else for almost 8 years. It's not a black hole of time by any means. I have written novels, sold lingerie, run my own business, written manuals, developed an online home business, worked on the Board of WASFF for many years, volunteered at the school, seen some bits of America, sold short stories... I know all this because I have been writing job applications and going over my CV and wondering.... if I am enough.

I have to work out so much stuff. Do I want to try for a career? If so, what career? I have to start at the bottom again, and can I start in a way so I don't die of boredom while I learn from the ground up? Will anything I have done before be useful or valued? Am I hire-able? Can I get a stable job? Is any industry stable these days? What's the point in sorting out what *I* want when really, my family *needs* the stability over the possible career? If IT is as unstable as it appears to be, there has to be an income stream into the family that is constant and reliable. I would love to do temping for a while and do all sorts of things and see what's out there but maybe I just need something steady instead?

This is just the beginning of the job search. I have potentially months to go before I get hired. I struggle with the reversal of power in this situation; I want to be the one who does the research and picks the company to apply all my attention to, and when you're talking  career level stuff, that used to be the way to get your job. But these days I think I have to apply the scatter shot approach. Apply for as many low level jobs as possible in the hopes I get something. Anything. Whatever!

If Chesh manages to get his contract sorted out, there's going to be times when we're *both* working. And it's not even for the money, in that instance, that I need a job. It's the stability. I find this an odd position to be in. The last year has definitely had a lot of trust in it, that we'd find a suitable contract at a suitable rate and a suitable time, but the 9 weeks without pay earlier this year kind of destroyed that trust. This time when it was confirmed the permanent job would not be appearing, and that no contracts were being renewed (John had suspicions) we both hit the ground running. I bought half a cow. John started applying for a minimum of a job a day. I already remember the recipes and the meal plans to minimize food costs. I cried a bit, to be doing this again.

But this is life. :)

And the food is the least of our worries, in a way. I can do things with 10 kilos of rice and 10 kilos of mince to feed us for a month if I had to. The food is not really an issue. It's the bigger things that are going to bounce and worry me. I should start making lists and if we don't have a contract organized by January, I should start ringing companies and asking for suspensions. I don't want to. It's so much fluffing around and so annoying and so... so... embarrassing. I will ring anyway, and I know my cheeks will burn with something which could just be labelled shame. But whatever. I am not ashamed that I need help. I think it's more that I know people make judgements, and that I can't help that and I am powerless and I have to ask the powerful for help. It frustrates me and makes me angry that I'm not the powerful one. It's easy to be benevolent when I have the power. :) less easy when i don't.

I'm not the most graceful of people, that's certainly been proven lately. At least my bratty behaviour seems to be under better control. Hurting the people who love you is never a good thing.

Hurting people trying to help is also never a good thing. This is all just temporary, and I am secure in a web of love and loving people and I know we will be fine. nothing really has changed - we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Yet something indefinable has changed, and the future seems more uncertain. I'm working through the future and trying to shape what I can but the ground is shifty and difficult to rely on. I need to harden the underlying supports to my family, and that means I can't just pull the wagons close and wait it out this time. I need to get out there and attack the problem. :) I need a job.

I have many worries. Maybe I should stick to writing about one of them at a time.

I find the whole jump from feast to famine really also very disconcerting. We will go from zero income to potentially thousands a month, especially if we're both working at the same time. Such a huge difference! I have to incorporate that into any plans for next year too. Everything is so uncertain. It's weird that there will be so much money coming in, and that we won't *need* it all. I am hoping to save it, keep it, and do stuff... but what? London or new home? Bali with the kids? Brisbane, Melbourne, Tasmania?

This also affects our hopes and plans to move. We won't be able to get a houseloan while Chesh is between contracts, and we can't use any potential job I might have because the banks won't allow for it until i have had the job for 6 - 12 months. Apparently because John has been in the same industry for years and years, his contract work is ok to get a house loan with. We're sitting on 130K of equity that we can't use.

I have nothing else to add to this post yet. It's just random rambling as I think and process. At least I am now at the point where i can think and process. I don't feel too stressed yet, but that might come later. Right now I am seeking ways to plan, to envision and to be prepared for what's coming. This year (2012) I think had some underlying themes of TRUST and FAITH. I'm not sure if I have learnt the lesson yet or if it's still ongoing. The word REDEFINITION is coming up a lot. Maybe it's time I redefined my family and the way it functions. It's time I redefined the roles we all play. It's time to redefine who I am again in an external sense rather than internal. It's time to redefine what my kids do and how they function in the family.

Goodbye 2012. I won't miss you much. You sure had some highlights but you sure had some lowlights too. 2013 will be better. :)


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
redbraids
Dec. 16th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC)
I am so sorry things are so tough just now. The asset you have not mentioned is yourself, (and C) as you have a proven track record of weathering storms.
gillpolack
Dec. 16th, 2012 10:23 am (UTC)
I shall think stabilising thoughts your way for 2013. I'm looking for a job too, but a quite specific one, for I realised that I need stability, but that I know what work I do well and what I do unhappily. If you went with the happiness thing (if it's a stable job, you want it to be something you enjoy) I suspect a lot of the quandaries will resolve into clear choices.

I shall keep things crossed for you.
mireille21
Dec. 21st, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
Who is judging you?
I know as a Bank Manager the calls I used to hate making were the ones where people would do anything to avoid talking to you. They never answered the phone or returned, ... they left it too late for us to do anythign useful! I used to think oh FFS just pick up the phone and call us and we can work out a plan and everyone can get on with things in a calm manner, instead of waiting til the last minute and panic. I think most companies are the same. They'd rather have the conversation and know there is a plan and that bills will be paid, than be put in the situation of having to send out final notices.
callistra
Dec. 22nd, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
I tell myself that, because I know it... in my head. It's my heart that's all emo about it.

Anyway, hopefully this won't be an issue. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )