Author Archives: Moth

Stuck in Career Limbo: Crowdsourcing a solution (*hopefully*)

I’m somewhat loathed to write the following as I’ve largely tried to avoid too much of my personal life as I’ve developed NewAnthro.

Yet, desperate times call for desperate measures and I would be silly to overlook the value that I have built in this platform. I know it is read by a great many people in a wide range of situations and you never know what you might find when ask.

At the start of the year, I wrote, ‘Where are all the green jobs in Australia?’ published on the Independent Australia.

This has been the story of my professional career. As I understand it, roughly around the time I completed my degree and entered the sector as a professional, most organisations where beginning to feel a start of tough times ahead. I’ve heard, “employment freeze” and “outsourcing” again and again. I’ve only experienced contracts over this period and while this has its benefits – especially in that it promotes being proactive and versatile – it has massive drawbacks.

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A lack of job security is one of them. Perhaps worse than this is the constant need to translate your skills set to potential employers. It is easy for those I’ve worked with to recognise the value of my work (say, to build a high quality research facility without prior specialised experience or to problem solve the creation of spatial data packages from series of aerial photography etc), yet this instantly loses weight in translation.

Moreover my years of effort in communication, which has led me to be published in a number of news outlets and even a science journal, doesn’t seem to come across as professional experience, regardless of my best efforts.

I have remained proactive and enthusiastic through what has been a turbulent six years within environmental science. While it hasn’t been a kind sector, I feel that I have succeeded in each of my roles. And yet, this does not build into job security and development / progression.

In recent years, it has felt as that I’ve been on a downward projection, with this year being the most limiting and insecure. Job insecurity has been all consuming and emotionally draining, taking over most of my time (hence my inability to maintain NewAnthro).

At the start of November I was informed that my contract will end by the end of the month. Having applied for more than 120 roles since the beginning of the year, without much luck, I’ve had to reassess my career. Across the board, it is difficult to secure a role, but it is especially so when you have specialised in a niche field.

It seems counter-intuitive to me that I made the most of opportunities (ie. completing an ecology dominant degree and moving into meteorology and atmospheric chemistry) and yet I’ve still stumbled into a dead-end.

As for NewAnthro, my hope has been to shift into a new space early in 2015, that I have been working on based around DIY sustainability. I planned to announce this via video (the main platform for this project), once this bumpy period settled. However the more I push, the greater the resistance seems to grow. As soon as possible, I really want to pursue this. I know there is massive value in what I have in mind, but timing is difficult.

Basically, this is a call for help. I’ve been tackling that situation solo for too long, without luck, so I’m hoping to crowdsource ideas, leads and suggestions on where I could perhaps try to find my next role.

Clearly, I’m willing to move from my field if I find one that would challenge me. I’m situated in Victoria, but happy to relocate for the right role.

Any suggestions that my readers can offer would be of immense value and I thank you in advance for whatever comes to mind.

My LinkedIn page goes into more detail (feel free to send me an invite to see the complete page).

Also, thank you all for your readership on NewAnthro and patience over this year (I’m always surprised when I notice that the stats are persistent even in this hiatus).

 

Movie Wish List for #auspol – What they missed out on as children

For a whole host of reasons, I’ve been unable, even reluctant, to write.

Firstly, the survey flopped. I managed to get around 40 people to sign it within the first couple days. However there wasn’t enough interest to obtain 2nd and 3rd generation participation. All up only 50 people signed it which simply wasn’t enough to comment on.

Secondly, the job front has been stressful and disheartening. That it has been relentless has meant that it has required more and more of my time and energy. I’ve even wishfully mused over monetising NewAnthro through minimal advertisements and looking into Patreon so that I can dedicate my entire efforts to it. This would allow me to move into different media (eg. video production, podcasting, etc) and genuine reporting.

Of course, I’m enough of a realist to see that I don’t have weight enough for this bud to fruit.

Thirdly, the last year in politics has left me speechless. I don’t know if I’m more surprised that my predictions have largely been proven right or that enough of the population (46% is not a mandate, mind you) didn’t see it coming. From Pyne’s attempted wordplay of ‘schools’ or school’s’ regarding funding, to Morrison’s mute reply to every horrendous truth that we eventually learn of on his watch…

Moreover, that many members in the general public honestly think any refugee could be considered a “queue jumper” and that sending their children alone half way around the world is anything but traumatic (only achievable in that it is less traumatic than leaving them at risk of death in a war zone) or that our disadvantaged are “bludgers” is a disgraceful badge on the Aussie culture.

Perhaps I’m the odd one.

I’m not sure what might follow with my writing. However there is one thing I want to say for now.

I suspect our political class collectively suffered a deprived childhood that could have helped to make them better people. Here are a few movies / TV series they could have seen that may have helped them to learn valuable moral lessons. It’s by no means a complete list; please feel free to suggest others.

Movie Life lesson
The Emperor’s new groove Compromise and cooperation (indeed even building regulations) can lead to greater positive outcomes for all parties than pure selfish, individualistic, pursuits.
Aladdin While our political class might have the lesson “bee yourself” sorted, this only applies if ‘yourself’ is someone willing to share with those less fortunate.
The Little Mermaid Be wary of making deals with powerful magnates. They are where they are only because their deals favour themselves more than anyone else.
The Lion King Without genuine, fair and empathetic leadership, scoundrels take over and erode the quality of life for all.
Full House / The Brady Bunch / The Smurfs Pretty much every moral question imaginable over their many seasons.
Bob the Builder / Thomas the tank engine Hard work and consideration for those around you builds lasting personal and professional relationships.
Gremlins Prevention is more cost effective than a cure. This is directly concerned with nutrition and the advice of experts, but applicable elsewhere.
The Dark Crystal Draining the vital resources from the vulnerable is only a short-term move which will lead to escalating social problems.
The Labyrinth Imprisoning children to get your way will ultimately outrage those you seek to impress.
Spiderman With great power comes great responsibility
Snow White Obsessing over popular opinion leads to poor decision-making.
Pinocchio Telling lies only leaves you looking like an ass.
Ghost busters Adequate funding of science, even if you don’t personally understand the field in question, is essential in mitigating larger problems in the long run.

 

 

The voice of Australia

I had an excellent survey rate on Friday, but since then, very little.

So far less than 50 Aussies have filled out this tiny survey. No-one from “right of centre” has filled it out.

For it to have any value, readers will need to nudge others to add their voice. If I can get about 2000 people, we will have numbers akin to the news polls.

My hope is to follow this with a second survey; 1) age, 2) last federal vote, 3) more or less likely to vote for the coalition had the GP co-payments been mentioned prior to the election, 4)  more or less likely to vote for the coalition had the increase fuel excise been mentioned prior to the election.

Before I pursue that, I hope to get the numbers for this survey.

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?

Sunday Reads #8: All things climate, environmental and politics

Firstly, I need to plug my survey again. I had a great response on Friday, but yesterday saw little movement. If the question and the answer matters to you, please try to get at least three friends or family members to spare 60 seconds to fill it in and a couple additional minutes to get three more to follow on.

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?

Coalition’s Green Army passes the Senate

Having worked as a retail “trainee” when I was 19-20 in what was clearly a way to get around minimum wage restrictions, I am concerned by this, but not surprised at the bi-partisan support, sadly.

Carpark run-off cheaper to drink than desal water

Thinking for the 21st century!

Changing what we eat [relating to sustainability climate change]

Great to bookmark and refer to the future.

This Is What Your Grocery Store Looks Like Without Bees (PHOTOS)

Expect this message to become a bigger issue over the coming decades.

Fiji accuses global community of abandoning the Pacific on climate change, singles out ‘selfish’ Australia

Unfortunately, our leaders are not listening.

The jobs of yesterday: Abbott’s roads rear-vision

Sorry, second plug. This is my latest article on the Climate Spectator.

Power bills to drop 8pc in Tasmania if Senate approves carbon tax abolition

When the Gillard government introduced the carbon price, Abbott said people would pay thousands more a year in energy costs. He then said he would save people on average $550 a year in energy costs. Tasmanians’ are set to save $164 a year from the latest estimates.

For me, this is a clear indicator that reality is likely to be about 20% the estimate offered by our current PM.

Coal’s share of world energy demand at highest since 1970

And this is a genuine tragedy for the coal rich country down under, regardless what the short-term economics might say.

 

Government funded Chaplains in public schools: The public voice

As my previous post highlighted, I’ve opened a survey to gauge what the Australian public actually thinks about federal funding of Chaplain’s in public schools.

The survey is a mere two pages and will take less than a minute to complete. It is also entirely anonymous.

It will automatically close at 10pm EST (Aust) on Friday the 27th of June.

Already there has been a good response, but entirely from centre to left and non-religious members of the community. The value of this is entirely dependent upon the voluntary contribution of the Australian public across the various ideological spectrums.

If each person who fills in the survey convinced four friends to follow and this happened once each day for the coming week, we would have more than 20,000 people adding to the public voice. That would be an incredible achievement by all!

Below are many sharing options. It is only through this that we could get a genuine representation of the public sentiment… part from when we next vote and if the issue is a party commitment.

My views may be in the minority and I will be happy should that be the case. I simple hope to know what Australia actually thinks.

Click the following link to fill in the very short survey and please share this page.

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?

 

Does the government have a mandate on federal funding of Chaplains in public schools?

I’ve never been comfortable with the title “atheist”. I don’t really know why. I suspect it is because I hate labels that I don’t really care much about and I’ve come to let go of any notion of faith.

It hasn’t always been like that. Even in my mid 20’s I had prayed in difficult times – of which there were a few. By this time, I think I had lost my faith, but not my hope for some supernatural help.

In fact, my faith took it’s deepest cut back in Sunday school of all places. I’ll never forget that lesson.

I was shown an image of a path with a fork. To the left, the path went up a rock road into the hills. It looked grueling. To the right the path remained flat and smooth over meadows. Which, I was asked, is the path of God?

I chose wrong, as I guess all children do. I learnt that the Creator of everything – an entity I was told loved me, personally, more than anyone else ever could – wanted me to suffer throughout my life for some higher purpose. While the universe was built in a week and women from a single rib, God couldn’t make a gentle path.

From then, my faith began to bleed out. It was a slow death.

Chaplains in public schools

Admittedly, I was slow to cotton on to this story, which John Howard brought in back in 2006 and was continued by the subsequent Rudd-Gillard governments.

It has returned to the public eye with the High Court ruling against the Federal funding of Chaplains in public schools. Prime Minster Tony Abbott has assured the public that he is committed to the program and that it will continue.

This story has since reminded me of my old Sunday school days. I have my own thoughts on Chaplains providing advice to my own children, but I know that those thoughts reside with me alone.

But it got me wondering. Our current administration talk a lot of “mandate”…

Let’s find out if the Australian government has a mandate for funding Chaplains in public schools.

To answer this question, I’ve developed a quick survey.

It has a mere two pages with few questions on each; 1) basic demographics, 2) views on federal funded Chaplains in public schools.

It takes less than a minute to fill out and is completely anonymous.

It will be kept open for the next week – until the end of Friday next week (27th of June). Over the following weekend, I’ll collect all the data and report on it by Monday (30th of June).

The value in this survey will only come from your help.

Of course, honesty is the best policy, but most importantly we need numbers; share, share, share! Share this page or the survey directly. We need as many Aussies, from across the political and religious spectrum.

Thanks for your help!

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?

Economic Wealth is Tied to Ecology

Today I stumbled upon The Future Economy Group. Very interesting stuff, especially the following infograph. The biggest problem as I see it from my experience is that those you need to convince (typically conservative politicians) think that token gestures are enough (I’m thinking Direct Action and the Green Army, for example).

Farmers are often conservative, but they know better than most that symbiosis means wealth. “You reap what you sow” isn’t just a dated cliché, it is the unbreakable mantra of our relationship with environments. It is only through investing in environments that we can continue to obtain profitable returns.

This isn’t “Tree hugging” nonsense, but good business strategy.