Update: The goat is spared

Posted: August 8, 2017 in Australia

Crossing fingers has been ineffective. Prayers to the christian God, and other gods have been ineffective. The imaginary goat has been ready for sacrifice for some time now, as part of a policy to try all avenues, including sacrifices. Last Friday the goat was spared, and I was offered a job. The goat, who lives in Adelaide, is happy – I am told.

Some happy people

Some happy people

People often ask what happens to cyclists after their big bike trip. Like many others, I left my job and got rid of all my possessions to do the trip. Now I’m at the other end of the adventure. This is the third update of the ordeals of a world cyclist starting a new life post-cycling adventure. (This is the first update, and this is the second.)

Returning to Adelaide, months later.

Returning to Adelaide, months later.

I have been offered and accepted a job as medical writer at NPS Medicinewise (https://www.nps.org.au). NPS is a not-for-profit organisation that provide independent information on medicines and medical procedures for medical professionals and the general public. Their goal is to improve healthcare delivery in Australia. I am really looking forward to starting the new job this Thursday.

I ran past the opera house a lot.

I ran past the opera house a lot.

It took ten months to find a job. That’s if you count from the time I finished my 41483km bike trip from the Netherlands to Adelaide, Australia. If you count from when I got really serious, moving to Sydney and sending off many, many applications, it has been 5 months. I applied for 63 jobs and was invited to 11 interviews. I also had 3 job recruiters that put my name forward for positions that didn’t lead to an interview. I have been to three networking drinks, volunteered opening envelopes on multiple occasions, and given a motivational talk for runners training for a marathon, raising money for cancer. Many friends have helped, and for all their support, I am truly grateful.

This has been a journey every bit as tumultuous as the 2-year bicycle trip. I left my life in Europe mid-career and mid-life (I don’t think it was a mid-life crisis though). I arrived in Australia with a good CV but no professional network in Australia, and a two-year gap on my CV. I was interested in working in communications in the not-for-profit sector, and found myself in a dilemma. Not-for-profits are typically small and pay poorly. No-one believed I would stay in a job like that, and so I didn’t receive any offers. Jobs in the communications market in general are hotly contested given the number of skilled, experienced journalists who have been made redundant as the journalism industry goes online and is undergoing fundamental change. For these jobs, experience in Australia is valuable, as is an Australian network. So, here I was, watching my savings dwindle, and applying for jobs. Lots of jobs.

View from Mrs. Macquarie's Chair

View from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair

My mood was like a rollercoaster. When interesting jobs were in the pipeline, I was happy. I
spent my time with my new partner Aaron, and running in the glorious sun (which has been shining here all winter). There were days when my irons in the fire all dissolved and left me returning to square one. Again.
‘You are a very strong candidate, but..’
‘There was an amazing number of really great candidates, and unfortunately..’

Being unemployed and looking for work, I felt like less of a person. All around me were people working, contributing. Although I have never really been extravagant with money, I noticed myself looking after my money more than ever, and even becoming angry at this consumerist world. All the while, I was thankful for my family, friends and partner, and wishing for this period to be over.

The email must have arrived (although I was offline) when I was at Frazer Beach. I saw the email a few hours later. I tentatively opened it. I had opened many emails like this before. I was great, but.. And, in this one, I got the job. My worries washed away, and I was happy. Now, the next phase of my life can begin. 🙂

Frazer Beach

Frazer Beach

The bike trip took 2 years, and spanned 41483km to Adelaide and about 43000km to Sydney. It was the best thing I have ever done in my life, and I am so, so happy to have done it. I never felt any other way about this during and after the trip. If you know what your dream is, do it! I am now excited about the next chapter of my life. Bring it on!

  1. Klaas says:

    Je zou toch verwachten dat werkgevers graag mensen aannemen die bewezen hebben een fikse uitdaging tot een goed einde te kunnen brengen maar wellicht denken ze daar in Australië anders over dan in Nederland. Veel succes met je nieuwe uitdaging.

  2. Matt says:

    Wild story, amazing and fortunate progress. This “part” of your bike trip around the world is just as important and interesting as the blog about the trip itself. Congratulations to you and cheers to all the supporting individuals around you. Thanks for sharing. The future looks good. Keep up the spirit & feed your strong attitude…

  3. Leo says:

    Geweldig goed nieuws….. een nieuw hoofdstuk in je leven….Veel succes en wellicht binnen enkele jaren de uitdaging om vanuit “Down under” naar Nederland te fietsen…
    Geniet van alles wat je tegen komt in je leven and thankx for all your posts in the last 3 years….!!!

  4. Simon (the one you met/cycled together) in Iran says:

    im so very happy for you!! so nice to hear that your new life in Australia has a good fundament where you can spread your wings on again 🙂

  5. Pat Gaudry says:

    Congratulations on the job Matthew. It seems just right for you. One of my ever repeated experiences is ” It is not WHAT you know , but WHO you know.” Now it the time to start increasing WHO you know in Australia and bringing them in contact with WHO you know in Europe. A good time ahead. Every good wish from all the Gaudry family.

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats again, Matthew. May the road rise to meet you!

  7. Marcel says:

    Gefeliciteerd Matthew en heel veel succes in je nieuwe job.

  8. Olga says:

    Lieve Matthew, gefeliciteerd!
    Ik hoop dat dit werk exact is wat jij zocht en jij nu jouw ervaring en passie kwijt kan in dit werk.
    Wel verrassend dat het zo lang duurde, iedere werkgever wil toch een bijzonder sterke en slimme werknemer zoals jij?
    Dank je voor alle berichten, het is spannend en inspirerend om jouw ‘weg’ te volgen.
    Hier gaat alles goed, behalve dat wij je missen!
    Geniet van je baan en deze nieuwe leven in de zon.
    Hopelijk zien wij elkaar weer een keer, ergens op deze prachtige aarde:-)))
    Olga uit Den Haag

    • Hoi Olga.
      Leuk om van je te horen, en bedankt voor je beste wensen. Mijn nieuwe werk gebruikt mijn ervaring en heeft potentie om in nieuwe dingen te onteikkelen. Ik ben nu heel tevreden.
      Hoe gaat het met jou?
      Ik wil zeker jullie alle komen bezoeken. Eerst moet ik wat vakantiedagen opbouwen. 😉
      Alles goed uit Sydney!

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