Women’s Drivers Academy
Three weeks ago on the 14th February 2022, I started my new career working for a company called Cleanaway. I was hired as a member of the inaugural Women’s Drivers Academy and am currently in training. This training includes getting my truck licence and also learning to be a side-lift truck operator, collecting bins. This role is completely different to my previous role which was office based. This job gives me the opportunity to try something new, to learn new things and challenge myself. In ways that I never thought about before.
Applying for Jobs
In November 2021, I found out that I would no longer have a job at the University. Before this was confirmed I had applied for a role at Cleanaway. I was so excited about the role, the challenges and opportunities it could give me. I had my heart set on this new career, but originally I didn’t make the cut.
It was a hard time for me, I just had to put my full focus into applying for jobs. Then Cleanaway rang me and offered me a position. I was more than surprised and accepted without hesitation. I am so glad to have started on this journey because so far it has been an amazing experience.
I really struggled when I found out I didn’t originally get the position. I remember struggling to get through the phone call without crying because I felt so devastated and rejected. The rejection was really hard on me, I felt pathetic and useless and unwanted. I threw myself into applying for jobs and would apply for jobs every single day. The job market was huge at the time with lots of administration jobs but nothing seemed right. I think I just had this idea of being on the road instead of in an office.
I did what I could and continued to apply for jobs, even though I never heard back. It was very disheartening, I joined agencies and got tips from career counsellors. I could only do so much though. I ended up getting the call from Cleanaway, on the Thursday and started work the following Monday. It was a whirlwind, but I’m glad that I still got to start with the rest of the academy. It’s an honour being a part of such an amazing group of women. It’s been great getting to know them and to be working with them.
Starting New Career
The first week on the job we got to learn a lot about the company and waste management. We learnt a lot about what a career in waste management will be like. It was an interesting experience, so many fascinating things to learn about. Like the different waste facilities and visiting the sites, learning about how we can effect the process. There is so much more everyone could be doing to help the process. The most interesting place to visit was the largest landfill facility in the Southern Hemisphere. It is massive and I think the way they do things is amazing.
The last two weeks have been focused on doing course work for our truck licences. Learning to actually drive the trucks, I have had two lessons driving. Driving the truck the first time was very daunting, you’re in control of such a big machine. The instructors have been amazing and I have learnt so much from them.
Truck Driving Career
This week during my drive I got to have a try at reversing. I also got to drive on the left-hand side, which was a lot less daunting than the reversing. Probably because I wasn’t in the truck all by myself. I am still learning but I feel much more confident after my second driving attempt. I still have three more lessons so hopefully by the time it comes to our assessments I’ll be confident. I know I’ll still be scared or worried about doing something wrong, always the way with tests.
Today marks the end of the third week at this job and I really am enjoying it. I also feel drained not only because I am learning something new. But there has been an information overload. The fact that I went from working from home for the last two years to being around people every day. In a classroom setting, with a lot of talking and a lot of noise I’m not used to. I don’t think I ever really considered how hard it would be, making that change.
I’m sure I am missing having my girl Izzy by my side all day every day too. She has been my constant companion and I miss her company and her cuddles. Although I have to admit it’s nice to have a conversation with real people for a change. I will eventually get used to the change, it’s just been a little overwhelming this week and I have struggled. I wanted to hide from the world but I know life isn’t that simple.
I’m doing what I can to get through it and I know that there are things that I can do to help. Unfortunately the simple act of being alone and taking some time to decompress is not as easy for me. You would think for someone who is single and basically lives alone I could do that. Some people just don’t understand the need to take care of your own mental health.
I spent three days fighting an internal battle that I needed space. I spent more than three hours writing a text message because I felt the need to explain myself, to someone who I thought would understand. Instead I was made to feel like a terrible person and a bad guy because I wanted to take time for myself. Even though I was scared that I would run myself too thin. That I could lose this job because I couldn’t cope. I have felt so much anxiety over the last few days that my decision would be overruled by someone else. In so many ways I never feel like I am truly in control of my life.
This weekend is Supanova and apart from 2020, I have been to every single Melbourne event. I really wanted to go this year as well because I miss my friends and con family. I know that I would be destroying what little grasp I feel I have left by going. I have sadly made the decision not to attend. I hope that all those that go do enjoy themselves and have a good time. I will miss it and wish I could be there. Hopefully next year things will be different, I can only hope….
I have also updated my stream schedule to fit in with my new job. As of next week I will be starting work at 4am, so having a schedule that finishes at midnight won’t work. I have changed it to 6pm-9pm Tuesday and Thursday. Hopefully a weekend stream thrown in the mix. As always I appreciate your support and everything you do for me.