Writing down some of the random thoughts in the weeks and months preparing to migrate to Ireland. Some of the thoughts were written after arriving in Ireland.
Giving up, stepping back.
The epiphany to take the bold step and move out of the country came to me during a PMI organised webinar. Speaker was talking about her career path and it lead to her saying that if one wants to make a change, then be prepared to “downgrade”. Take a pay cut, job with a lesser title. Many years working in the industry, I am advised not to take a pay cut even if retrenched because you need to build up the career. Somehow her talk struct me that maybe letting go, giving up and taking a step back is what’s keeping me from moving forward. I have been to Ireland 4 times before I relocate and it was is a nice place, I like it. I also like this team that I am working with, especially the technology that they are bringing forward. As a friend said, I have been thinking of the move, just takes a bit more encouragement to take the step forward.
I am a migrant.
It’s a label sometimes a stigma to be labeled as a migrant but how else would I call myself? Looking at a few places to stay in Ireland and trying look at boards.ie to see what people are saying. One of the comments on the place was it’s filled with “migrants”, well the apartment looks conveniently located near a train station and has the service. I don’t think locals will “rent” an apartment run by a company. Admittedly, as a migrant, that place looks suitable for a start, I suppose we are the target market.
I want more balanced life.
How someone explained to me, I spent 20 years preparing for this career and spent almost 20 years in this career. It’s time to think and act for the next 20 years. I feel that I have worked too hard for the work and community that I have not spent much time for family and myself. It is going to be a tough change but I want to spend the next 20 years building a career and a more balanced life. Time to start anew. Wife and I been dreaming about going around Europe, and very difficult with MYR exchange. My parents waited till they retired before they can go for a tour. Want to take this opportunity to be there and take short trips to places that we only saw on TV. Also this will force the kids to be more independent and have a larger view of the world.
When I tell people that I am leaving for a new country, people comment that I am giving a lot up in Malaysia to be there. I have good support for my career and also move up the Red Crescent chain of command. Built up a lot of friendship and close to family in Malaysia. I also think if I want to work towards my goal for the next 20 years, I need to give a lot up. If I keep holding on to what I have, I cannot change. All career advice will tell you that if you want to change fields, you need to take something less and start all over. Same thing here.
There is lip service to diversity and there is actually practicing it. Only reason you have food restrictions here is because of allergies, not religious. Despite being in a different country, our minds are accustomed to “think” about the needs of other religion. Example, we feel strange for cooking pork using the crockery and utensils in the temporary apartment. This is because we always wonder if the next person using it will be muslim and we contaminate it. This is definitely a sensitive thing do to back in Malaysia. Here, it’s not much about making sure the food is Halal, rather that the food is safe, fresh and high quality.
Pondering in Pandemic.
We all went into lockdown due to pandemic in March 2020. In under 48 hours, we are working remotely, where prior to this it is inconceivable. Was fun the first year, going into the second year a lot of people ponder the meaning of life. Take away all the office environment and the physical interaction, the friendship. All that is left is pure work, deliverables and meeting over zoom/MS Teams that is sterile of human touch. Then I wondered, “what if”.. and think of all the good times travelling all over the world. Well Ireland is in EU and though of being here to travel the world and soak in the culture sounds tempting than staying at home, cooped up in a 100sqf room for most of the days. Feels more like a prison than a house.
Just want a change, holiday will do.
The first month in Ireland feels like a holiday. Maybe what I really needed was a long holiday after the craziness of pandemic lockdowns and working from home. The first month felt refreshing. After letting go of RCS work and management duties, I do feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Maybe all I needed was a long break, get out of the craziness and not have to worry for a short time. Well on the flip side, I do get messages from colleagues on the problems they are facing. Looking at those problems, one of the reason I wanted to leave because I don’t want to solve those problems. The work then is just stressful. Hopefully there will be one day that I can talk about it.