45. 2008 As one door slams shut – another one opens

We were loving this lifestyle. Living the dream.  Working together and making other people happy through providing great accommodation solutions, targeted industry training and developing employment opportunities.   What had been a crappy motel that was an embarrassment to the local industry was now getting positive attention from the media and the industry. We had succeeded in our mission.

Sadly the financial aspect of the operation were not quite as positive as the operational aspects.  While there are many excuses that we could offer up, many rationalizations, lessons and analysis…ultimately we decided wind up the venture.

We decided that it was time to yield to the family pressure and ‘Jump the ditch”.    This took some time to plan and execute in a proper manner and in June we made the move to Australia.  Thankfully we were able to stay with my parents while we found schooling, employment, accommodation and our feet.   We also took time to lick our wounds and make decisions about who we are and what we want.   I particularly enjoyed “What Color is my Parachute”  as a guide to assessing my career direction.  This book  became a best friend and valuable resource  as my career moved direction…..


For the first time in my life I was employed in a non-hospitality role.  This involved a total re-think of who I was – my identity – my place in the industry.   When we left Rotorua I was known in the hospitality industry (locally and nationally) – I was recognized in my specialist areas – I had strong networks – I was.   Suddenly I was in a new industry, I had no networks, I didn’t even know the geography of the area…I was lost.  Thankfully I had a nav-man which coupled with some kiwi ingenuity, and networking groups I was quickly able to establish myself as a training and Placement Officer delivering Government funded programs to assist long term unemployed people back into the workforce. These programs focused primarily on soft skills such as communication, goal setting, skills auditing,  job searching, applications and interviews.  Within that framework we also covered careers, computer skills and cross cultural issues.

We also spent the second half of the year emotionally regrouping and dealing with (unhelpful) feelings of failure.  We know that we achieved our mission at the motel and we had a blast doing so yet here we were beginning again.

This big move allowed us to reconnect with my family and some of Robs cousins who he hadn’t seen for years – one of them was living less than 2 km from us!!!!  Through our work we began making connections and friends – some fleeting and fit for a specific time or purpose…and others that have grown and evolved with us.

Click here and see where we are headed now….


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