(L) Julia, my grandmother (R) Mie mie, my mother - the mothers who inspired Mamaku - means my mother in Bahasa Indonesia - our current food business in Brisbane.
They say you can't choose your family...
In this instance, my story is one of gratitude for my family.
Especially in this time of uncertainty of COVID-19.
If it were not for my ancestors I would not be here.
If it were not for them I just really wouldn't know what kind of person I would be, where I would be living, or what kind of life I would be leading.
My family all come from countries outside of Australia. They were brave and made courageous decisions to leave their home countries to give themselves and their family a better life.
At the moment, our world is being impacted by an unprecedented event that is creating waves of life threatening illness across the countries my family originally came from including China and Indonesia.
I started to think today what would my life be like if I was in China or if I was in Indonesia. I know for absolute sure it would be very different, assuming fate meant I would still be born, even if my mum and dad didn't meet in Darwin.
The beauty is this. Everything happens for a reason. So I am here. On this earth. In this place. In this moment. Right now. Here. Experiencing this world, right here from where I am.
And I just want to say thank you to my grandparents and my parents. For their ultimate sacrifices. For their hard work. For enduring. Through it all.
They saw things too. Just like I am seeing things today.
I often wondered what were they thinking back then. I will never know.
Now is my time to share what I am thinking today. And one day my children and grandchildren will know me. Through these words that will hopefully travel with them and land with them when they are looking for them - just when they need them the most.
Don't be afraid. Be still. Be present. Be in this moment. It will pass as quickly as it came. The unpredictable will soon become predictable and we will wish it would become unpredictable again. But even as we lived our lives not much was certain. The only constant choice we have is what are we willing to fill our minds with?
And it is a constant choice.
I want the best for me. I want the best for my family. And of course I want the best for you. The only way I know how to do this is to share my experience and hopefully impact you in a positive and fulfilling way. Be inspired. Be willing to step out of the normal that everyone prescribes to. That's what my grandparents did and I will continue to honour them by doing the same.
I have often helped many of my family and friends to apply for jobs, editing resumes and cover letters, configuring content for statements etc
If I told you I had written hundreds of resumes and then I told you they were all mine, how would that make you feel?
When I went to university and got my Bachelor of Arts in communication, I had good marks and I excelled, I had a full time job borne out of my participation in the university’s mentorship program. My future couldn’t have looked brighter!
But something happened when I had to apply for my media officer job.
I wasn’t successful.
What had gone wrong?
No one taught me about writing resumes or statements. No one taught me about preparing for an interview that would entail a work task.
No one told me about the thing I couldn’t change “I needed more experience”....
I was young at the time - a graduate of 20 years of age. What did I know about being employed in my field of education?
I knew zilch. I only knew what I had learnt. And what I had learnt was theoretical. My practical knowledge was as a result of my participation in the mentorship program and renewed short term contracts where I did work full time.
Little did I know the experience they were looking for was field and industry experience. They were looking for journalist of x many years and I wasn’t that. They were looking for someone who would come onboard and add value not a student who would need to be babysat.
Look I didn’t know this at the time and so it was devastating for me because when you complete your degree there is just so much pressure upon you to get a job in your field, and if you did, at the time I thought it was the gauge for “you succeeded in life”.
I went on to apply for hundreds of jobs. This is where I trained myself in tailoring resumes and facing rejection with no replies and feeling like I had failed and was a failure.
Back then I didn’t realise I had a blank canvas in front of me because I was operating from my upbringing and society’s programming of what success should look like.
Which is essentially:
Get a job
Climb the ladder
Make more money
Get more qualifications
Repeat the above again
If you couldn’t find a job that matched your skills knowledge and abilities then you were doomed?! How else was I going to make money?
So I moved states. Bigger city = bigger opportunities. Great so where do I start. I said to myself I just need a job! I need a job and I need money and if I’m lucky the job will help me grow and develop.
This job had nothing to do with my degree. It was an entry level role and I did in my heart of hearts think hmmm I’ll be starting from the bottom but when I was successful of course I grabbed it with both hands.
There were many things I learnt but I’ll save those stories for another time. Relevant to this story is I refined my ability to apply for and be successful in acquiring roles in my organisation. I had unleashed the how.
So I successfully climbed the ladder, I stayed there for a while but it wasn’t bringing me joy, it was starting to bring me angst.
I reached a point where I was stuck in this line of work and could then only apply for roles similar in title and or industry. I had done the worst thing I possibly could have done to myself. I had done what actors normally try to avoid doing, actors normally avoid being typecast! You know what I mean here like Meg Ryan for a period was always in romantic comedies or chick flicks. I had put myself in one role, one lane!
If I was going to maintain the same level of financial reward, I would have to keep applying for jobs of a similar industry and similar role. So that’s what I did but I still felt stuck with nowhere else to go.
You know you’re capable of more. You know you’re capable of anything. You just need an employer who is willing to see past the typecasting and can see your true value in the employment market.
But if you don’t clearly articulate who you are in the market, how will they ever know who you truly are?!
There are just so many places where things can go wrong.
1 the way the employer describes the role or the role description or the advertisement
2 the way you highlight your skills knowledge and abilities and the way you respond in the application
3 the way the employer reads/assesses the application
If you think about it in really pragmatic terms, a resume gets you in front of them, an interview gets you to explain who you are beyond the pieces of paper.
So if your resume doesn’t sparkle, you won’t get the opportunity to show them who you really are.
What’s more is the resultant job going to be what YOU really want?
Are you willing to wait to find out? Another few years and hop on that job hunting cycle again?
What if there is another way?
Here is the crunch if you’re willing to hear it....
The level of effort you put in to writing your resume will be the same level of effort you put in to pinpointing your purpose and determining what value you can contribute to society by becoming your own employer.
It may seem unrealistic at the moment but that’s why I’m here to show you how it is possible.
You can rewrite your future.
You don’t have to be a square in a round peg.
And my promise is you will sparkle and shine like never before.
You won’t need to wait for the right industry or right employer or right job to magically appear exactly when you need it to.
Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.