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Working in Ireland
Many people from all over the world come to Ireland for tourism, to learn English or to try to make a living working in Ireland. There are many things to say about how to survive in this competitive world: in this post, I will give you some tips that hopefully will help you to integrate and get a job in Ireland, if you decide to move here.
Have you considered working in Ireland?
First of all, as I said, having a good or very good command of English is essential to succeed here. There are many immigrants, from other countries and from yours, who will be as qualified as you are or more, as multilingual as you or more, as young as you or younger, as beautiful as you or more. So English is just the least skill you should have. That said, it doesn’t mean you should refrain from coming if you are willing to learn quickly. I have met many Spanish au pairs who had a BA degree, bud hadn’t a good level of English. However, after a few months with Irish families, they improved a lot, and some of them took courses or masters that allowed them to find more qualified jobs afterwards.
Thus, an interesting option to consider as a bridge to get a full time position is coming as an au pair: an Irish family will host you, feed you and you’ll have some pocket money to do your things. And most importantly, you’ll learn English with them, you’ll build a network of contacts and you’ll have a platform to jump into the job market. Another option is to try to find a job as a waiter or similar professions while trying to study English or pursuing further education.
I think it’s very important to come with a plan, even if it’s a two week intense course instead of just coming with some savings with the intention of looking for a job. This is an option too, but you might end up burning your savings with a flight back home. Another interesting way to go abroad is the EU Leonardo Da Vinci programme. I have met a few people that came to Ireland through Leonardo for 3-4 months, which included two weeks of English classes, lodgement, work placement, and a small weekly allowance. Some of them found a job afterwards or their contract was extended.
Once the plan is designed and the decision made, the first thing to do once you touch down in Ireland is to find a place to live. Ireland is expensive, especially compared to southern countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy or even France. And within Ireland, Dublin is very expensive. If you don’t have a clear plan of action, I would recommend to avoid Dublin and go to smaller cities or towns with good communication with Dublin, Cork, Galway, etc. A room in a shared apartment in Dublin may cost easily 600-700 €/month, being that a normal price. That means that you can pay even more depending on the area. It won’t be easy to find anything cheaper than that unless you live far away or you share with many people. I have seen ads of 2 room apartments for 3,000 € /month (check daft.ie if you can cope with strong sensations).
On the contrary, going to Cork, which is a way smaller city but cosy and with many multinationals like Amazon or Apple, may save you around 200 € per month o more. Even more if you are in a town outside Cork or smaller cities.
The second important thing to do in order to be able to open a bank account or get any kind of social benefit is to get your PPS number (ID/Social Security number). To get it, you will need a proof of address: a bill with your name and address, your house lease, if you have it, or a letter from your landlord stating that you are living in that address. This is quite easy and it should be easy to get a PPS number. This is the first and most important thing you would need to do after getting a place to stay. It will open the doors of the administrative labyrinths to you.
Once you have your PPS number, you can go to FÁS offices and register. There (or online) you can get information about courses provided by the Government, and you can search for job vacancies too. There is also the Springboard program, which sponsors certificates, diplomas and masters in public and private universities if you are unemployed. ICT Skills is a similar programme to Springboard, but people working can do these courses for free too. On the other hand, the most visited website for jobseeking is Indeed. You can also browse jobs at jobs.ie, irishjobs.ie and many others.
I guess these are the first good tips to begin with. From here, the world is yours! It won’t be an easy start, but don’t despair: stay active and try to build a good network of friends and contacts. You never know who could offer you a job. If you are interested in sports, Ireland is a great place: GAA, football, rugby and many others. Socialising is a good way of making new contacts. There are very interesting Meetup groups where you will not only meet nice people but also learn a lot. You may spend weeks without work or with a job you don’t like, but if you stay strong with the idea of learning, training and willing to succeed, I think Ireland is a country where one can have good opportunities, especially in the IT sector.
Keep fighting and good luck!
I love Ireland
I love Ireland. I say it all all the time and I think it all the time. I think it when I go to West Cork, Kerry, Mayo or Louth and I see amazing landscapes. I think it when I watch a hurling or rugby match in Croke Park, RDS or in a pub, I thought it when I played with my football in Inchydoney beach, and I think it when I am invited to have dinner with an Irish family. Sometimes I am afraid of insisting too much about how much I love Ireland because I wouldn’t like it to become the Salou or Marbella of the British Isles.
Ireland has the good things of being a small country, like a strong feeling of community, and the good things of being a modern and quite prosperous country, as it is the base of the EMEA headquarters of the big companies. The landscapes I have seen, especially in rural Ireland, are some of the most beautiful sceneries I have ever seen. There are small villages and towns in places like Kerry, Cork, Galway, Mayo or Donegal where it seems as if time had stopped 60 years ago. And this is, for me, an important factor of the Irish charm in today’s 3.0 times.
If you go to a shop in, let’s say Clonakilty, Co. Cork, the lady in the counter will most probably make some comment about the weather like ‘Yera, it’s been a miiiiserable week, but sure it’ll be grand anyway!’, although she has never seen you before. Irish people like to talk, and Irish people are nice in general. They remind me a bit of Andalusians. They like to talk, they like to take it easy. And yes, they like to drink.
Éire is not only what we saw in The Snapper or Angela’s Ashes. It is a very modern country too. Much more modern than Spain or Italy in many things. It is strategically located between the UK and the US, it is a part of the British Isles but it is more integrated in the EU. It has obvious historical and political links with Britain and also with the US. Because of that, and because the famous low tax corporation, most of the IT giants have their headquarters here, mainly in Dublin and Cork: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter, Microsoft, and many more.
But ‘no todo es oro lo que reluce’, as we say in Spanish, something as ‘not everything that shines is gold’. If the country hasn’t become yet a Dubai, Costa del Sol or Bahamas, it is probably for one important reason: The Weather. Yes, the weather is c***. Yes, it’s very bad. That joke ‘I love summer in Ireland, it’s my favourite day of the year’ is almost true. Weather is unpredictable. It may be sunny at 9, raining at 9:30, dry at 9:45 and frosting at 10. And that can happen anytime during all year except for 3 or 4 months, which doesn’t mean that there will be good weather in 3 or 4 months. It just means that it probably won’t frost during 3 months.
Despite the weather, I love Ireland. But I think I’m not the only one, as thousands of Spaniards, Italians, Brazilians, Poles, Latvians and many other have decided to try to make their living here. (I will talk a bit more about working in Ireland in the section ‘Living in Ireland’)
This is the reason why I have been for two and a half years here and have no plans of going back to Barcelona. People seem not to believe me, especially coming from such a cool city. But I insist: I love Ireland, and as long as they don’t kick me out and I am happy here, here will I be.
Go raibh maith agaibh!