With the economy recovering and employment again on the rise, the trend for people leaving the country to find work is starting to shift. Instead, we are finally swapping images of teary eyed family and friends waving goodbye, for more frequent images of joy and celebration at the arrivals hall.
While this is great news for the country – and for families who have spent the last few years thinking about time zones and Skype – actually coming home requires some preparation. Having lived abroad myself, twice in fact, I’m all too familiar with having to surrender the Peter Pan-like existence and coming back to the ‘real world’.
Here are some thoughts I kept in mind while preparing to come home:
Beware the reverse cultural shock
You have been warned … returning home from Vancouver I found myself roaming the streets of Cork looking for a good Sushi restaurant! This part of the process is rarely talked about. There will be less interest in that time you went volcano boarding in Nicaragua and more interest in ‘have you got a job yet?’ and ‘are you planning on living at home?’.
Start the process early
Finding yourself looking for both accommodation and a new job is a task that for many can seem daunting. Talk to people prior to returning. Talk to former colleagues and college friends working in your area. Register with recruitment agencies and avail of their industry knowledge. Use all available resources to make your life easier.
Use every available lead
Such resources doesn’t have to be restricted to people you know. You can crowdsource your search for jobs and accommodation with ease through websites like Quora, Boards.ie, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. Use any online means available to you to investigate job opportunities in your area of interest.
Most of the time you will need to be in the country in order to secure a position. You will be able to put the feelers out before you move home, but realistically the final hiring decision won’t come until you are back on home ground.
Choose a specific role
Pick your area of expertise and apply for positions that realistically apply to your background and experience. Nothing is more disheartening than applying to everything and anything with no reply.
Don’t lose track of applications
As you’re doing all of your applying remotely, it’s easy to make a lot of similar applications. Save the job specification so if you do get that call to interview you can go back and review the job spec in order to prepare for interview. The selection process for interview may take longer than expected and the ad with all the job details may be gone when you need it the most.
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get the first position you interview for, your location may work against you for some positions but it won’t always be a problem. No matter where you’re applying from, it sometimes takes even the most seasoned candidate a number of applications to secure their ideal role.
Leaving a settled and secure life for one of uncertainty is not easy, but remember you have done it once before. Think about the reasons you’re coming home in the first place – family, friends and the roast dinner on a Sunday. Utilise your ready-made support system to make you feel more at home and before you know it things will start to fall into place.