Laura Murphy, a UCC graduate from Cork, emigrated to New Zealand in 2013 to secure a job. She has since returned to Ireland and this is her story.
"Sometimes we have to leave home in order to find out what we left there, and why it matters so much" - Shauna Niequist.
As the plane touched down on the runway in Cork airport, I thought about the past two years of my life. I thought about the adventures I had whilst living in Christchurch, New Zealand, the friends I had made and the places I had been fortunate enough to visit. All of these wonderful memories I would cherish for the rest of my life, and my heart was bursting with excitement knowing that in just a few short minutes I would be meeting my friends and family, regaling everyone with stories of holidays and time spent abroad.
As amazing as the last two years had been however, the true joy lay in the fact that I was arriving back in Cork – I was coming home; and corny as it may sound, anyone who has spent a considerable time away from home will agree there really is no better feeling.
However in the back of my mind was a feeling that had been niggling me since my boyfriend and I made the decision to leave New Zealand and move to Dublin. He had been fortunate enough to receive a transfer within his company and therefore had a job as an engineer in Dublin secured before we left for our holidays. I was so happy for him. It left me wondering however, how things would turn out for me, and brought back feelings of doubt and insecurity that had plagued me two years earlier.
Before leaving for New Zealand in December 2013, I had been working in Cork but it had taken many months, several interviews, and quite a few disappointments before I had been lucky enough to secure this temporary position.
The economic downturn had resulted in many university graduates like me scrambling for the few jobs that were available. In the end, basic mathematics won out; there simply were not enough jobs or opportunities for my generation and so began a period of emigration from Ireland not seen since the 1980s. Sadly, I also had to join the ranks of people leaving, but I always knew I wanted to come back. Now, as I stepped off the plane and on to Irish soil, I was full of both happiness and anxiety. Happiness at being in Cork again, being home; anxiety at the thought of the journey that lay ahead in my search for employment.
There was however, a glimmer of hope. A friend from uni was now working as a senior recruitment consultant with Morgan McKinley. I got in touch with him in May when I knew I was moving back to Ireland but at that stage it was still another three months before I would be home. He therefore advised me that it was too early to be searching for work, and he would get back to me around the time I was due to arrive in Ireland. Greg kept his word and emailed me a week before I was coming home to see if I would be interested in a position in Dublin with a multinational technology company.
Within just one day, Greg emailed me to tell me I had an interview with a representative from the company. I couldn’t believe this had been achieved so quickly. To say I was delighted was an understatement. There was however one problem. I was going to be abroad for another week, and I didn’t know if they would wait that long to conduct an interview with me.
I need not have worried. Greg was happy to arrange for me to have a Google Hangout interview with the employer. Furthermore, he offered to have a practice Hangout interview with me, so that I was comfortable using this application. I was extremely impressed with his efficiency, and grateful for the extra effort he was going to in order to ensure my being abroad would not impede this interview opportunity. He also liaised with the company to ensure the interview time would suit the time.
As I write this, I am so thankful to say that I was successful in my interview obtaining a six-month contract in Dublin. It was scary leaving Ireland in 2013, but in many ways it was even scarier coming home, knowing that I was leaving the security of a job in New Zealand with no guarantee of employment in Dublin. I could never have imagined everything would fall into place so quickly and I am so heartened by how much things have picked up in Ireland in the time since I left.
Therefore, my own experience of returning to Ireland having worked abroad for almost two years has been extremely positive.
I can honestly say that with the help of Morgan McKinley and people like Greg, there are once again opportunities here at home to get interviews and achieve employment success with many global brands and companies, including Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn and Facebook.
I would strongly encourage anyone who is living abroad and thinking about coming home to get in touch with the Morgan McKinley Team and let them help you. It may just make your dreams come true.