Saturday, June 13, 2009

Getting a Job in Ireland


UPDATE FEBRUARY 2014
Greetings all! This is by all accounts the most popular Post on this blog. Since its inception, it has received over 15,000 page views. But PLEASE NOTE that it was written in June 2009. Since that time, I have written many other Posts on this Blog focusing on Getting a Job in Ireland. Be sure to check out the Navigation Bar on the Right Hand Side of http://survivingireland.blogspot.com. Or simply click on the following for the latest news in this area:

Ireland's Economic Recovery Accelerates

Getting a Job in Ireland - MORE!

My thanks.   Tom

And here is the original 2009 Post:
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Re-wind to 1982: a wet-behind-the-ears Yank climbs off a flight, Irish wife and new born daughter in tow. His first impressions are positive: 'Hey, it's raining, but it sure is pretty. This shouldn't be too hard,' he thinks to himself.
'I have a degree! I'm an American. I have skills and experience! Surely, I can find a job pretty quick...'
Then a torrent of rain smacked him in the face, as if God was telling the poor slob that nothing in Ireland is ever easy. And, folks, God was right.
Getting a job back in the '80s was hard. I was out of work for six months. Mind you, the Ireland of the early '80s was in recession. Unemployment was high - almost 20 percent as I remember. Long queues of people stood miserably outside the local dole office (unemployment office, for those of you with a US persuasion) waiting for their unemployment cheques. The world of Irish unemployment was bleak indeed, and the last thing it needed was an unemployed Yank to add to its troubles.
But...and here's the good part...six months after I got off the plane I had a job (okay, it offered subsistence level pay, but what the heck. It was work!) Two years later, I had a better job (working for Hyster, the forklift company, on a new government backed project that they started here. I was still paid miserably - just slightly better - but it was a start on the Irish corporate ladder! Unfortunately, a few years later, they suddenly pulled the plug. I - as well as many others - were once again unemployed). And following that, I actually sucked it in and started my own business! Twenty seven years later, I'm still working for myself. And I never thought that I had it in me. Honest.
So. What do you do if, like me, you're a somewhat wet-behind-the-ears American who is determined to live - and work - in Ireland. Here are some suggestions.

The Requirements
If you're not an Irish national or EU citizen, qualifying to get a job in Ireland can be tricky. You need to have a skill that is not (technically) found in the country. You need to have a Work Permit and a Visa. It's a technical area. Click here for more information on Irish Work Permits. It's a whole area fraught with difficulties and new legislation (including a new Green Card scheme), but the bottom line is this: you need to have a prospective employer offer you a job before you can get a job. The Employer must help you to organise your Permit. That company also has the responsibility of paying the fee for that Permit. So aren't you the lucky one? First you have to have a skill that is in high demand in this country. Then you have to find an employer who loves you enough to fork out good money for a work permit. But that's the way it's done here, so start looking!

The Internet and Page Advertising
Ireland has many fine job-related Internet sites. Google 'finding a job in Ireland', and you'll invariably pull up some good ones. Do please sort of ignore www.fas.ie, however. This is a training and job support organisation for Irish (and EU) citizens. If you're not, you don't qualify.
Some of the good sites include Irish Jobs.ie, My Jobs.ie, and Monster.ie. However, there are many more, so spend some time and do your research.
But don't forget about the major national newspapers (many of whom have online editions - just Google them!) That list includes The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Irish edition of the London Sunday Times, The Examiner, The Sunday Post, and The Herald, to name a few.

Networking
If you're not getting anywhere on the Internet or in the papers, and assuming that - like me - you've come over on a wing and a prayer with the hopes of getting employment, then try this: Network!
Ireland is a nation of talkers. People here like helping others (assuming, that is, that you're a likable sort). Therefore, when you meet someone new, don't be shy. Tell them what you're trying to do. That you're looking for a job in your chosen field. Ask them to help. Ask them who they know that might know someone who might know somebody else that has a job opening. Take their name and phone number (and make sure you buy a mobile phone - a Cell Phone - to make certain they can contact you!) Give it a few days and ring them back. Gently pester them with your enthusiasm and professionalism.
Given enough time, you too could land that Irish job. Just look at me! When I came here I didn't know a soul. But I networked (and I must admit that I was never any good at it). One guy new another guy who knew a fellow, that knew an Uncle, who knew his first cousin. And that fellow knew about a small company in County Meath that needed the inexperience and brash enthusiasm of this newly-arrive Yank.
Remember, Ireland is populated by only 4 million souls or so. In some ways, it's a village. And for that reason, everyone knows someone else. So keep networking!

Start Your Own Business
I'm not going to run through how to write a business plan, or what constitutes a great business idea, or how to get finance for a start up. That's up to you, the would-be Irish entrepreneur. But what I will say is this:
Ireland is a country of shopkeepers and business people. Like their US cousins, Irish people love to own and manage their own businesses, and the country's economy is driven by small and mid-sized enterprises.
So if you want a challenge, now's your chance! Back in the '80s, I never ever thought that I'd own my own small business. Yet here I am.

Just Remember, We're in Recession
Yep, just like every other place in the world, Ireland is in recession. What's more, and based on what I've been reading, it seems that the recession here will be longer and deeper than elsewhere. That said, take heart! People here are still buying things; the economy is still turning over. To beat this, you just have to be dogged, persevere, and keep focused on your goal. If you want employment hard enough, you'll get it. Just keep trying!
For more information on how to Get a Job in Ireland, you might want to purchase my E-Book:
A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2014 Kindle Edition Available Now
Want to learn more about living in Ireland? Are you thinking of traveling to Ireland or moving to Ireland? If so, you might consider the purchase of the 2014 Kindle ebook edition of A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland. Now 80,000+ words long, and having sold over 10,000 copies in its various editions, it could make the perfect gift for those interested in this wonderful country. Simply click on any of the links above to purchase this new Kindle version. You can also download various free aps to read this Kindle version on any PC or Mac. 

45 comments:

  1. Hi Tom,

    Great blog! I too think of moving to Ireland. Great-grandmothers on each side emigrated from Ireland. However, I miss the ancestory citizenship by one generation, but we still keep in contact and visit with family in Strabane every couple years.

    I do have a general question...I'm in my last year of law school in California, any insight on American lawyers finding jobs in Ireland?

    Anyway, thanks for the blog and keep up the good work.

    Nick

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  2. Tom,

    I wish I had found your blog about a year earlier! Great insight, advice, etc. I found your recent posting on expatechange.com. I am one of the lucky ones. I became an Irish citizen last May thanks to my Irish-born grandmother. I have been to Ireland a few times now, including a month-long stint a couple years ago. I have had a desire to move there for a while, and have done a lot of researching. Recently married in March, my wife and I spent over a week in Ireland (rented a car and just drove... everywhere) as our last stop on a great honeymoon to see if living there was something we might want to do to start off our married life. As luck had it, we met a young couple (mid-20's) like ourselves who had just moved to Dublin from Phoenix, where we live currently. Long story short, we befriended them, went out for drinks and conversation, and enjoyed some good craic. We explained our desire to move to Ireland. We have kept in contact since returning to AZ, met up with them on their recent vacation back here, and passed along our resumes/CVs to see if they were able to assist us in our efforts to find employment. They recently advised us that there were a couple positions opening up at the company where he is the manager. He offered us each a position, and gave us a deadline of August 1st to be out there and ready to work. Sounds like something out of a movie, eh? Anyhow, we are packing our belongings, and are gearing up for what is going to be the biggest adventure of our lives thus far.

    We (mainly me) are pretty familiar w/ the cultural differences. I like to consider myself an adaptable fellow (you kind of have to be in this sort of situation). My question is this... what sort of advice would you offer someone like me, as far as what to bring, what not to bring, etc. We will be renting a furnished place, so we are planning on packing very minimally. I have been informed that my wife shouldn't have any issues working since she is married to an Irish citizen. Do you know any info on this? I know we have to provide proof etc to get her a visa, but any addtl info would be helpful, as well as any other tidbits of info you might find useful.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    James

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  3. do you have a sense of what job skills are in high demand in the country? i'm an American, with a BA in English and a MA in Journalism ... my fiance just got accepted to University College of Dublin, so I've just started looking into what it would take for me to relocate with him...

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  5. Hello,

    I am currently living in the USA and want to move to Dublin. I know you need to have a work permit from a perspective employer before moving. I have been applying for jobs like mad, and contacted many recruiters. It seems some of the recruiters do not realize that the hiring company needs to obtain the work permit, as some recruiters were telling me to go and get my work permit first. Quite confusing to say the least.

    I can't wait to live and work in such a beautiful country. My Aunt's family is there, but I am not Irish.

    Does anyone know of a company that is hiring, etc.? Any resources to share? I've gone to Monster.ie, Irishjobs, and many others. I am a meeting and event planner, and I also posses purchasing/buyer skills. Last year I completed the Medical Assitant program here in the states, so a job in healthcare would be good too (like a patient care associate, medical office, etc.).

    I hope I can start my work journey in Ireland soon!

    Kristin

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  6. Morning Kristin. Unfortunately, you have chosen one of the most daunting periods in Irish economic history to attempt to make this transition. We've huge unemployment right now, a national election looming, and a Banking crisis and deficit that's much worse than the US.

    All I can suggest is - healthcare: you may have some luck here, though it looks like the health service (Google HSE Ireland for more info) will be laying off any number of staff. That said, it's worth a try. Visiting: you'd better luck if you used your Aunt and her contacts. Best to climb on a plane, come over, and start networking. That's how I did it - and it works!

    Best of luck to you, and keep me posted! T :)

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  7. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your post. I will certainly google HSE Ireland and get information.

    I know the economy is bad everywhere and I do hope it gets better very soon. I probably will call my Aunt to see what she can do. As much as I hate being an inconvenience, they might be willing to help.

    I also have a friend in Ireland that I miss very much, so that's been difficult too.

    With the recruiters I've spoken to in the last couple of days, some told me it would be very difficult to obtain the work permit, and that it might be better to contact companies directly as they might be willing to hire and obtain the working permit based on my credentials. Most recruiters have clients that require a work permit first before even sending the individual on the job interview. I've heard both sides of this, and I just keep going down my list. I also spoke with a career advisor that said it is difficult, but not to give up because something can break and that it may just take some time.

    Should I visit for a few weeks and just make appointments with recruiting agencies? Networking is hard when I don't know that many people in Ireland. At this point, I'd mop the floor as a job just to work and live in Ireland. I'm open to learning a new trade too.

    Thanks again and I will keep you posted on my journey : )

    Best to you,
    Kristin

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  8. When I came to Ireland in '82 I didn't know a soul either. A trip to Ireland might be just the thing for you. You'll have to get lucky - get that break - but I did. And you can too. Hang in thar. T

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  9. hi mr.tom nice blog you have there.
    can i trouble you for a question?
    me and my father are moving to dublin in the end of march.
    were bulgarian in the european union. (and were both specialists and good people)
    what is the situacion right now?
    there is no info on 2011 work permits for bulgarians.
    it seems that whoever i call no one knows that i even NEED a work permit. seems like i can just go and work?
    im really coming to start a nice life around nice people but those work permits are just impossible and it forces me to be illegal, when i want to be legal.

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  10. Hi Kiril. Bulgaria joined the EU in 1997. Citizens in the EU are allowed to work in ANY other EU country WITHOUT a work permit. That is - we're all citizens of one giant Europe, and as such we've the right to work where we choose.

    The bad news if you come to Ireland: the Irish economy is horrible and I've never seen it so back - not in almost 30 years. That said, certain sectors such as Export industries are making a comeback. But this is going to be a slow, slow economic recovery. I wish thee well - Tom

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  11. wow that is just awesome i will jump through the roof if its true, but excuse me but are you sure?
    the last article for may 2009 stated that ireland still want bulgarians and romanians to have a work permit.
    i mean there was no news after that whatsoever and were february 2011 right now, i guess it was a conspiracy to keep it secret. god bless you wish should have a coffee when i come.

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  12. Kiril, I'm no international lawyer. Best thing to do would be to contact the Irish consulate - or the equivalent - to make sure. Wish you luck. T

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  13. This is a great article! I am absolutely, positively, in love with Ireland! I recently spent about a month in Ireland and had the time of my life. Wonderful and beautiful country. Well, I don't have a skill per se. I know Ireland is in an economic mess at the moment. I read that they take limited amt of unskilled workers, if that, but I was trying to figure out if I qualify under home care. I fear that I don't because it might be under the domestic job title, but a home care agency for the elderly and disabled told me if I decided to come to Ireland, they would interview me and they love that I have personal experience in the area. I feel pretty good about it. But, I am nervous that I don't qualify under Ireland work permit laws. Is there any way that I would or is there any way I could get around this if I don't? My dream is to live in Ireland and I pray that my dream isn't deflated. Can you give me insight and any words of wisdom? Thank you!

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  14. Me again! I just posted about home care in Ireland above here. I wanted to add that I am from the states if that is needed info.

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  15. Tom, I am recently out of the Marine Corps and going to school in Washington State for a BS in environmental conservation. In particular forest management. It will be another 3 to 4 years before I receive my degree. My wife and I would really like to move to Ireland after this. I thought if fitting because Washington and Ireland have many similarities. Do you have any ideas for jobs in this area. Keep in mind I have plenty of time to broaden my degree.

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  16. Hi Tom, Great blog. Sorry to bother you... do you have any idea on the irish job market for IT professionals at the moment? I am an asian planning to visit ireland for a month or two to hunt for jobs. I have 6 years experience in IT industry. Do you think it would work at this time? Thanks for your time.

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  17. Hi Sathya. Frankly, the economy is a mess. However, the IT industry is hiring. I know, for instance, that EMC is looking for cloud architects and similar. But it's just a matter of coming over and seeing what's what, I'm afraid. Good luck! T

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  18. So Tom...... After reading the many questions and responses on this page it sounds like the best way to get work in Ireland right now is to start networking so i'll start with you! I read on here that you own your own business. Are you hiring??? I am currently a Proud United States Marine with loads of management experience including the retail industry. I have held a management position for the last 10 yrs and am also skilled in painting, construction, and am also a bit of a musician if that makes any difference. Yes I can entertain as well!!! I have a great work ethic and I am also a very likeable guy.

    To be perfectly honest with you Tom, I'm falling madly in love with a beautiful Irish gal from Sligo and am willing to do what it takes to get us closer together. I really found reading your blog very helpful in getting me started on this journey, and I would appreciate any advice you have to give to point me in the right direction.

    Sincerely,

    Harry

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    Replies
    1. Never mind tom.......... She left me : (

      Delete
  19. Thanks for your blog.

    I am an Indian citizen with MBA (Finance) and over years of work experiance in product control-Finance in an MNC bank. I am keen to work in Ireland. Would there be any job for me and how can I approach any employer in Ireland.

    Regards,
    Manish Singh

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    Replies
    1. dear manish..
      did you find the job that you were looking for?

      Delete
  20. Hi Tom,

    I am an American looking for a job in Ireland as well. I am a scientist doing vaccine research and have 11 years experince, but do not have a PhD. At times I feel it is impossible to find a job there! I met my Irish boyfriend on a trip to Costa Rica over a year ago and we have been dating long distance for a year now. We have been alternating 3 day weekend trips every month for a year now and would love to be together living in the same country!
    Do you have any advice for finding a job in the science field? My boyfriend works in business for a pharmaceutical company in Dublin and had been spreading my CV around and my other friend in Dublin's father is a recruiter for pharma companies, but I still can't seem to find anything. It so sad that any European in the EU can get a job so easily, but an educated American can't!

    Thanks,

    ~M

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  21. Hi Tom,

    Really valuable insight. I am also looking for jobs in Dublin. I am qualified ACCA & CISA. I guess you are right 'networking' is the best way to get the info and other's people experiences.

    I recommend using Linkedin to get in touch with people who have similar work experience like you. Also search for Recruiters & HR people on Linkin as well. I have just started doing it, let see how it goes.

    Please let me know, if you have anymore suggestion for someone like me.

    Link: http://www.linkedin.com/

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  22. Hello. Great to stumble on this website as I like others have been trawling through job websites with no luck . I am from the uk so thought being part of the EU it would help as well as having a health care degree. But it is so difficult especially as they have there own system such as Grada ( criminal bureau record check for the uk) and other things which are dauntiing. I feel i need to have secured a job before moving... but it is so hard!

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  23. Hi there! I also just stumbled upon this site and can't wait to look through it more. My husband, child and I are looking to move there in the next few years and could use whatever advice you have to give. We are both American Citizens, and can't wait to relocate. Thanks so much!

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  24. Tom,

    I am a recent college graduate with two bachelor degrees. I am single, with no kids, and was thinking if ever there was a time to live my dream, it is now! Your blog really helps me, thank you very much!!

    Jenna

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  25. Tom,
    I am currently in school for my LPN and will be starting schooling for my RN while working as a LPN.
    I know nursing is needed pretty much everywhere in the civilized world. My real question to you is this, I am married Irish(non citizen) Catholic, with 6 children 11 and under, is it to much of a "pipe dream" for us to in the next year or two, for me to find work as an Registered Nurse and be able to relocate my family to Ireland?
    Sadly my grandmother was working on her Irish Citizenship( her mother was born in Ireland) but she has over the past few year been really stuck hard with Alzheimer and Dementia, so I would really need to get a Work Permit based on my medical skills when the time comes.
    Any insight on our Goals? If a large family of moderate income should even bother trying to do this.
    Also do you know of any program or way(besides going to Ireland and meeting a family) that we could house swap for any period of time with a Family in Ireland for our home in Upstate NY?

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  26. Hello,
    I liked your article, it was very informative for me. I am checking for jobs on irishjobs.ie and I am getting a small number of openings available for my area (Community Care Support Worker). I know the hardest bit is going to be convincing the employer to hire me and pay for my employment papers, but I am also worried about where I would be staying. The only ones I am really seeing are in Dublin, and isn't that the most expensive place to stay? I want to live in Ireland and finish my schooling to become a Psychologist (or, looking at my FAS career judging test, Midwife) but I know absolutely no one. I am fairly young, I have yet to reach the higher age of majority in the United States, but I think I can make this move work for me. Any tips on where to live - I plan on getting a bicycle or taking public transportation.

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  27. Hello,

    Awesome article! I am planning a trip in February, and I am already going to apply for jobs this week, I figure maybe I can get an interview lined up for when I am there. I too am a Yank, and I have a degree in marketing and international business. Think I have a chance?

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  28. hey!!.. I am an Engineer(Bachelors in Information Technology).. and am planning to come to ireland for my Masters on the pretext that there are ample amount of job opportunities there.. So is it true??.. is it a risk worth taking..?

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  29. Hi..I am a mechanical engineer with 5 years or work exp in India. I am planning to do masters in Ireland in the field of Mechanical Engineerig or Business management. Please let me know the current scenario for an experienced Non EU national after graduating from an Irish university.

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  30. Good morning, Anonymous. All I can tell you is, when you're here, Network! Meet everyone you can over here. The Irish are wonderfully giving - and that includes helping others to get on the job ladder... And you'll need it. Ireland is in the middle of a huge recession. And as a Non-EU national, it's going to be difficult. If you'd like, I just rewrote a book, A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland, which you can find at the following URL. http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Richards/e/B001HPISGA Good luck and keep in touch! Tom

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  31. hey!!.. I'm student (Bachelors in Information Technology).. and am planning to come to ireland for my Masters degree .. So kindly suggest me a valuable advice that can hepl me ...

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  32. Well I'd say you're in luck, Anonymous. Tech is one of the few industries (as well as agriculture and food) that is holding up during this wicked recession. Techies are in huge demand here right now. The likes of Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn (who have just opened a European HQ here), Google, and so many more are actively looking for staff.

    So as you see above, and when you get settled, the secret is to network! Assuming that you're a non-EU national, it will be a bit of a climb because EU nationals have first preference. But if you work hard, meet people, and follow-up any leads you might hear about, you too might be able to Survive in Ireland!

    And I'm going to again plug the recent new edition of A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland that I've just completed. It answers all of these questions in an 80,000+ word tome. It's now available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, and in its various lives has sold well over 10,000 copies. So you might take a look here if you're interested: https://www.amazon.com/author/tomrichards

    Good luck!

    Tom

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  33. Hi TOM.. I have done my BCS(Bachelor in Computer Science) and i have 1 year and 6 months experience of Software Quality assurance Engineering in Pakistan. I'm planning to come Dublin. im planning that i will complete my Masters there and then i will tryu to find a job. Can you please tell me that what are chances of getting a job in my IT field and what are chances of getting a job during study in restaurants,hotels etc? Please reply, i'm waiting

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  34. Hi TOM.. Please reply, I'm waiting anxiously :(

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  35. Anonymous, if you read the Blog you'll find that I DID reply. Go to the December 2013 post "Getting a Job in Ireland - MORE!" Your answer is in there. Tom

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  36. Tom,

    Thank you so much for this post about getting a job in Ireland. I studied abroad at NUI Maynooth the fall semester of 2012 and, now that I have my BA in English and teaching license, I've been trying to get back. I've been saving my money (I have quite a chunk saved), keeping up with friends I made there (some of them need roommates!), and subtly hinting that I'm planning on going back to my family (I currently live with my gramma). However, the last step is a job!
    Do you have any suggestions for someone like me? I have almost all my ducks in a line, just no job. How long would I be able to stay and job hunt before I was booted?

    Any help appreciated,
    April

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  37. Hi April and good to hear from you. NUI Maynooth, huh? When did you study there? I ask because I guest-lectured in the Media Studies department for a few years (2008 - 2010 as I remember). I must say that your goal is going to be a bit daunting. I've heard that there is a freeze in teacher hiring at public schools. My daughter - with a BSc in science an an HDip for teaching - tried to get a job as a chemistry teacher for secondary schools and was only able to get substitute work. As to your question re: how long can you stay: my understanding is that you can stay for 3 months with a standard travel Visa. Take a look at the following URL for more information: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_to_ireland/working_in_ireland/coming_to_work_in_ireland.html. Sure do wish you well - Tom

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  38. Hi Tom,
    You have got a very good article here and thanks for your insights. I am an Indian and got a professional degree in Computer Science Engineering and am currently into the Software Testing stream. I have been considering working overseas for some time now and after much googling and browsing found Ireland to be a great option. But as any one here the difficulty is getting a job first inorder to apply for a work permit. I have been trying hard but could get a positive response from any of the recruiters as all are asking for work permit first :( It would be of great help if you could give some advice on how to land an interview? Any info on direct recruiting employers also will do.. Need to get a job first as considering migration without a job is quite risky .. Any help is appreciated..

    Notr: Sorry if the post is in the name of Anonymous as I was not able to post with my google account, throwing an error there..

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  39. Hi and good hearing from you. What you mention about is the chicken and egg problem that all of us have: you need that job offer before you can apply for a work permit. In my case I had to come over here without a job to do just that. (Complete disclosure: I was married to an Irish woman so at the time, I had the right to work in this country). I'm afraid, Anonymous, that you're facing a hard choice. It's unlikely that anyone is going to hire you sight unseen (although I do know in one case where that has happened). The only recourse, perhaps, is to come over on a long visit: that is, first apply to a number of jobs. Then work the phones (using a low cost carrier such as Skype). Get an interview or two. Then climb on a plane and land that job offer with the promise of a work permit. And only then move over full time. It's a tough choice, I'm afraid, but I don't know any way around it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the advice.. This has helped.. Lemme c if I can try out something like this :) Hopefully something will happen...

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  40. No problem. Good luck and if you need anything else just let me know. Tom

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  41. Has anyone applied for an received a green card? Was it easy to find work? Was the visa process quick and easy?

    I'm from the USA and got my BSc in the UK and worked in IT in the UK. I've since moved back to the states in NYC working in IT; however, I want to get back to Europe and I see Ireland is looking for IT professionals.

    Is it really hard to find a job from outside of Ireland? Is it even possible? I mainly work in tech support which I'm not sure even qualifies.

    Any input would be great. Thanks!

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  42. Morning Anonymous. To answer your questions: yep, the market is hiring tech support people here. However, getting a job when you're still located outside the country is difficult but not impossible. All I can suggest is that you monitor jobs' links (some of which are on the right hand side of the blog) and punch in your applications. Good luck! Tom

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