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Relocating to Ireland: Dublin or Cork?

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Are you thinking of relocating to Ireland? For many, Dublin or Cork tend to be two most popular choices.

Dublin is Ireland’s official capital, has a population of just over 1 million, a vibrant culture and lots of business and job opportunities. Cork, in the South, sits as Ireland’s second biggest city with around 190,000 people living there. A smaller city Cork is easier to navigate, and although Cork doesn’t have quite as many large companies based there, there are many and lots of exciting roles.

Both cities are located around two rivers, both cities have airports, a lot of commerce, public transport, big international companies and vibrant cultures.

So how can you decide which is the right place to relocate to for you?

The Cost of Living

One of the main things that people focus on is the cost of living. According to the cost of living comparison websites, and my own experiences having lived in both cities, it´s cheaper to live in Cork that in Dublin.

Renting accommodation in Cork tends to be between 1.000€ and 1500€ for an entire house, while in Dublin you’d be lucky to find a one-bedroom apartment for the same price. Renting a private room in Cork would be around 500€, while in Dublin would be 650€+.

There are many more differences in cost including transport, meals and even expected salaries for the same role, with Dublin roles tending to pay more.

Although this makes Cork sounds like a better option, the reality is both cities have their pros and cons. Both have an amazing culture regarding history, traditions, festivals, theatres, galleries, etc. The people are also great and both cities have an amazing food culture.

Job Opportunities

With regards to job opportunities for foreigners in Ireland, there are a lot of opportunities particularly in Dublin City, but also in Cork.

Depending on the role you are looking for, Dublin has many large international technology companies including Facebook, Google, HubSpot, Twitter and Voxpro.

These companies all have EU headquarters in Dublin and good tech talent is very much in demand. Language skills are also hugely in demand so if you’re looking to move to either Dublin or Cork and have a second language, you’re in luck.

Regarding Cork, there are also quite a few big tech companies including Amazon and Apple, as well as many pharmaceuticals and industrial companies.

Whether you move to Cork or Dublin, you’ll experience Irish culture and the unique experience of working abroad, maybe even with one of the most famous companies in the world. By the way, just because you choose one or the other don’t forget it’s easy to travel from Cork to Dublin or to any other part of Ireland.

Ireland is small and the public transportation system is well connected with regular bus and train services.

Still unsure? I would recommend thinking about the below to help you choose the right city for you:

  • Decide which city to move to. Take a look at the city with the more relevant companies and work for you. Compare your options and see which one would be your ideal city to move in that matches your expectations. It’s not all about work, so make sure to take into account what type of lifestyle you’re looking for too.
  • Research about the position you’d like. The same position could be different in several countries or could require additional skills, etc. It is quite important to figure out the requirements and check if you have them and then reflect them on your CV. If you don’t have enough experience, you can take a look at the programs that some companies offer. Grad programs or temp work can help you to get experience and also would be a good step in order to get work in the near future.
  • Money! Moving country can be expensive in the beginning, and more if you move without work. Make a financial plan for the first months. This will help minimise stress and allow you the time to find a job you’ll like and settle in faster.

How can you relocate to Ireland?

Well, there are two main options:

Move with work

If you’d like to secure a role before moving to Ireland, I’d advise you to start applying for jobs online from your own country. LinkedIn is great for this and we have hundreds of live roles on our own job board.

Many companies are happy to do job interviews by Skype and will then pre-offer online. If you get an offer, you will have 50% of the “relocation process” already done. In this option, you should research how to write a good CV for employers in Ireland (you can find lots of advice in our free CV Handbook.)

Look for work once you are based in Ireland

If you’d rather immerse yourself in the experience you can look for a job once you arrive. You’ll be more likely to find a job, but this can be expensive as you’ll have a lot of expenses before you get your first paycheque.

The third, and simplest option, is to work with a recruiter who specialises in roles with language skills or knows the market here in Ireland. Originally from Spain, I now work as a talent sourcing specialist on Cpl’s Multi-Talent Hub team.

I know what it’s like to move to a new country and how difficult the decision can be! It’s now my job to recruit multi-lingual professionals for a variety of roles including user support and customer support, IT and safety policy operations.

If you’re interested in learning more about working in Dublin or Cork please get in touch – I’d be happy to advise.