New Job: Social Media Manager at Jetstar

Yesterday was my first day as Social Media Manager at Jetstar. Yes, that means I have a new job :)

For those of you who might not know, the Jetstar Group (usually just referred to as Jetstar) consists of four low-cost airlines:

Jetstar was launched in 2004 and, with its 79 aircraft and over 7,000 employees, currently flies to 56 destinations in 17 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.

My job is a Group role (i.e. it’s a corporate function that works across all four airlines) and is based at the Jetstar corporate headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.

Why did I change jobs?

For a number of reasons:

  • I love the airlines/aviation industry and working for an airline is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
  • Jetstar is a great brand that is run by good people who provide a valuable service. It’s a brand I respect and is a brand whose values I share (i.e. providing good value for money, making smart use of technology, and making travel to popular destinations accessible to lots of people).
  • I’m making a career path adjustment that sees me changing my focus from building and managing websites to helping companies and customers communicate better with each other using social media. And while this is a slight narrowing of focus (e.g. in my current role I won’t be looking after the Jetstar website) it is also an increase in overall responsibility (i.e. I get to work on more strategic corporate communications objectives).
  • My new role is more challenging because the scale and scope of customer engagement is greater (e.g. it’s across the entire Asia-Pacific region as opposed to just within the state of Victoria) and the aviation industry is more exciting, more innovative, and moves much faster than the water industry.
  • I have a greater opportunity for personal growth because I now get to employ my social media skills to their fullest. I had been wanting to increase my social media focus at Melbourne Water but, with all the other work I was doing there, this wasn’t something I was able to do.

I also get to work with one of my former managers who I really like and work really well with. And finally, as someone whose family is spread across multiple countries, the travel benefits of working for an airline are important to me personally.

What does the new job involve?

Broadly speaking, my overall objective is to improve the communication, engagement, and understanding between Jetstar and its customers. Specifically, I get to do this via social media. Though, practically speaking, this engagement will be integrated across multiple communication channels.

How exactly I go about doing all this is something I will share on this blog (and probably also on Twitter) over the coming weeks, months, and years so stay tuned.

Communicating with Charts and Infographics

I love using pictures, charts, diagrams, and infographics to illustrate and explain complex or hard to visualize ideas, concepts, and relationships.

Using Charts and Infographics at Melbourne Water

Since we deal with pretty complex subjects at Melbourne Water it makes sense for us to use well designed charts and infographics to explain what we do and how we do it. So, over the last year or two, we’ve been working with various vendors to produce graphics and animations that help us communicate better. We’ve also been improving our own chart-making capabilities so we can explain things more effectively to our more interested (which usually means more nerdy) audiences.

Here are some of the things we’ve done.

Explaining Systems

To explain how a system like Melbourne’s Water supply network works, you can use a static and somewhat technical map like this:

Melbourne Water Supply System Map - Old

Or you can use an animated map to really show people what’s going on (click through to see what I mean):

Animated Melbourne water supply network map

That animated map has proven to be very popular: over the last year it’s been viewed over 40,000 times with visitors spending an average of two and a half minutes going through it.

You can explain complex systems without animations, too – like we’ve done with our Eastern Treatment Plant’s sewage processing diagram. This diagram comes in two parts. First, there’s a high-level overview:

ETP sewage processing overview diagram

And, then, there’s a more detailed explanation of the steps we take to process sewage at this plant (including the tertiary treatment bit that’s currently being built):

ETP sewage processing detailed diagram

Explaining Relationships

Another important use for graphics is in explaining relationships between things.

For example, the Melbourne Water website gets about about 10,000 visitors per day. However, this figure jumps to 25,000 when it rains and over 40,000 when there’s a big storm in Melbourne. This happens because people want to know what effect the rainfall is having on our water storage levels.

To explain this relationship, we first used a simple column chart to show the basic trend (though the figures in it are from about a year and a half ago):

Web Traffic Depends on Rainfall bar chart

We then drilled down into a more detailed example and plotted the amount of rainfall recorded in Melbourne in August 2010 and compared that to the number of website visits received over the same period. The relationship between the two is quite obvious when you look at this graph:

Effect of Rainfall on Web Traffic line chart

These diagrams were made to be printed, by the way, which is why the text size on the axes isn’t all that large.

Telling a Story

At times, though, all you want to do with a graph is tell a story.

For example, we used this simple graph to explain the how Melbourne’s dams staged a remarkable turnaround in 2010, jumping from 25.6% full in July 2009 to 53.7% full in December 2010:

Melbourne's dam levels in 2009 and 2010

And we used this graph to explain that Melbourne’s total system storage depends a great deal on how full Thomson Dam is (because Thomson is almost 60% of Melbourne’s total dam capacity):

Melbourne Dams as a Percentage of Total Capacity

More generally, we use this graphic to explain to Melburnians just how big Thomson really is:

Thomson dam is twice the size of Sydney Harbour Bridge and 628 the size of the MCG

Showing Cause and Effect (i.e. Explaining More Complex Relationships)

Recently, though, we’ve gone one step further and have used a couple of charts to explain what, at the face of it, seems to be a strange result: rainfall for spring 2011 was 28.5% above average but water flowing into the dams (i.e. streamflow) over the same period was 22.4% below average. This happened because of what we call the ‘sponge effect’ and we used this graphic to explain what happened:

Effect of spring rainfall on streamflow - Spring 2011

Now this type of graph isn’t for everyone to read and understand but, that’s okay – we know that a lot of our website visitors are water nerds just like us and that they appreciate the extra effort we make in explaining these results to them.

Hopefully, this use of charts and infographics to explain complex things is something Melbourne Water continues to do in the future. I know I certainly will.

Web Fun at Melbourne Water: iPhone App, Maps & Social Media

I joined Melbourne Water as their Websites Manager just under a year ago and, since then, I’ve done a lot of fun and exciting web-related work there.

We recently hit a few important milestones so I thought I’d take this opportunity to do a quick roundup of what I’ve been up to.

Web & New Media Strategy

Melbourne's Water Supply NetworkAll the exciting work I’m doing has its foundations in the Web & New Media Strategy that was kicked off in early 2009 and involved a few months of research, analysis, and decision-making. The actual “strategy” ended up being a three-phase plan for building and enhancing the organization’s online presence over the next 2-3 years.

The first phase (basically, quick wins) took less than six months to do and involved plugging the holes in our existing online presence. This included numerous web tweaks, getting a better understanding of what worked or didn’t work on our site (via Google Analytics), and, generally, making better use of the website (e.g. more cross promotion on high traffic areas). We also bought a Google Mini search engine to remove one of site’s biggest pain points which was a crappy search engine.

The second phase (6-12 months) is finishing up now. This addressed a whole bunch of other web tweaks (like content rewrites and information architecture adjustments) and launched projects in five major areas:

  • A complete site overhaul (redoing the site’s content, design, and information architecture and getting a new web content management system)

  • More multimedia (specifically illustrations, photos, and videos)

  • More and better online maps (the more useful and usable the better)

  • More information provision via mobile phones (through SMS, mobile applications, and mobile web sites)

  • Getting into social media (for information provision and stakeholder engagement)

The third phase (1-3 years) involves more complex projects that can’t be started till we have everything else in place (like a new organizational GIS and a web content management system). Phase three work includes the automation of customer-facing business activities, which means things like building online forms and applications, providing custom information via SMS, and so on.

What’s Exciting Now?

Melbourne Water's iPhone applicationRight now, though, we’re nearing the end of the second phase and we’ve made great progress in all five of the areas mentioned above:

  • We’ve kicked off a project to get a new web content management system and have started the website redesign and reorganization process.

  • We’ve started to place photos on Flickr (including ‘Photos from the Field’ which are from Melbourne Water employees) and videos on YouTube (almost all of which were produced in-house).

  • We’ve got some really basic maps on our site but have kicked off a project that will move all our old and clunky maps to a better platform over the next year or so. Meanwhile, we’ve developed an interactive map that explains in simple terms how Melbourne’s complicated water supply network works.

  • We’ve launched an iPhone app (link to iTunes store) and will be launching a new mobile version of our website in the next few weeks.

  • We’re quite active on Twitter and will get further into social media when appropriate.

All in all, we’re tracking quite well and the work we’re doing is lots of fun and really quite exciting.

Culture of Innovation & Effective Communication

What I love most of all, though, is how much on-board everyone at Melbourne Water is with these enhancements. This support and appreciation of innovation and effective communication starts right at the top, too. For example, it was our Board who originally suggested that we develop a simplified water supply network map for the website. They wanted a simple way of explaining a complex system and realized that the web would be a great place to do just that.

In my opinion, the foundation for this is laid in Melbourne Water’s Strategic Framework document which explicitly lists the support of “innovation, achievement, and good ideas” and the need to “understand, manage, and meet or exceed customer expectations” as success indicators for the organization. At Melbourne Water these aren’t just phrases on a company brochure but actual, practical goals that all of us aspire to every day. In fact, to give you an example of how this is implemented practically: Every project that’s proposed at Melbourne Water has to explain and justify which of these strategic goals it’s addressing before it’s allowed to start.

So the work that I’m doing there both matches the direction the world is moving in (i.e. information provision and customer engagement is moving online) and is brilliantly supported by the organization itself. That’s yet another reason why I love working there.

Working at Melbourne Water

I’ve been at Melbourne Water for over six months but haven’t yet blogged about what I actually do there. So, thanks to the end-of-year holiday season that has given me the time to get back into blogging, here goes.

What Do I Do There?

My job title is ‘Websites Manager’ and that role sits in the External Affairs team which itself is part of the broader Communications & Community Relations group.

My tasks include:

  • Managing all of Melbourne Water’s websites (i.e. the main site and various sub-sites)
  • Developing and implementing a Web & New Media Strategy for organization (this includes getting the organization involved with social media)
  • Helping knowledge specialists from across the business create and maintain their web content
  • Proactively seeking content to place on the web (this includes content that site visitors want to see and content that we want site visitors to see)
  • Liaising between our web solution provider and the rest of the business (including, sometimes our own internal IT department)
  • Managing the Website Advisor (who focuses primarily on the online needs of the Waterways group)

More generally, my job involves three things:

  • Tactical management: Managing web content and being the go-to guy for everything related to the web (and, increasingly, multimedia and social media).
  • Strategic management: Finding out what our current online presence is, determining what we want that online presence to be over the coming years, and figuring out how we’re going to get there. This includes doing things like a complete site overhaul and pursuing new online models of stakeholder engagement (specifically, social media).
  • People management: Overseeing work done by the Website Advisor and managing the web team’s relationship with the rest of the organization.

That’s a lot to do but I’m having an awesome time doing it. If it didn’t keep me so busy, I almost wouldn’t call it “work”.

What’s it Like to Work There?

It’s awesome. I love the people, I love the culture, and I love the commitment everyone has to their work, to Melbourne, and to the planet in general. It’s really great to work alongside people who are experts in their fields (many of them are geeks like me) and who love the work that they do.

I really appreciate the fact that the organization truly cares about, and cares for, its employees. And I love that we don’t have to leave our lives (and the rest of the world) at the doorstep when we step into the office.

I love the range of work that the organization does – everything from:

  • sourcing and storing water,
  • treating and providing water (to Melbourne’s private water retailers), and
  • taking care of our rivers, creeks, wetlands, and (soon) coastline,
  • to collecting, treating, and safely disposing of our sewerage.

Finally, I am impressed by the importance and emphasis the organization places on good communication and stakeholder engagement. Indeed, excellent stakeholder engagement is a core strategic objective for Melbourne Water. I am particularly empowered by this focus because so much of that communication and engagement is moving into the online space (including social media) and that’s specifically what I am responsible for (and really enjoy doing).

So, You Like it, Then?

Yes, very much so!

Catching Up

I haven’t been blogging much these last few months. That’s because three months ago my wife and I moved into an apartment that has no land line and only a satellite cable TV connection. (We didn’t think to ask about the former before moving in here because, really, when was the last time you heard of a house that didn’t have a land line connection?) What this means is that, till just recently, we didn’t have Internet access at home; certainly not cable and ADSL, but not even dialup!

What Happened Then?

It took Telstra (the only phone company that services this area) about six weeks (yes, six weeks) to give us a connection from the telephone exchange to our apartment building. However, we don’t have an outlet in the wall for a phone jack so we can’t actually use that line. Even worse, the electrician who came in to install that outlet couldn’t find where in the wall our telephone wire was so he wasn’t able to connect us. That was about a month ago and, since then, we’ve been waiting for our real estate agent to do something about this – specifically, getting the building plans from the owners and giving them to the electrician – but nothing’s happened yet.

I finally got sick of the situation so, a couple of weeks ago, I went and got us a mobile broadband connection from 3 (specifically, a USB wireless modem) and that’s what’s letting me access the Internet now. We then went a step further and bought a wireless router for the modem so now both my wife and I can access the Internet at the same time. It’s slow, but at least it works.

What about blogging from work, you ask? Unfortunately, work has been really busy (though incredibly enjoyable) so I haven’t had the mental energy to do any writing in the evenings (whether at work or offline from home). The only blog posts I have managed to finish are the ones I wrote on a weekend and published from the office the following work week.

So, Catching Up…

What all this is leading up to is the fact that I have lots of catching up to do. The way I’m going to do that is by giving you a bulleted list of all the stories I’ve wanted to talk about these last few months but haven’t been able to discuss. The stories range from basic, on-the-ground advice (and lists) to more high level discussions on a particular topic. They’re all good to read, though.

Jobs, Careers, & MBA

Social Media

Online Design, UI

Online Marketing

General Life Advice

Web Strategy Jobs in Australia

In order to get what can loosely be called a 'web strategy job' in Australia I did quite a bit of research and analysis on how different companies hire for that position and I thought it might be useful to share what I've learnt. This serves two purposes:

  • Others who are looking for jobs in the same area might find my analysis useful.

  • Those who know more about this area than I do can improve my understanding of it.

Here's hoping this blog post accomplishes a bit of both.

What Do You Mean by 'Web Strategy Job'?

So what exactly does a 'web strategist' do? Well, it depends on the industry and company that job is in. In general, though, a web strategist is someone who takes care of everything a company does online. This includes:

  • managing the company's online presence (website, intranet, social media presence, etc.)

  • figuring out what the company should be doing in the online space over the next few years; i.e. creating a web strategy and making sure it is aligned with the company's business, marketing, and communications strategies

  • implementing that strategy

This job can be in different departments and at different levels of seniority within a particular company. To explain this further I have come up with the How Companies Build Their Online Presence table (below). The columns on this table represent company size and the rows divide companies into those that consider their online presence to be strategic and those that don't (yes, this is an artificial, binary division while, in reality, there is a range here). [1]

The text in the cells describes the solutions that these companies implement in order to build and maintain their online presence (yes, I am generalizing here). The jobs that I spent the last few months looking for are the manager-level web strategist/online manager positions described or implied in the green coloured cells.

How Companies Build Their Online Presence

Interestingly, over the last year, I have worked in companies in all three of those green-coloured areas:

  • Shell is a very large company that uses its online presence strategically (both internally and externally)

  • Melbourne Business School is a medium-sized company that uses of its online presence strategically (and increasingly so)

  • Linfox is a large company that doesn't use its website strategically but makes very good use of its intranet

Melbourne Water sits in the strategic row and is a large company.

Where the Web Strategist Fits in All This

As mentioned earlier, the web strategist jobs in those green-shaded boxes exist at different levels within different companies. That is why, over the last few months, I applied for jobs that spanned a range of tasks, skills, and seniority levels. In some small companies, for example, the primary driver of the web strategy is the specialist consultant hired on a 3-6 month contract. In some larger ones, the strategy is driven by a small group of people who are, in turn, led by the web/online manager.

There are pros and cons to being in each of those positions. For example, a short-term specialist-level consultant may not have the time, influence, or opportunity to have a major impact on a company's overall web strategy. That said, this consultant sits outside the internal politics of that company and can be more blunt and direct about what that company needs to do without having to worry too much about what people think of him. A full-time online manager in a large company, meanwhile, many find corporate inertia working against her for the first six months but, once things get moving, will benefit from it. And because this manager knows the inner working of the company, she may get things done more quickly and more effectively.

The sweet spot for me was to get a middle management position in a good-sized company that made good, strategic use of its online space. There is huge potential (and lots of fun to be had) in this role because companies in this position are often quick to move and are willing to make a real impact online. Fortunately for me, this is exactly where Melbourne Water sits.

What About the State of the Job Market?

Of course, all this analysis is useless if it doesn't help you get a job - particularly if no one is hiring for the position you really want to get. Because of that, I was also looking for less-than-perfect jobs or jobs on the periphery of where I wanted to be. The idea was that I would work towards the role I really wanted.

Speaking more generally: One good thing about this type of job is that every organization needs a website regardless of how the economy is doing (and Australia's isn't doing that badly). As a result, web strategists, website managers, and specialist online consultants are still getting hired. And though there are very few perfect jobs out there (and many companies are hiring less senior people to do the same job that more senior people were doing last year) I did come across a whole bunch that were great places to start. Read my previous blog post for more on that.

Further Research

So that is a summary of what I have learnt about web strategist jobs in Australia over the last couple of years. I encourage you to do your own research on this topic. To do that, I recommend the following three things:

  • Subscribe to online job feeds from Seek, MyCareer, CareerOne, and SixFigures. This will teach you a great deal about the state of the job market and will help you adopt the lingo that hiring managers and recruitment firms use to match candidates to open positions.

  • Talk to people who are in the industry and find out more from them. This is particularly useful if you are targeting a narrower segment in the market (e.g. web strategy jobs in the education sector). Also read their blogs, interact with them online, and get in touch with them through LinkedIn or your own networks (then meet up with them for a coffee or something).

  • Talk to recruitment agents who recruit in this area. I mentioned three firms and three recruitment agents in my previous post but there are many others - you just need to find the ones that work best with you.

And when you learn stuff, blog about it so all of us can learn from your experiences.

- - - - - - - - - -

[1] The words 'strategy' and 'strategic' are used very loosely in everyday speech while, in actual fact, they mean something very specific. Let me clarify that here: when you say something is 'strategic' you necessarily mean that it is relative to your competitors. Take your website's 'Contact Us' page. If, along with your office address, you were to give your office's Melways Map reference, this would not be considered 'strategic' because this is common practice. If, instead, you embedded a Google map that showed your office's location exactly (assuming, of course, that your customers found this useful and that it helped your business) this would be a 'strategic' move since few companies tend to do that and this gives you an advantage over your competitors. Note, however, that if you had decided to include that Google map without considering your competition, it would simply have been a 'plan'. A 'strategy', on the other hand, is action taken specifically with your competition in mind (i.e. in order to gain an advantage over them).

My Job Search: Stats & Lessons

My perseverance has paid off: after applying for 33 jobs over an 8 month period, I am now the new Websites Manager at Melbourne Water. I'll write more about this job in a later blog post but right now I want to present the stats I accumulated and the lessons I learnt during this process.

Active Job-Search Period

The 8-month period during which I was looking for a job featured the following non-hiring periods:

  • the global economic downturn - 2 months, from mid-October to mid-December

  • the Christmas holidays - 1.5 months, from early December to mid-January

  • my trip to Pakistan - 1 month, from early February to early March

So, for all practical purposes, I was unemployed and actively looking for jobs for about 4-5 out of those 8 months before I got hired.

Types & Levels of Jobs

The 33 jobs I applied for during this period were of these types:

  • By management-level jobs (13) I mean those that involved project management, stakeholder liaison, team management, and strategic planning.

  • By specialist, consultant, and business analyst jobs (15) I mean those that involved working as a knowledge or domain specialist within a larger team. The specialized skills required for these jobs included SEO techniques; web writing and online production skills; social media awareness; requirements-gathering experience; a consulting background; and general website/intranet redevelopment experience. Naturally, all of these skills were also required for the management-level jobs that I applied for.

  • By junior-level jobs (5) I mean those that I turned out to be overqualified for. In most cases this happened because the company in question didn't think the online channel was of strategic value to them and was therefore looking for a relatively junior person to create their web strategy and maintain their website and intranet. In most of these cases I withdrew my application once I found out more about the job.

I very nearly got one of those specialist-level jobs but the company I was interviewing with instated a hiring freeze (due to a newly-announced restructuring plan) the day after my final interview. The interview had gone really well, though, and I was confident that I would had been selected.

Also, those 13 management-level job applications include my successful application to Melbourne Water.

Reasons for Rejection

The reasons I was given for not getting 32 of those jobs included:

  • By too little experience (3) I mean the job was too senior for me. In one case, for example, I was told I didn't have experience in working with ad agencies on large multi-channel marketing campaigns.

  • By experience mismatch (3) I mean I had enough overall experience but the company was looking for someone with a slightly different set of skills. For example, they were looking for more sales/marketing oriented people than technical or communications oriented ones.

  • By cultural mismatch (4) I mean I had the right experience and skills but I wasn't the right person for that particular job, team, or company.

  • By too much experience (5) I mean I was overqualified for the job. I usually discovered this during the preliminary phone discussion with the recruiter at which point I would withdraw my application.

  • By job already filled (3) I mean that, by the time I applied for the job, the company had already hired a candidate (either on its own or via another recruitment firm).

  • By no answer (8) I mean I simply didn't get a response for the company (2 cases) or the recruitment agent (6 cases) to whom I had applied. In some cases I got no answer even after telephoning them a number of times and leaving messages asking for a call-back.

  • By no good reason given (3) I mean I got a generic and completely useless reason for my application being rejected. For example: "Thank you for your recent application for the above position; we have now had an opportunity to consider all applications. Very careful consideration has been given to your application and whilst you have many relevant attributes, unfortunately, on this occasion your application has not been successful." In some of these cases I asked for further detail but I almost never got any.

  • By too many candidates (1) I mean the recruitment firm had already filled its quota of interviews for that particular job.

  • By hiring freeze (1) I mean the company stopped its hiring process before making an offer of employment because senior management instated a hiring freeze.

Finally, I interviewed for seven of these jobs:

  • Twice I got rejected after a single interview

  • Five times I got rejected after multiple (usually two) interviews

One of the experience mismatch jobs and three of the cultural mismatch jobs were the ones that I went through multiple interviews for. The fifth was the hiring freeze one.

How this Fits with my Job Application Philosophy

In my opinion, these are fairly decent statistics. I say this because they reflect my job application philosophy which includes the following heuristics:

  • Only apply to those jobs you think you have a good chance of getting. This is, of course, based on the job ad, an optional detailed position description, or simply a verbal description of the role.

  • If, while writing the cover letter, you find that you're not convincing even yourself that you can or really want to do this job, abandon the application.

  • Don't apply to too many 'reach' jobs that might be just out of your skills and experience range. You'd only apply to these types of jobs if you though you could grow into the role quite rapidly.

  • Don't apply to too many 'backup' jobs for which you are qualified but from which you won't gain anything other than a little more experience and line on your CV. You'd only apply to these types of jobs if the hiring company had a great brand, was one you really wanted to get into, or was one in which you could see yourself getting promoted through relatively quickly. For example, if Google offered me a junior-ish job I'd jump at it!

  • Take the time to tailor both your resume and cover letter to match the requirements of the job at hand. Assuming, of course, you fit the basic requirements in first place.

  • Do your research on the company and make sure that (a) you can do the job, (b) you want to do the job, and (c) you would work well in that company.

What Have I Learnt From All This?

Aside from the obvious "it's no fun to be looking for a job during an economic downturn" I have learnt that perseverance, smart application techniques, and patience all pay off in the end. I have also learnt that it's crucial to look for cultural fit between you and your potential employer and that it's important to identify both good and bad recruitment consultants and recruitment firms.

The perseverance bit is important because I've learnt that lesson the hard way. This is now the third difficult hiring period I've been through in my life. The first was back in 1998 when Pakistan and India tested nuclear weapons because of which the number of overseas work and study visas awarded to Pakistanis was slashed considerably. The economic sanctions that were subsequently imposed on Pakistan didn't help the local job market either. The second was when the dot-com bubble burst in the US in 2001. I was working for the Pakistan branch of a Silicon Valley consulting firm at the time and had just received my US work permit visa. My plan had been to go join that company in Silicon Valley but, instead, I quit my job and started working for a Pakistani firm instead. This actually turned out to be a fortuitous occurrence because that Pakistani company was the one that got me into creating web strategies and developing and using Content Management Systems.

Having patience is also important because in the past I have made one or two hasty career decisions that, in hindsight, I wish I hadn't made. I don't actually regret having made those decisions because I love where I am in my life and in my career. It's just that I could have been further along my career path had I not gone with the first option that came my way.

I have also learnt that cultural fit between employer and candidate plays a key role in the hiring process. I already knew this in theory, of course, but it's good to see it being played out in practice as well. I am really happy, for example, to have received a few specific rejections because I realized that, even though I could have done the jobs themselves, I wouldn't have had fun doing them. This is also why I rarely get disappointed or upset when I don't get a job that I've applied for. This is particularly true if I've had a couple of interviews with that company and, as a result, know quite a bit about my manager, my team, and the company in general. Also, I generally interview well and am honest about who I am during the the recruitment process. So, if after multiple interviews the company decides they don't like what they see then they're probably right in not hiring me because I wouldn't fit in there.

On a more practical note, I have learnt that it is important to quickly identify ineffective or bad recruitment consultants and recruitment firms and then stay away from them. This is easier said than done, of course - especially if those recruitment firms keep advertising good jobs! The flip side of this is that it's important to identify good recruitment consultants and recruitment firms and then stick with them. For example, I had excellent experiences with Michael Page (specifically with Angela Van Hazel), Hudson (specifically with Sarah Blaney), and RDBMS Resource Solutions (specifically with Jessica Burns) and I would highly recommend these firms and those recruitment consultants to anyone who is looking for a job.

What Now?

So the current job search phase in my life has ended. My contract with Melbourne Water is for 13 months, however, so I'll be back to looking for a job within the year...but that's okay. The more time I spend in the industry - getting to know companies and building networks of contacts - the easier it will be for me to get my next job.

Meanwhile, though, I'm going to work hard, do a good job, and have a lot of fun. I've been at Melbourne Water for just over a week but I already love the place and the people who work there (cultural fit rocks!). The future looks bright.