As I said before, I’ll be blogging about the experience of us moving to give others an idea of what is involved.
How are we getting there?
I went for my US Visa appointment at US Consulate in Perth yesterday and we received our Australian passports back Tuesday with a US E3 Visa stamp! AvePoint Inc. had already got my LSA forms approved in the US last week. It was just a matter of showing that paperwork, marriage certificates, birth certificates and a few other forms and we were approved!
The ball is well and truly rolling now with us organising a relocation specialist to come out and pack up our apartment on Friday and place it in half a 20m container to ship to New York city!
How are we managing everything?
Suprisingly it's not that complicated. I ran a SharePoint Team Site for our wedding last year, but we've got away with e-mails and a Task list on RememberTheMilk.com to schedule and allocate things. So far so good...it's really rewarding to "complete" tasks each day, and makes you feel like you're actually getting somewhere. I'm surrounded by piles of stuff at the moment waiting for it all to be packed by the Relocation agents.
When are we going?
Well, we’ll be booking our one way flights tomorrow, hopefully for Tuesday next week, so in a weeks time will be “New Yorkers’”. We both finished our existing jobs last Friday, so wanted to get over there so I can start my new job as quickly as possible.
What we’re doing with our Perth apartment?
We bought our apartment nearly 4 years ago and even back then we knew we wanted to work overseas so it was an investment property and were always going to rent it out. Our first big challenge was finding a decent management agent to look after it whilst we’re across the pond and also to deal with the high charges they hit you with ;-) Our next big task is hitting up the Perth market for decent people to come live in our first home. It’s going to be a little weird leaving this place after it being our home for so long.
What are we taking?
I’m getting this question a lot, based on us renting our apartment out un-furnished, we’re actually going to take all our furniture. This will take 7 odd weeks to travel across the pond. We’ve actually sold some stuff as we’re going from a 3 bedroom apartment to a 1 bedroom! We’ve been luckily enough to be able to sell all this this week, just in time. Our rental will be pretty empty for about 6 weeks waiting for this stuff…but that gives us no excuse but to explore!
We have got 5 air freight cartons, that will take 5 days. We’re going to fill with excess clothes, kitchen stuff, computer stuff that we need when we get there. I’ll also be air freighting my new Fender electric guitar, as I’m worried about the humidity aspect of the container for nearly 2 months!
The biggest thing about the move to the US is that most of our electricals only work on 240V and 60Hz whereas in the US it is 110V and 50Hz. You “can” buy adapters to fix this, but it’d mean investing in quite a few. Luckily our nice big 46” LCD will work over there after checking on the back at the voltage information. Just as well as I bought it new for $5500 and it’s now new at $1500 so second hand not worth much!
We also had a Sony PS3 and Microsoft XBOX 360 which are obviously region fixed, so had to sell those. To be honest I’m not a big gamer and we primarily use it to stream videos from our Netgear ReadyNAS. I’ve managed to sell both in the last week on Gumtree which is great.
We are selling our only car, a Mazda RX8, my pride and joy. Gonna miss “Rexy”, I drove him out of the showroom in Feb 2006 and have loved him ever since! For those of you that know me, I’m a car fanatic and will really miss driving him! He’s got low kms but selling him in a rush has made it a little bit harder to sell. Lots question “why is it so cheap compared to the others in the listings?”.
Where are we going to live?
Well, we decided that if we’re going to make the most of living in America and especially when I’ll be working in Jersey City for AvePoint Inc. that we’d do it BIG! We’re going to live in Manhatten, which has high rents, but the most amazing lifestyle imaginable! We need to live near the PATH station to commute to Newport where AvePoint’s offices are which are based on Sixth Avenue.
We are going to stay in a service apartment for the first two weeks and have a good scout around at Tribeca, Flatiron District and Chelsea. Our preference are the apartments in Chelsea as they are closer to 23rd St station on Sixth Avenue. We are meeting with the real estate agents as soon as we get there, they’ve been very helpful sending us listings…I’m a bit shocked they take 10% on top of the rent as a finders fee…but if that’s how the New Yorkers roll that’s how they roll.
Where will I be working?
I was fortunate enough to be offered a job as an Enterprise Architect at AvePoint inc. It’s actually a hybrid role and I will be coming in on an Australia E3 Visa. This is great, as my wife has an E3D which means she can work as well. I think she’d go bananas if she couldn’t work, other visas from other countries such as the UK require spouses to either get sponsored as well or just study whilst they are here.
My wife, Emily, has already started applying for jobs online but I think once we’re there and she has a US address, mobile number and social security number etc. it’ll make things A LOT easier. If anyone has any contacts we’d greatly appreciate it.
Am I excited?
You bet! I moved to Australia in 2003 with a suitcase and one carton of clothes and Ice Hockey kit. This time round, I’m taking 2 suitcases, half a container, 5 cartons and a wife with me ;-) How times have changed!
I’m ultra excited about living in the US and absorbing the culture with Emily. I’m a HUGE NHL fan and am there just in time for the New York Rangers to enter the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I probably won’t be able to afford a game, but will certainly be in a sports bar with all the rest of the puck nuts!
We’ll be arriving as Spring kicks in which will be an alarming adjustment to the 32*C days we’re getting in Perth right now, but not as extreme as what it was 2 months ago when we went to meet the team when it was -15*C!
I’m really looking forward to the career change, essentially going from working with Service Integrators for my whole life to a Software Product Vendor will be very different. The team I’ve met so far are amazing and I’m really looking forward to working with such an amazing product alongside them! I’m really not sure what to expect compared to working with an SI.
I'm hoping for a lot of interaction between myself in:
my evangelist role alongside the marketing team and the newly appointed Chief Evangelist Dan Holme,
my role as an Enterprise Architect working with Mario Carvajal looking at NY/NJ customers, and
my role as in the Product Group alongside the 500+ Project Managers/Developers in China and the Product Managers and Owners based in HQ.
I really want to keep the information flowing between these channels to benefit AvePoint and all our team. It's going to be a big change from consulting around SharePoint and will be in serious "Sponge mode" for the forseable future!
I’m also massively excited for Emily and her career in New York too. She has a Masters degree in Organisational Psychology and is looking for an HR Generalist role specialising in Organisational Psychology.
Am I nervous?
I’ve done this before, I will obviously miss all my friends and my two brothers who are currently in Perth, Western Australia. I will also miss all Emily’s family who have been great to us both since we got together. Skype’in the rest of my family in the UK and Spain will now be easier as the time difference is much better ;-)
I don't think it's really dawned upon me on the scale of what we're doing. I've been to lunch with various close friends in the last two weeks and they've all said that I think it'll sink in once our plane takes off next Tuesday! I'm so focused on our "Task List" that I just haven't had time to really focus on the end goal just yet!
Emily has a twin sister and I’m a little worried about them being so far apart as they’re really close. It’ll be a great time for us newlyweds to spend much more time together and explore the US!
I’m about to turn 30 on the 19th April and Em did last year, so we figured if we don’t take advantage of the opportunity of work and travel now with both our careers we’d regret it. Obviously things will change once kids get involved, but that isn’t for at least another 3 years and that’s a long time away yet!
Til the next time
Well I hope you took something away from this. I’ll be blogging more about my experiences living in New York and also working for a Software Product Vendor once I’m there