The Big Move

I have always been a bit of an over-achiever. I was a smart kid in a small town beyond the vast limits of Sydney City, and there were maybe 250 kids in my Primary school, total. So my childhood was full of accolades and people thinking I was great. It didn’t really set me up well for life in the real world, because I came to expect those kinds of congratulatory remarks by default. I was able to sail through high school and university with only the most cursory of efforts. My marks were okay, but certainly not as high as they could have been if I had actually applied myself. Then again, I guess this is common to all teenagers of any level of ability.

About eight years ago I started really studying Japanese. At the time I was working as a technician at a very large and well-known building, but I was just one of many faces in the crowd there.  I had already been in the workforce for about 5 years and the reality of having to actually work had hit home. I had slowly clawed myself from nowhere to somewhere, yet it was nowhere near the levels of appreciation that I thought that I had deserved. So, after slacking off in the education department, I realised that I really needed to get another language under my belt if I really wanted to get out there and noticed.

During the three and a half years of after-work classes, I consoled myself and the apparently slow progress with the fact that one day I might actually be able to do business in Japan. Little did I know just exactly what that would entail.

Since then, I had actually made a name for myself at my old employer, and became known to practically every department. The CEO and the Directors often called upon me to provide advice, and I was the youngest head of department there. I was picked up by a new company, initially as a pre-sales engineer and then as a GM. I also have completed a Master’s degree and have had a baby. I’ve been to Japan about 10 times in the last 2 years, have met with suppliers, distributors and customers, and have found myself doing exactly the kind of work I had hoped for in the tiny classroom eight years ago.


These shifts, however, have all seemed pretty organic. It is hard to notice that sometimes those things that you have been wishing for have actually happened. And then, when you look back on them, it seems like it took no time at all.


I have recently been asked to consider another large move. The details are not 100% worked out, and as I know that there is the possibility that my professional and personal life have crossed over I will not go into details yet, however it seems to be the next logical step in the growth of myself and also my company. Once confirmed I will hopefully have a lot of topics to cover in this blog! It will be a challenging assignment that will require me to learn a lot of new things (some of which I am starting to study now). I am looking for a place to do a brain dump of this learning from time to time, as that is one way that does actually help me learn things; reading, understanding and then re-synthesizing the information for other people’s use.


There have been a few discussions in comments about these kinds of topics, so if you would like me to comment on personal development in the “posts” and leave the creative writing to the “pages” please get back to me below. I am hoping that from Mid-November I will be able to comment on my upcoming transition more freely. My work is mostly as a business person, with lots of travel, dealing across cultures, and ultimately finding out how we can supply our customers with something of value. I hope that I can write something here that will make any of you that are following a similar path have a less turbulent journey.



Or  I can go back to posting Hanako fan fics. Honestly, just tell me what you guys would prefer!


Today’s photo is from the Shinkansen museum in Nagoya. It is a great place to spend a few hours between Tokyo and Osaka, and it actually has a lot of information in English for those that struggle with Kanji (myself included when it comes to technical matters). Interesting point; a Shinkansen train hits the platform at 70Kmph (about 43Mph). Considering that Sydney trains rarely get about 50Kmph I think that is pretty damned cool.


Oh, and of course there is another Arctic Gale. Apologies for not writing so much, but the wife is heavy with Number 2 at the moment so this means that I have to look after Number 1 on the weekends, meaning almost no free time.



The four "modern" Shinkansen - N700, 300, 100 and 0-sen types
The four “modern” Shinkansen – N700, 300, 100 and 0-sen types

8 thoughts on “The Big Move

  1. Haha, it’s pretty funny. When I read this blog entry (this is the only entry I’ve read so far), and it seems that our professional lives have some things in common. I’d love to see some more updates on your personal development. 🙂

  2. Details on your life from now would be better, I think. If you write anymore Hanako, it can wait.

    Maybe you shouldn’t have posted this–my incessant thirst for knowledge (my questions) will only grow.

    To start, I wanted to ask about those transitions. Like I’ve stated before, I’m an undergraduate college student at the moment, but I find myself wondering about the future. I’m worrying that I won’t have the skills to get a decent job. Since you have them aplenty, how did you learn those skills? I’m learning Japanese and computer science, but I’m not sure that’s enough. Do you have any suggestions, considering the fact that I want to reach a position and occupation similar to yours?

    Big question done; now for the little one. I’ll be going to Australia to study for the upcoming fall–as someone who’s lived and gone to college there, can you give me advice? My friends and family have been telling me not to go, but I don’t think it’ll be that bad. So yeah, any thoughts or useful info you can give me on this matter would be most appreciated, thanks.

    And CONGRATS about the Number 2! I’m sorry for prying, but do you know if it’s a boy or a girl yet?

  3. Ah! I completely forgot about my transitions question! Anyway, better late than never, I guess.

    I know you said the transitioning was rather seamless, but I want to ask how you transitioned. You see, when you said transitioning, I interpreted that as moving up in your company or department. Since I’ll most likely have a lower level job at a company when I graduate, I want to know how I can advance up the rungs–and since you’ve probably done that a lot by now, maybe you could give some experiences and thoughts as to how you advanced up the corporate ladder? Plus, it’d be interesting to see how you changed as a person as the years went by.

  4. Man, I am glad that you are doing nicely with your life; it really encourages me to follow my own path when I see that other people can make it. Congratulations!

    About what Anonymous said, I can’t lie that I wouldn’t complain if you wrote more KS related stuff, personally I loved your Misha path (I might comment on it’s proper page later on). But do whatever you feel like, it would be horrible if you wrote something that you weren’t inspired to do and rush it.

    Sadly I haven’t gotten any time to catch up with AG, but let me tell you that I love your writing, you are really good at setting an atmosphere and making characters to feel real. Even by your normal blog posts I can see that talent of yours, and I always look forward to those photos that you take.

  5. I just found your blog a few days ago and I’ve been reading through your work. I really enjoyed your work on Katawa. Hanako’s route was very enjoyable and I thank you for starting it. Your other fiction pieces are pretty interesting too. I wish you the best of luck.

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