*not a holiday post*

So, just to take a break from all the holiday talk – though there is more I’d like to post, and I should also confess to purchasing more flights and accommodation for a trip to New Caledonia with the BF in the first week of November…  Interestingly, all good posts need photos, right – these have nothing to do with the content of the post however! Enjoy!

My job role and job location will change on Monday (18 August).  I will go from working in Chatswood, to working in Hornsby, and commuting by train from my home in the inner city suburbs of Sydney.

Map of life
Map of life

Am I pleased with this change?


However, more or less since February,  I’ve been acting in a higher role.  The first 6 weeks, I blogged about here, here and here.  Those posts share how I struggled with the new challenges of managing staff, and with some incredibly thoughtful readers and commenters, I was able to make the most of what at the time I thought would a short term assignment.  That role managed staff, and carried the maintenance portfolio of the whole ‘north’.

Pictures at 5 August 571

However a few weeks later, I was asked to move into a role that previously had not existed.  This position was more or less a placeholder, and a slow move to the new structure and management hierarchy. It was a great opportunity, and again, for the first few weeks, I had no idea what the expectations of me were.  I was taking on ‘half’ of someone else’s workload, but for a long while, we both carried it all.  I put a stop to that, and drew an arbitrary and sensible line in what each of us would call ‘ours’.  That helped us from the torrent of CC’ed emails back and forth!!

So, from the second week of April, until the end of this week, I’ve come to enjoy this role as a senior engineer.

Pictures at 5 August 586

From Monday 18 August, I move into a newly created role, that mimics what I did in February, for a smaller geographical area – just half of the ‘north’.  With it, I will have staff, which the senior engineer role did not have (though I ended up working very closely with many staff, though not actually being their boss – which comes with countless dramas!).  I could have said no to this temporary assignment further North, but would have returned to my normal rank and file role as an engineer.  Since I moved to being a senior engineer, my position was backfilled, so it would have been awkward to say the least!

For an unknown but finite duration of time, I will continue to ‘act’ in the role in Hornsby.  At some stage, the positions will be formally advertised and all eligible candidates will apply. I will NOT apply for any of the (up to) three management roles in Hornsby.  This isn’t some blog secret – it’s something I’ve made clear.  There’s no money that would encourage me to a daily commute of approximately 2 hours by train and 1 hour walking.   Quite simply, instead of being paid for a ‘4o hour week’, I’m being paid for a ’65 hour week’ when I factor in my commute and that’s before we enter into staying back late here and there, or weekend or evening phone calls, due to the nature of the role.

Pictures at 5 August 600

Interestingly, (up to) three management roles will be advertised both at my current office, and at an office a short scooter ride, or easy run/walk from my home.  And whilst trying to remain somewhat anonymous about my company, most roles I have some experience in to make me eligible.  I am more than happy to put my hat into the ring, and should I not be the most meritorious candidate, to slip back into being a ‘rank and file’ staff member.  At least at that juncture, the public perception will be that I wasn’t successful at the interview. Currently, everything has been chess moves, rather than a formal requirement process.

We’re not looking forward to the move – that is the BF and me, nor my parents.  They all know the commute takes a lot out of you, and even the past few weeks have seen me be a little ‘zombie’ like.  The plan is to pay for a cleaner (who shall also iron my work attire), and to batch cook and freeze meals as much as possible.  The cooking will be a team effort, between myself, mum and the BF!  Other than that, I look forward to lots of time to read on the train – I’m steaming through my bible reading, and should be finished within a month.  Needless to say, my blogging might move to a trickle…  Though I should have a stack of time to read all your blogs!!  So everyone else, keep me entertained!

13 Replies to “*not a holiday post*”

  1. Hi Sara, Wow, that is a big change. I don't envy you the commute, and would probably only get through it by reminding myself it is temporary! I hope the Hornsby job gives you even more experience to help you land a position you want closer to home.

    1. It is! The only way I came to be OK with saying yes to the role was by thinking about it as temporary, thinking if someone framed it as 'will you do x months at this office?' I would say yes to the finite-ness. It also helps that I have an awesome boss (who we shot the breeze about travelling this evening, before he dropped me at the train station).

  2. Ow…that is a tough ask. I can see the logic though, it's a very good move to take a temporary role that gives you long-term CV experience. Hopefully it will be 'sooner' rather than 'later' that they advertise. It is great though that it is on the train (where you can at least get some things done) and not driving!

    1. Exactly – even if Mum, Dad and BF could see how and why I should say no, for me to then say yes, there's some upsides to managing a long commute for now. Fingers crossed for sooner here – the resume's updated!

      I considered bargaining for a car (work supplied or otherwise) but when I explored it deeper, I knew such a long commute by car wouldn't be the 'solution'. It's a tough drive, distance wise, and on some roads, it'd be 70kmh with lanes of semi trailers… ekk!

  3. What a bummer. I hope that it works out in your favor and the commute is just a temporary sacrifice. I agree that it's better to have a long train/walking commute rather than solely by car. I would use my train time for reading too šŸ™‚

    1. If the commute isn't temporary, I will consider applying for other roles, beyond my company!!

      The drive would be shorter in time, but the traffic and roads would mean I'd feel stress and pressure, and that's not an improvement!!

  4. Welcome to my side of the city!!!

    Not driving is the right choice. Mr S commuted from our northern most point of Sydney to the south-western most point. He hated it. But the train wasn't too bad. Like you, he used the time to read.

    Do you get a fast train? There should be plenty of seats given you're going away from the city.

    1. Why thankyou! You'll have to tell me all the good haunts for a coffee or a lunch! I will get the faster train, but better have my wits about me, as they leave central once per half hour, so dawdling will cost me in the mornings!

      1. I don't do coffee so can't recommend any places, and I am at work at lunch so likewise can't recommend a place for lunch… but the best tea supplies place is at Hornsby (they also have a shop in the city and an online presence) and the funniest Chinese waiter I have ever met is in Hornsby and there's a fantastic Pilates instructor and there's a really good Chinese restaurant (separate from the one with a funny waiter, although that one is OK food wise), and there's a great second hand book shop. And Hornsby's Westfields is big enough for me – don't need more choice of shops. And the library is good.

        If any of these are your thang, let me know and I'll give details.

        But get yourself organised in the morning and catch that fast train. Will give you time to sleep but make sure you wake before it heads to the central coast.

  5. I don't blame you getting help! M uses his train commute for working, but he's able to do this as he works remotely. He rarely takes the car as it's a waste of his time.

    I hope this temporary move leads to good things šŸ™‚

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