Getting Along in HK: Two Years

Where to start, where to start…. You may have noticed I took a little blog break.  Three months actually!  A little longer than I intended it to be, but life has a habit of taking the best laid plans and wreaking havoc on them.  And blogging is definitely one of those things that if you stop, you get out of the habit a bit and it is harder to get started again.  I have a few projects that I am half way through (both of them tarting up an IKEA piece of furniture!) so hopefully I can find the materials I need to finish those off soon and write about them for you.

In the meantime, we are  now officially about two years in to our move to Hong Kong. Two years! It has certainly had its ups and downs, as any big move and big change will. The things I have learnt along the way (see my post on Getting Along in HK: 18 months) have really helped minimise those downs. And the passage of time means you start to miss  some things less and some things more.  I miss the sounds of Australia a lot lately.  An odd thing to miss, I know!  But when you live in a high rise apartment you feel sometimes like you life in an hermetically sealed bubble 30-odd floors up.  You don’t hear the rain on your roof, there is no birdsong when you wake up, no rustling of leaves as the wind goes through the trees.  I miss these things a lot lately.

I have grudgingly accepted the cost of everything here. I had to – the stress of seeing how much I had to pay for everything here was driving me batty! So I had to just let go and finally buy new clothes, just enjoy the ridiculously priced tasty meals, and accept that I could feed three children in Africa for what I pay for the kids’ soccer classes.  Good news is: I have remembered just how much I love to shop.  I mean proper shopping – not looking for cheap stuff that you won’t cry if it gets pooped, pissed or vomited on, but real clothes that you are excited to wear and that genuinely highlight your best features and make you feel really good about yourself. I had been hanging onto a lot of clothes from pre-pregnancy. And by pre-pregnancy, I mean over six years ago.  Let’s just say that six years and two pregnancies changes your figure quite a bit. Anyways, this isn’t a post about shopping, but by golly I have enjoyed going out and finding some new things to wear that, first and foremost, I love to wear.

Having clothes that are all about what I love to wear has also, surprisingly, helped me remember a bit of the old me. The pre-kids me. The me who loved dressing and choosing accessories for an outfit.  The me who looked at clothes as more than “this will do to cover up the nakedness that nobody wants to see”.  And another change that will hopefully also bring back more of the full me (rather than just Mummy-Me, who has seemed to be the only car in the race the last few years) is Working-Me.  I am officially looking for full-time work. After five years, three continents, and two kids, this isn’t an easy task.  I am well aware I may have to go backwards a few years to get back in.  But I haven’t got a strong network, recent experience nor do I speak the main language here (Cantonese). At all. I am trying to keep a few options open by not just looking at operations management type positions that would be an extension of my old career, but also looking at HR and banking compliance as new areas to try.  Yes, I would need to go back to entry level jobs in these last two areas, but I am interested in them and it’s worth a couple of years of lower pay to get where I want to be long term.  It’s certainly going to be more than I’m earning now at least!  But it’s a lot of work looking for jobs and trying to think of who you know at different companies that might have jobs you can apply for. This is where the expat mum’s network has come into play.  The husbands of my friends are mostly in mid to high level manager positions in finance companies.  So I am using them as my network!  It’s not easy though and the Christmas/New Year/Chinese New Year time period was not the best time to start looking as it’s very quiet!  But you have to start some where, right?

So two years in to HK I am really hoping that somehow, somewhere a job will happen that sets me on the course to getting my career back.  The final piece of the puzzle for feeling like a complete “Me” again!  Send me positive vibes peeps – it’s going to take a bit of luck after five years out!  And in the meantime, stay tuned over the couple of months for some new projects as I get back into the blog 🙂

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