What if I fail?

I’ve been quiet on the job front, mostly because I prefer not to talk about work in a public blog but also because I wasn’t certain about my situation. But anyway, to cut a long story short, I am currently jobless and am now hunting for work, like thousands of other migrants here. Why? You can read my post My personal brush with Sham Contracting for more details.

Again I’m confronted with the fears of What if I fail?

What if I fail …

  • to get a job and I lose my savings?
  • to fulfill the terms of my 475 visa and fail to get that coveted PR?
  • to live in Adelaide, the place I consider awesome to live?

As I confront the sea of uncertainty before me, fear and doubts began to creep in. A part of me is shaking, wondering what I should do now. The fear is paralysing sometimes. During this time, one of the realities I had to face was that I cannot pin my hopes on any human being – God along is going to see me through. I have to face the fact that human beings are unrealiable and that’s just the way things are.

I have become really introspective during this time. Why is it that we Asians fear failure so much? Why is it considered such a bad thing to return to Malaysia after giving Australia a go? And if I decide to return to Malaysia, is that such a bad thing?

A friend and I observed that in the forums Poms in Adelaide, there’s a category called “Returning to the UK“. British people who decide to leave Australia to return home to the UK is given encouragement when they make that decision. However, there’s a definite lack of that in our Malaysian forums. What I see is lots and lots of encouragement and support to make it here, but near silence when it comes to people leaving… (crickets chirping). Ocassionally, I see people posting on the Malaysian in Adelaide Facebook forum that they’re leaving, and that’s met with puzzlement. Fear, even. 

 So a lot of times, those who have left Australia leave in silence… better leave quietly than to be faced with the questions, the probing … and the loss of face, perhaps?

But this whole jobless situation also made me think about what really makes me happy. I mean, back in Malaysia, I had what you considered a really good life. I had the job I loved, friends who supported me, an apartment all to myself etc. But I was shocked that I wasn’t happy. So, I thought freeing myself from all things Malaysian would make me happy. When I came to Australia, I thought that meeting certain criteria would make me happy – get a job, cycle to work etc. But that too proved false.

It made me realise that happiness is not about meeting your goals, but about being happy with your present, and putting your focus on the right things … perhaps I’ll be finally happy when I realise I don’t need to meet lofty goals to be happy. That I can be happy being average or a nobody.

So, if you have to leave Australia to return home, how would you feel? Just curious.


17 thoughts on “What if I fail?

  1. We all fear failure but it is this fear that will make us strong. Setbacks are the stepping stones for us to take a step forward, changing our perspective of ideals. We need to keep believing in our maker and ourselves. Keep on pressing on…. so be it, you one decided to go back to Malaysia. Everyday I am reminding myself that the challenges ahead will be great but each victory will encourage me and make me stronger and each setback will make me to want to get better. One day, I will be in Adelaide for good.

    • Thank you, WS! I do try to encourage myself. Though some days I’m close to tears I tell you. It’s not an easy thing to be a migrant, I discovered for myself. But do I regret coming here? Nah. How else do I experience this? If I did not come here, I will be back home regretting it haha.

      • Your experiences have encouraged me and gave me lots of ideas when dealing with issues in Adelaide especially with regards to looking for a job. Though I am not permanently residing in Adelaide yet but my family has settled quickly there. I pray and trust God will guide you and open a new door for you which would be the best for you. Just keep believing in Him who has called you.

  2. Hi. I have been following your blog ever since i decided to take the first step in the migrating to Australia process. You will only fail once you stop learning from mistakes. You must be an expert in sham contracts now after all the extensive research that you have done. The option to return home (Malaysia) is a safety net. Knowing that you have a safety net in place should give you the confidence to try harder, to take greater risk, to exhaust all resources before you label yourself as “failed”. Forget worrying about people’s perception of you if you were to return home. Nobody’s opinion of you matters more than your opinion of yourself. I’m sure all of your readers believe that you will succeed. I know I do 🙂 Your blog is like my Truman Show (and we all wanted Truman to eventually live his dream) Aim for the coconut on the tree if you cant reach for the stars in the sky. At least you will get to enjoy the fruit than to come back empty handed 🙂

    • Haha, some folks think I’m not quite an expert and am in fact misleading all of you, but no matter – if the ATO man I met says it’s a sham contract, it is what it is. I’m glad that you enjoy my little Truman show! 😛 I wanted people to really know what life is really like here. No rose-tinted glasses on!

  3. Hi Susan,

    Leave Australia to return Malaysia is failure? Have to leave in slience? I disagree. Left Australia and returned to Malaysia is not a crime of shame. It is a decision, a decision for happiness and surviving. When I returned in September 2011, I did comment in one of your article the unhappiness my family and I went throught while in Adelaide for nearly 2 years.

    You see, many stayed back because thinking and hoping things will turn up fine one blue day. Sorry the blue day does not come often or not at all in Australia. They stayed back telling or cheating themselves that they are happy and how thankful to have stay and live in Australia. I have seen these cheaters that living for more than 20 years in Australia denying to know and accept the truth. They always say take up the challenge in fact they are only consoling their broken lives and hearts and cheating themselves. To remain and stay in Australia or return to Malaysia is not and never a barometer for suceess or failure. It is only part of one’s (mine) life journey.

    I was unable to cheat myself. I do not have the heart to cheat my wife and my son. That’s why I returned. My return to Malaysia was not a failure. It was a progress in my life’s journey. I have been there (stayed and worked in Australia) and seen all and I was not happy in Australia. I left and did leave with a loud bang. Friends and colleagues and even pasar malam traders asked me why, I told them “Australia is a nice place to stay, hard to live” and “I was never happy there”.

    A friend of mine commented “Well at least you were brave and have tried”. Yes, I did and have no regret. I was brave to move my family to Australia and stayed for 2 years but I am braver to return to Malaysia with them.

    I am at peace and happy now. My wife and my son are also happy, that matter the most.

    Be brave, be honest to yourself, listen to your heart.

    • Hello Jack, I totally agree with you. I have bid a friend adieu and I totally understand his reason to return because he wanted to grow his career. In Adelaide, his career will never grow the way he wants.

      If I were to return I too won’t feel embarrassed, but I actually have people in Malaysia beg me not to return cos I “obviously” have it so good here. Look, there are good and bad things here … life is not ‘greener’ here. In the end, it’s what you desire out of life. It’s true what you say Jack. It’s a nice place to live, but really hard to live here.” If you’re okay with that fact, then Australia is for u (there are advantages like I said). But if you choose to return home, why ever not??

      • Hi! Interesting article here about returning to Malaysia. I am particularly interested to know in details why is it nice place to live but hard to live at the same time. I am currently at a “cross-road” where my EOI has been approved with invitation to submit my skilled migration PR application and i am in a dilemma whether i should proceed.

  4. WS – Thank you for encouraging me so much! It really makes me happy that my story can help others. At least you now know exactly what to expect in Adelaide. Well, everyone’s situation is different, but my story is what it is – no garnishing or rose-tinted glasses involved.

  5. Hmm…very interesting, There seems to be very passionate views about staying or leaving this place. Personally, as much as I miss my family and friends in Malaysia, there was always something there that kept me from really feeling ‘at home’. Strange as it may seem, I feel more affinity for Australia than I did for Malaysia.
    I’m not denying that it was a massive challenge to uproot and come here. Many sacrifices were made, both professionally and personally. I feel like I would be ‘cheating’ myself if I didn’t give this my very best shot. I suppose it is easier when you are single and all you need to worry about is your own happiness and fulfilling your own expectations.
    I admit that I have felt disheartened and frustrated by the many road blocks that came my way..seeking employment is so far the biggest pain in my *** And don’t even get me started on public transportation here!
    Sometimes I wonder, why oh why did I give up my cushy life in Malaysia to ‘slum’ it over here?
    The answer to that is very simple really. I don’t live in the present much..I live in the future. And I want to spend my future here.

    • I understand what you mean, Geraldine. Yeah, boy, the job hunt is hard … but the life is good to be honest. Try as hard as you can! 🙂 And try to stay in the present really so that you can enjoy what you have now – the fact that you’re now living in the top 5 liveable city in the world 🙂

      • I am totally puzzle – how life is good in Australia when you can’t find job, when you have no jobs. No jobs / works means no money. Are you guys living in Australia surviving with air and love? This is cheating!

  6. Jack, I think each of us define happiness differently. To me, happiness is being able to live a simple life and to always be surrounded by nature and to have an outdoor lifestyle. I agree, however, that this isn’t really possible if you don’t have a job. About the “no job” thing, there are jobs, but only if you aren’t picky about what kind of job you do. I’m not picky because I have other priorities and it so happens that aged care (which some migrants sniff at) is in line with my dream to be a healthcare professional.

    It is a struggle to get there, however. A real struggle. And I don’t blame people for being discouraged. But, still, it’s really really possible to have happiness in Australia. It really depends on the person, really – their resourcefulness in finding a job, their mindset and their goals.

  7. I guess I am lucky enough to live a quality life and not have to quantify life. By the way, after many, many, many and I mean MANY resumes sent out, I have landed the job of my dreams. Not by my terms, as I’m employed on a contract position, but by all means, I’m extremely lucky to have one foot through the door. And this was achieved by doing lots of other jobs which I wouldn’t even have considered back in Malaysia, It’s time to shelve self pride and make something work.

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