Gillian Plummer, SWAP’s former Ireland hosting centre coordinator, offers her tips for having the working holiday adventure of your dreams, in any economy.
Ireland has always been a popular destination for young Canadians wanting to work abroad: The pubs, the natural beauty and the accent do have their charms.
Although we speak the same language, the culture in Ireland can be quite different. Connections are everything and the connections you make in the first few days can really help, so it’s best to reach out and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities offered as part of the SWAP program. Be flexible, be proactive, and always remember to keep your positive Canadian attitude! It’s what we’re known for.
If you need advice or even a pep talk, drop by or call the hosting centre in Dublin; it’s their job to help you find work and make the most of your time abroad. Take advantage of their knowledge of not just the area, but of how to work with the locals. You’ll always be able to talk to a smiling face. Unlimited access to the hosting centre, resources and support in your chosen country is included in SWAP programs in destinations all over the world.
The Ireland hosting centre staff discovered in a recent survey that the average amount of time it currently takes to find work with their help is just one-two weeks. Remember that looking for work is a full-time job in itself, and should be treated as such. Arrival centres can help you establish a routine and can provide you with invaluable leads and tips. You are in a different country and you don’t have the same knowledge or understanding of stores, industries and locations. There is no shame in asking for help; that’s what the hosting centre is there for.
The easiest jobs to find are those in the service industry. If you are looking to find work in your specific field, add two-three weeks onto your estimated job searching time and it is recommended to make some industry connections before you come over. It is helpful to contact your arrival centre as they can provide you with some great leads. Ireland is brand new to you so everything from companies to résumés to grocery stores will be different. Take advantage of the knowledge of the arrival centre staff even before you land to help you get prepared.
We find that almost all Canadians absolutely love the experience of living and working in Ireland. When else in your life are you going to be able to live down the street from a 1000-year-old pub and decide that you much prefer the 300-year-old pub? Or on a drive to the north, randomly come across a fairy circle that is older than Stonehenge, and the only thing stopping you from touching the stones are the sheep? No matter what work you go into, it is the journey that makes it worthwhile.
It’s not just the professional field experience that enhances your future prospects: Anything you do work-related will only add to your résumé and make you a far more appealing hire. Someone who has been able to thrive in a foreign environment will be able to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds. As well, you have shown that you take chances and you don’t sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you!
Top Ten Reasons to SWAP:
- It’s now or never.
Visas have time limits so don’t miss out.
- Great addition to your resume
International work experience always shows maturity and adaptability.
- Support, security, and reliability
Great pre-departure and post arrival services, so you don’t have to go-it alone.
- SWAP services allow you to save money by getting organized quicker!
Non-SWAPPERs will waste more days and spend way more money than the SWAP fee by having to figure out for themselves.
- Leave the boring paperwork to us.
We take care of all the official documentation and give you all of the information you will need, leaving you free to have all the fun.
- Answers to all of your questions
Our staff, both in Canada and in your destination country, are there to answer any questions you might have and help you throughout your stay.
- Earn money to finance future travels.
Working holidays are a great way to fund future travels abroad.
- Experience overseas as a local.
As opposed to just being a tourist.
- Get a better sense of yourself in the world.
Working and living in another country gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself and discover who you really are. You’ll return home more confident and independent.
- Meet new friends…
… from all over the world. You’ll make lifelong international friends through SWAP.