Written by: Cristina Cuevas Exposito – Relocation Consultant, Cornerstone Ireland
The country has one of the highest standards of living in Europe and thanks to its well-connected geographical location and low corporation tax rates, a huge number of multinational companies have European headquarters in the country, providing a wealth of employment opportunities.
It has a small-town feel with capital city amenities, including a great theatre and music scene, as well as a unique world-class International Stadium that is used as a venue for football, rugby, concerts, and conference.
Dublin is one of the most popular destinations to learn the English language, especially now that Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the EU after Brexit. It´s a very cosmopolitan city, where people from all over the world converge providing the city with a lively and international atmosphere. Despite hosting thousands of people from all over the world, Dublin is still seen by some visitors as one of the safest capitals in the world, and the crime figures avail that.
Although all this might sound highly attractive and situates Dublin as a wonderful place to live and work, how is it when moving to Dublin for work? How would it be for a Spanish family living in Lisbon to move to a cloudy and rainy city? I´ll try to dissipate these and some other concerns by going through my experience from a perspective of a Spanish family living in Dublin.
With all our doubts about housing, schools, weather conditions, and outdoor lifestyle in Dublin, the fact that English is the primary language was appealing to us and to our children´s education. Also, considering that Irish people are well known for being fun and friendly and with great similarity to the Spanish character we started to seriously contemplate moving to Dublin, having never set foot in Ireland before. And so, we did, we sadly left Lisbon behind looking for a new family adventure in Dublin.
I must admit that, when I first heard about the possibility of moving to Dublin with my family looking for better work opportunities for my husband, the first thing that came to my mind was a wet and grey city. I was about to change Lisbon´s shiny and clear blue sky for a cloudy and overcast landscape, and that made me feel reluctant to the idea of relocating, as being a very active family, that would be a downside for our lifestyle. I couldn´t have been more wrong, though.
It is true that winter is not easy in Ireland, it is chilly but rarely freezing and days are short. Skies are generally overcast, and rain is frequent. Since we moved around mid-September, the first winter we spent in Dublin was quite a shock, particularly coming from sunny Lisbon but we managed to always find a spot during the day to seek out those green spaces and spend time in nature. Luckily, winter passed by quickly and it turned out that it wasn´t as harmful as expected. In fact, there are still plenty of things to do in Dublin and its surroundings in winter, from the various Christmas markets and evenings, spent tucked away in cozy pubs to hikes, walks, and more.
Spring and summer are also the perfect time to explore some of the more romantic things to do in Dublin, and enjoy the beauty of its parks and landscapes in the area. We, as foreigners, were eager to discover every single corner of Dublin and its surroundings.
Whenever weather permitted, we planned the day out to enjoy and avail ourselves of the Irish culture and its essence.
As previously mentioned, the Irish job market offers foreign and local workers many opportunities. However, at the same time, it attracts great competition. To find a job in Ireland, it´s essential to elaborate on improved CVs and cover letters in order to stand a chance among the hundreds of other applicants competing for a job position. In general, work-life in Ireland is similar to many other EU countries. Despite the necessity of visas and work permits if being a non-EU member, working in Ireland as a foreigner is not as difficult as it is in other European countries. Even though the Irish economy was hardly hit by the global recession, it is also one of the fastest to bounce back. One of the best ways to get a job in Ireland as a foreigner is by looking at the industries with the most vacancies in the country. One popular job sector is the service industry, where both skilled and casual workers can find work. Another interesting and growing area to explore is the technology sector, taking advantage of the position of Ireland as the home of powerful and well-known technology companies.
If I had to point out something that really helped in our transition to Dublin would be the Irish people and its welcoming character. Although behavioral norms could be quite different from what we were used to, generally speaking, the Irish sense of humor is one of the main features that makes Spanish people identify with Irish people.
As a Spanish citizen living in Ireland, I find very appealing the ability to make jokes about oneself and laugh even under the worst circumstances. Irish people are joyful, charming and the most welcoming people I have ever met.
Having said all the above, almost 3 years later it turns out that Dublin won our hearts, exceeding all our expectations. Ireland is now our home and where we plan our future.
If you are thinking of relocating to Dublin or any other city in Ireland, don´t hesitate. It will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, doesn´t matter where you are coming from or what your background is.