When the Stars Align

Good morning. Most of you would probably read this on Monday. It is an honour to share this story with all of you to brighten your dull Mondays. It is a real-life true story of one of my close friends that I knew in Perth. He came a few months after me but struggled much longer before finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Like me, he wasted no time taking on any job that he could find to keep the income stream coming first before landing a permanent job elsewhere. Unlike me, his dream job was a lot harder to find as compared to me as I would take on any permanent job for a living.

I don't have many loyal readers who followed the story from Day 1. Many visitors are here via search engines just to take a glance at my Permanent Resident guide and leave. For few who followed through all these months, you might have noticed several stories of real people I knew who went through what they felt was a miracle of their lives. It might not seemed so to you when you read such stories because many of you might not be able to empathize how these amazing experiences felt. I went through my own myself after I landed in Perth in complete confusion. Thus, I understood. I could feel the kind of elation that make people jump up and celebrate when someone else had their stars finally aligned.

Here I present the account of my friend, who asked not to be named because he felt shy. He probably knew he could embarrass me being a better writer than I am. Nice bloke, love this guy. With that, I like to end my post, reminding everyone never to give up believing in themselves because more often than not, it takes awhile before the rain stops. If you find the story of my friend inspiring, feel free to share it with your own friends who are going through their own patches to restore their flickering flame of hope. Please enjoy.

When the Stars Align
20 July 2013, 11:37pm

Ever felt like how some days the world is lined up against you and nothing seems to go right? Well, this was not one of those days. In fact, it was almost the complete opposite... it seemed as if the stars had lined up for me that day. I think of the coincidences, and cannot help but be amazed.

To begin, I must admit I have been quite fortunate since the beginning of my entire adventure Down Under. Since getting the Visa approved for migration; and having relatives kindly allowing me to stay with them whilst job and house hunting; and meeting up with so many people who were so helpful to me and who became close friends, I must really consider myself a very fortunate guy indeed in journeying to a new land.

Compared to these, the initial disappointments of not getting a job or finding a home immediately after my arrival would seem insignificant. After all, I finally did manage to rent an apartment and find a decent, if not ideal, job relatively soon. But, I was still hankering for the ideal job, and could not rest till I had secured it, in order to ensure that the move to Australia could finally pay off with financial security.

So I sent out dozens of job applications month after month, to no avail. Just a handful of call backs, and a couple of sporadic interviews, but no job offer. I had to tone down my resume and apply for lower end jobs after I realised that it was not going to be easy to get a well-paying job in management position.

Fast forward to this week. On Monday, I suddenly received a call to make an appointment on Wednesday morning. The stars had begun aligning themselves...

The MD of a civic organisation was so taken by the cover letter in my job application that she wanted to meet for an unofficial chat before the shortlisting for the role began. It was for the position as a IT consultant for the organisation. She gave me an overview of the scope for the role and explained the plans for the organisation and how the consultant would fit in. She told me that she was impressed by my skills and experience listed in the CV, and hoped I would be interested in the role. There were already several good CVs submitted, and she would be shortlisting those who she would want to interview in a couple of weeks. I was quite interested in the job, of course, and was hoping that I would get a call for a formal interview soon; and hoped this informal chat and meet up was sufficient to get my foot in the door.

On the same day, in the afternoon, I got a phone call from another organisation. They called about a CV I had sent for an IT Admin role, but wondered if I would be interested in trying out for another role, as a short-term contract project consultant, based on my previous experience in ERP projects. Another star suddenly rolled into the queue...

I explained that whilst the role sounded interesting, I was not looking for a very short contract, as I already had a full-time job. I was keen on a permanent position. They, however, were very keen on me, and asked if I could come in for an informal chat, about half an hour, to discuss. No need to dress up, just come casually for a chat. Since I had already taken a day off for the morning interview, I said sure, I could be there in a couple of hours. They were happy that I could oblige to come over so soon, as they expected me to meet them on another day. 

So I drove over to Perth city (trains were not running due to railworks by Transperth), and I parked along the street near their office. I bought a parking coupon for an hour, since they had said it would only take about 1/2 hour for the interview. I saw the parking attendants walking about checking the other cars, and hoped I would not exceed the time. I had previously been fined $100 for exceeding the time when parking in the city, so did not want to take another risk.

When I got into the building and got on the elevator, met a bloke who got off at the same floor. He asked me if I was there for an interview, and I said yes, surprised that a random dude would know this. He told me his name, and went off into the office. I entered the office and informed the receptionist who asked me to take a seat whilst she informed the interviewers I had arrived. 

I was shown into the boardroom and introduced to 3 people, the Director of Finance, the Operations Manager, and the Accountant. They started by saying they were very impressed with my experience in ERP Projects, and wanted to discuss about what I written in my CV. They questioned me in great detail about the projects I had previously managed and how I would handle a big ERP based project. They then gave me a complete rundown on a big project they were working on and how they needed a consultant to scope the project. It would be a short term contract for the consultant. Whilst this was an informal chat, the actual recruitment process would take a couple of interviews, and I would have to meet with the Director of Operations as well.

At about this time, the dude I met earlier in the elevator came into the boardroom. He told the rest of the interview panel that he had already made my acquaintance in the elevator! I then found out he was the Director of Operations that I would have to later meet again during the formal interview process.

But then they said, based on the discussion we had so far, they felt that I was underselling myself in my CV, as I was presenting myself much more than a normal consultant. I was advising them how I would run their planned project if I was the project manager. I explained that my CV had been toned down as I had initially applied for a junior IT Admin role. In actual fact, I am an experienced project manager having led various project teams in delivering large projects. They then commiserated how being overqualified sometimes made it difficult to land a job. They totally understood!

By then it was one and half hours after the interview began. I was worried that I would have been fined for exceeding my parking time limit. The interview panel then asked me to excuse them for a while whilst they discussed privately.

A while later, they called me back into the boardroom; and they had a surprise for me. After deliberating, they had decided to create a new role of Project Manager to manage this major task, and offered me the job on the spot! The stars had aligned in a major way!! I was thunderstruck. I had come to the meeting in a jeans and shirt, wearing a casual jersey, definitely not expecting a job offer, especially after all these months of futilely applying for jobs. Now out of the blue, I was offered this dream job, and with a substantial pay package, to manage something I loved to do! 

They hoped that I would accept immediately, but they understood if I needed to think it over. They hoped I would take on the role and start as soon as possible. I asked them to give me a day to think it over, and also I had to see about my present job – I could not just suddenly leave, I needed to give notice. They said they understood my concern, and were very pleased that I was thinking of my present employer as well, in not just leaving the job suddenly.

They told me to try and get back to them as soon as I could, because they wanted to kick off this project immediately as they had a tight deadline to meet. In the meantime, they would do routine reference checks with the police and my previous employers as a formality.

I said goodbye and walked back to my car in a daze. The stars continued to stay in alignment as there was no infringement notice on my car after exceeding the limit by more than an hour! 

That night, the final star fell into place. I got a call from a friend. This friend of mine is a very old friend, someone I had known since we were both kids. About 4 years ago I had lost contact with him when he migrated to Australia. I only recently bumped into him at a shopping mall with his family a few weeks ago, where we were reacquainted. I found out that he had joined the WA police and was happily living with his family here in Perth.

He called me out of the blue that night, and wished me congratulations. I was flabbergasted. I thanked him and asked how he knew I had gotten a new job; after all it was only a couple of hours before that I was offered the job, and I had only discussed with my wife so far. He told me that one of the interview panel members was a friend of his, and had called him up to see if he might know anyone from Singapore with my name! 

What a small world, and what an amazing coincidence!! What are the odds that of all the companies in WA I get a job interview with, after all these months, it would be the very company which had someone who had a friend, who of all the police officers in WA, would also be my friend. I think this ranks up there with the coincidence of winning the Big Sweep by buying a single ticket. Needless to say, my friend, the cop, gave a glowing reference to the company. 

And I shall be starting in my new job in 2 weeks.


  1. It brings a smile to my face and a warm fuzzy feeling

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi ASingaporeanSon,

    Great post.

    Happy for your friend.

    The stars aligned indeed .....

    Miracles happened! Don't they.

    Cheers :)