Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I wouldn't give to be back here! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

7 months to go...

Having made the decision to quit my full-time permanent job next year to go travelling and working in Australia, I've been met with mixed reactions from those I mention it to. I am still being very selective of the colleagues I chose to tell because I don't intend to inform my boss for another few months. It's a small circle who know and I want to keep it that way.
The two main types of reactions I get are:
A) 'Oh that's so cool, I'd LOVE to do that!' and the rather more pessimistic:
B) 'I see. You're planning to leave your permanent job in this economy? Right....Good luck then!'

A case in point is my mother who fits firmly into category B. She has seen the news, she's talked to her friends, she's heard the horror stories of young people who can't get work in this country because the economy is so bad. She fears if I leave my current job and go to Australia for a year, that I won't be able to find a job when I get back. This is not an unreasonable fear by any means. The statistics are bad- there's a 15% unemployment rate in Ireland. But I'm fortunate enough to work in a sector where there are always jobs to be found: healthcare. I fully accept the fact that when I return after a year out of the country, it may be difficult to find a job. I will more than likely have to work some shitty temporary locum jobs for a while until something better turns up. That's if I even want to live in Ireland again (I have this notion that I'm going to give London a go for a while see if I like living there as much as I think I will.)
Besides, there will never be a perfect time to go take a year out of your career. I chose to look at it as a positive thing. Future employers will hopefully like that I have international experience and that I appear to have gotten the travel thing out of my system. 

Bottom line, I'm 24, healthy, single, I have no commitments and a decent amount of savings. There will never be a better time to travel. So roll on June 2013! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Job Fatigue and Itchy Feet

I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Mid-twenties crisis actually, to round up (I'm 24). I've become disillusioned with my job and my feet are itching to travel. Let's start with the disillusionment.

I've been in my current job for a year and nine months and while it has served me well in many respects, I can't help but feel I'm becoming 'institutionalized' so to speak. I've gained decent experience in nuclear medicine, cannulation and angiography- opportunities which may not have been afforded to me in other hospitals but I suspect that working in a private healtchare setting is no longer benefiting me as a radiographer in the longterm. I think it's safe to say that I have a fairly 'cushie' job. I know exactly what's expected of me, I know how things are run, I don't get frazzled easily. Which leads me to ask the question: am I being suitably challenged? I often hear older more experienced colleagues say that a newly qualified radiographer's first job should be in a large public hospital to get experience in dealing with everything a busy A&E department is going to throw at you. Having never worked independently in this kind of scenario, I've never been confronted with patients from road-traffic accidents, those with serious spinal/head injuries or other major traumas or indeed the dreaded drunkards, and had to really think about how to image them. Of course, I am a fully trained radiographer, in theory I know what to do in these situations but actually being there at 3am and getting stuck in is a different thing entirely. A&E can be intimidating, it's unpredictable and forces you to adapt your technique to get the best images possible. It's where every radiographer should start. But I didn't.

Where am I going with all of this? It brings us nicely to the topic of my itchy feet (I hate this saying for wanting to travel but I can't think of a better metaphor!) Basically I have decided to go to Australia for a year. Let me explain why this isn't (completely) a non-sequitar. It's well known (in x-ray circles at least!) that Australian radiographers are shit hot. Radiography in Australia is much stricter than here in Ireland and they have earned a reputation of having very high imaging standards. So imagine how shit hot I'd be after working there for a year! I'd be combining my job fatigue with my desire to travel. Double win for me!

Okay, I'd be lying if I said the radiography thing is the main reason for wanting to travel to Australia. I've touched on why I want to go in a previous post. Add to this the fact that as of June last year, cost-cutting measures have caused a considerable reduction in my wages and since the department is extremely short-staffed at the moment, it's a day to day struggle to keep each area covered and it's really beginning to get tiring. So, yeah, get me the hell out of here!

As it stands, my plan is to go in June 2013. I have my visa already, turns out it's extremely quick and easy to get a visa for Oz, just a simple online application. They hard bit is all the paperwork required to enable me to work over there. This can take months to process. So anyway, I'm fairly on the ball with all of that stuff. The only thing I can do now is wait. Wait and imagine all of the things I can do and see in Australia, and where I can go after my year in Oz is up. The possibilities are endless!