Life goes on

It sure does whether we feel ready for it or not. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Besides starting a new job in a new organisation, I’ve been busy these past two weekends with extended family events making the most of things before the new school term starts, including a 6km fun run along the main Yarra trail yesterday with the Ivanhoe Harriers. I was the back marker for the handicap race so I’m not exactly setting the world on fire in terms of speed and I hadn’t run in two weeks so I’ve been feeling it today.

So how is the new job going? I’m lucky to have once again landed in a high performing team in marketing communications with a great boss, which makes all the difference as a newbie. I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy – it is always challenging starting work in a new organisation, whatever the role, adapting to a new environment with a different culture and people and one which has also gone through a lot of change since the global pandemic. At the moment, I’m just trying to roll with things, be kind to myself and give myself time to adjust to a new normal.

I’m a pretty outgoing person so have enjoyed meeting my new colleagues at the ANZSOG head office in Carlton but I expect to feel a level of discomfort for a while as I get my head around things. Digital technology aside, it’s a much more select and senior alumni cohort of leaders in the public sector (and those aspiring to be) who I will be liaising with including an established Alumni Advisory Council.

Assembly Store cafe in Carlton

My first day involved finding a good cafe with great coffee and I wasn’t disappointed in discovering hole-in-the wall cafe Assembly (pictured above) in Pelham Street before I arrived at the office. No easing into it with one of my first tasks being asked to organise an event in Adelaide the following week and along with now looking after the ANZSOG alumni council as a priority, I will need to develop the alumni strategy with the help of my new manager in tandem with ongoing activities so ‘strategy on the run’.

I haven’t mentioned my Women of Colour Australia volunteer work but glad I developed the content strategy for them while I had the time before starting paid work. Similar to that organisation, the most important thing in my current role is understanding the audience – who they are, what they do, where they’re located etc. and while demographic data helps – it’s more hearts and minds stuff that interests me. At the end of the day, we are all individual human beings with different things that motivate and inspire us and that’s what I’m seeking to understand.

I’ve had a bit of deja vu starting my new job reminding me of when I moved from Marketing and Recruitment to the Alumni and Advancement Office at La Trobe, as we will shortly be moving from our existing site to a brand new building around the corner and I’ll post more about that once the launch is officially announced. It’s always exciting to move into a newly kitted out building and as I will now be working a minimum three days in the office, it’s something to look forward to as it has also been a shock leaving the comfort and convenience of working from home.

It’s been great to see jobs bouncing back across the country although I think younger people will continue to need support. Higher education and other industries like tourism, retail, hospitality and real estate will also need help as the return of international students to Melbourne is delayed. I know a family of allied health workers where one parent has received the Pfizer vaccine and the other Astra Zeneca and they’ve been comparing notes on side effects. For those under 50, it may be a while before vaccinations are rolled out and I hope time brings some greater insights and learnings.

Given the grim news about the global COVID-19 death toll reaching over 3 million people (more than Western Australia’s entire population), it’s felt slightly surreal to drive past our local footy ovals this past weekend seeing players and spectators out in force. We are incredibly lucky in Australia living in our protected little bubble with a recovering economy and roaring real estate market, as much as I don’t think it’s reflective of ‘normal’ times although I guess nothing is truly normal at the moment and won’t be for a while to come.

My solace continues to be my weekly yoga practice as well as pet therapy as a dog owner and I thought you might like this photo of me (above) doing ‘doga’ with Gypsy – she likes to take advantage of my inability to move while practising and my resting pose on my yoga mat last week was no exception – it was like having sandbags placed across my legs! Have a great week especially if you’re a parent with children returning to school for term 2.