Prior to making the move to ascertain a working holiday authorisation you need to truly investigate the economic climate of the country in question. There is nothing worse than saving furiously, uprooting you life to move half way across the world in the hope of adventure only to discover you cannot secure a job placement or afford further travel. Therefore, you need to examine the skills and qualifications you have to offer and examine if
a) they are marketable and
b) if you can fill the job sectors which are in need of employees.
In my opinion, I personally would not come to Dublin unless qualified. It is a competitive city and an incredibly expensive one. Despite this expense, the wages are not high even at a professional level. After speaking with many foreign nationals who are struggling to survive on minimum wage from working in the hospitality industry, I have learnt that many of them are not able to get their foot in the door because they do not have a qualification. I don’t wish to come cross as elitist, I didn’t start university until well into my mid twenties, but it has opened up many doors for me whilst in Dublin. In addition, you want to research the unemployment rate in your possible new home and determine if it is the best option and best time.
Now this is not to scare you in any way shape or form. I moved to Dublin on a Friday and literally had secured a job by the following Tuesday. Fortunately, I haven’t stopped working since… Fingers crossed that Irish luck continues. I believe I owe this success to being well prepared and organised. Dublin in particular is a student town so you don’t want to time your arrival with the mass influx of students whom you will compete with for work and accommodation… Which is another challenge in itself.
As part of your preparations, be sure to have your resume updated and written references from your former employers on hand. Given potential recruiters and employers won’t have the means to call your references unless they want to accrue international charges, have these prepared for their benefit and yours. This demonstrates your ability to organise yourself. Coupled with my resume, I not only carry soft copies but multiple hard copies. Naturally, have your Linkedin up to date. If you are planning to find work in the hospitality industry you will pass many stores where they request you to drop your resume in personally, hence the need for multiple hard copies. The last thing you want is the added pressure of having to find printing facilities when you’re eager to get the ball rolling.
For those seeking employment in the corporate sector you can utilise employment websites such as indeed or jobs.ie, however you will increase your chances of success using the services of recruitment agencies. Given the working restrictions non EU members face with their working holiday authorisation a recruitment agency that specialises in temporary or contract assignments is critical. Don’t feel that you just have to belong to one either, however do be honest with your recruiter that you are using the services of multiple agencies during your stay in Ireland. You will get asked this during your interview and you don’t want to damage your character by lying. The professional world is small and you’re not doing anything wrong by working with different agencies, some even recommend this approach.
The world of recruiting works fast so in addition to having your resume and written references ready, a few days short of your arrival into your new country start contacting recruiters. In your cover letter state your arrival date, your visa qualifications and legally what you are permitted to do. It is not the responsibility of the recruiter to know this. Most importantly be very clear about your career objectives and what you are looking to do and achieve. Be prepared for questions as to why you have come to Ireland and why you want to work with a recruiter. This is your chance to demonstrate your initiative and courage to face and overcome challenges, widen your cultural experiences for personal and professional purposes and gain life skills. Sell yourself, make them excited to work with you and ultimately to sell you to potential employers. You are responsible for your brand and how you market yourself.
Upon gaining employment it is essential that you maintain these relationships and build a rapport with the staff so you are considered for future positions. This includes ensuring your time sheets are submitted weekly, performing well and as a personal touch, I like to send my recruiter a thank you card, particularly once I have finished a long term assignment.
Now lastly and most importantly, your right to work is not granted through receiving the working holiday authorisation alone. You will also require specific documentation outlined below. To find out more about how to obtain such, click on the individual links. You’re first priority is obtaining your immigration card, you cannot work without this. I followed this with my PPSN once I had accommodation and my landlord was able to provide me with a reference. When this card arrived I proceeded with opening a bank account as my address was listed on national documentation.
• Irish bank account
• Garda National Immigration Card
• Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
Working in Ireland can be daunting because unlike the UK or Canada there are no consultancy firms to go through to facilitate the transition. It is an independent process, but with proper organisation, research and preparation it can prove incredibly rewarding.