What Are Your Working Holiday Job Prospects?
You are old and grey, sitting on a leather couch by the fireplace, sipping on a steaming cup of Barry’s tea, when a little child crawls around the corner of the armrest.
“Grandma, can you tell me a story?”
You pick him up and sit him down on your lap while sifting through your memories, fragments triggered with every wisp and crackle of the flames. There was that time you and your friends went on a West Coast road trip. There were those annual family ski trips in Colorado (oh, how you tumbled down the slopes!). Then, you look down at your cup of Barry’s and smile.
“Well, once, a long time ago, way before you were born, I worked as a barista in Dublin.”
“Wow!” he exclaims. “What’s a Dublin?”
You go on to tell him about your desire to travel after you graduated college. A bunch of your friends decided to head straight into grad school. Others tried to start their careers and commenced their job searches. For you, those things could wait.
At that moment, you were young, independent, and free from the shackles of schooling for the first time since you were five years old!! Grad schools and a career would still be there when you returned from your travels.
You go on to describe the feeling of awe when you saw the Cliffs of Moher, how small you felt next to its majesty; the simple yet beautiful pleasure of seeing the blooming gorse covering the hills of the countryside, a sign of spring; walking the lush paths of the Powerscourt Gardens; the vibrant events and festivals that take over the city, ranging from intimate live music gigs to international film festivals; and the creamy pints of Guinness… well, you can talk about that when he’s older.
And this experience wouldn’t be possible without the working holiday visa, if you hadn’t been allowed to work to fund your stay.
As I’ve mentioned before in a recent article, working holidays give you to chance to be more than a tourist. It gives you the opportunity to earn money so you can stay longer, make memories, and experience authentic cultural immersion in a foreign country. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.
So what kind of employment are you likely to get on a working holiday?
While many are tempted by the possibility of finding something related to their careers, it’s extremely unlikely and difficult to find work in professional employment. However, most working holiday participants will have no problems finding employment in “casual work.” (And that’s where the bulk of your job search efforts should go.)
Examples of work opportunities include:
- Working in hospitality or retail
There are a myriad restaurants, cafes, pubs, and hotels serving locals and tourists alike and they are always looking for staff members. These jobs often have the lowest barrier of entry as prior experience is often not required for most front-of-house positions. (Bonus points if you do happen to have experience as a chef or barista.) Likewise, retail jobs are aplenty, from small independent shops to department stores, if you know where to look.
Pro-tip: In the hospitality and retail industries, it can be difficult to find jobs from November to January as well as July (around mid-summer) as most positions will have already been filled in preparation for the busy holiday and summer seasons. Otherwise, there are plenty of positions available through the year.
- Being a “temp”
Temporary and contract jobs are practically made for working holidays! Register with a temp agency (shout out to our partners at La Crème) and if you’re deemed suitable, you’ll receive various gigs, usually in an office setting, from jobs lasting a few days to a months at a time.
- Looking after children as an au pair
If you’re great with kids, why not try your hand as an au pair? An au pair often lives with the host family, providing childcare in exchange for a stipend and accommodation. Au pair relationships are facilitated by agencies to ensure the safety and protection for both parties. It’s a great way to learn about the local culture and feel welcomed immediately in Ireland.
A phenomenon that’s allowing many travelers to volunteer their time in foreign countries, the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) network connects volunteers with opportunities to gain first-hand experience working in farming or gardening. While these opportunities are unpaid, hosts will provide food and accommodation in exchange for your labor.
- Overseas transfer
Sometimes, if you’re working at a multinational company with branches operating in Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for a transfer. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s certainly worth your time to do the research as it can save you a lot of time and effort.
- Shot in the dark: Silicon Dock
As you might know, Dublin is the European home of a herd of companies that include Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Airbnb, LinkedIn, and Squarespace, just to name a few. There’s a demand for talented individuals, especially those with multi-lingual or technical abilities. These opportunities are competitive but you won’t know what happens unless you give it a try!
If you’d like to learn more about working holiday opportunities in Ireland, give us a shout.