We might have leftPosted: July 25, 2012
Some three months ago I applied for a dream job in Malaysia that I thought I had very little chance of getting.
In fact I reached the last interview stage. Then it was three weeks before we heard the final verdict.
The strangest part was being flown in for the third and final interview at head office. It required a presentation then I met with HR and the country head. Later I had lunch with prospective new colleagues who told me all the things I needed to know about the city. They made moving there seem liked a when not an if.
I had expected to hear within a few days but when that stretched week by week and when I heard nothing, I slowly resolved that I had most likely been unsuccessful.
So when I attended another interview on a Friday in Hanoi and was offered the job on the Monday it was hard not to be impressed with their efficiency. Still waiting to hear from the Malaysia job I told them I would take the Hanoi job within 24 hours. They finally confirmed that my application to them had been unsuccessful.
Earlier, returning from that overseas interview I left a blue skied Kuala Lumpur and returned to bonfires in Hanoi’s fields. The city had never looked more grey, smokey and polluted.
It had been hard not to imagine new lives. House hunting, furnishing a new place, discovering new neighbourhoods.
Suddenly though, one holiday later, and we’re once more as content as we’ve ever been here. Hanoi’s gorgeous autumn is not so far away. The new job is roughly half the hours and stress of my previous post on the same terms. Thoughts of what I can do with that spare time are exciting.
The new job also means travelling. It’s less strategic but is entirely what I love doing. “Creating content” – words, pics and movies to support an excellent NGO.
I’m not sure organisations ever quite realise the stress of the job application process. Earlier this summer I had been approached, then interviewed, by a international (ie legit) headhunter about a Ho Chi Minh City post that literally would have been many times my last salary and then they never called back again. What a way to mess with your head.
The holiday (also to Malaysia, inspired by earlier research about living there) was well timed. Our return meant a 6.30am flight that meant getting up at 3am to travel to the airport. We returned desperate for our home and bed. It’s very good to be back.
In September my family will visit, Loan is back to work at The Cart today, I’m looking forward to a trip to far flung mountainous provinces as part of my new post.
Many friends have left this summer but key people have stayed. It feels like we’re fully invested in Hanoi again.
A chapter passes.