Reality bites

It sure does. Whether you’re returning to work, school or trying to figure out next steps like me, February is always a sobering month and you may not even be doing febfast 2021! I’ve caught the train a couple of times during the past few weeks and while I had Rosanna station to myself the other day, I think public transport will be busy again as the new year well and truly begins.

Many friends and family are still sadly burnt out from last year and all the adapting we did (and are still doing) as the sequel to 2020 plays out. How soon we receive the vaccine and borders re-open to the world is anyone’s guess.

It’s been a bit depressing reading about women’s unemployment in Victoria being significantly higher than mens at 8.1 per cent versus 5.9 per cent. I’m glad the state’s peak gender body Gender Equality Victoria is asking the Andrews government to address this to get at-risk women back into work.

I’ve been more encouraged to see some new small businesses suddenly appear in Banyule as I’ve been driving around the streets including Curry Me Home in Heidelberg West, newly re-branded Be Good Cafe & Homewares in Ivanhoe East and Quantum Physique in Rosanna. It’s a bold and brave move to open a new business anytime let alone in a global pandemic but also a positive sign there is still life in Melbourne’s economy.

If you are interested in launching a small business or side gig, The Design Files is now running a free small business Summer School 4-part video series. And if you are a female, Creative Womens Circle (CWC) has launched its inaugural Member Mentoring program for creative women (over three sessions across a four-week period) with a focus on skill sharing and professional development.

I’ve now started having face-to-face coffee or Zoom meetings with people in my network and reached out to a number of recruiters for help with the employment journey I now find myself on. Like any adventure, it will be a process of research and discovery working out what fits and what doesn’t.

With additional time on my hands, I will also focus on my health and wellbeing and a couple of projects I can pursue in my own time – I’ve put my hand up for some voluntary work to keep my skills up while I look for work and it’s nice to have the time time to devote to causes aligned to my values as a person. We’ll see what happens but I may be spending more time in the ‘hood this year, and as a keyboard warrior. Miss Rosanna 2.0!