A brain drain for Ireland as economy buckles
For the first time in my life I felt like my work ethic, my morals and my determination were null and void. Deflated, disheartened and not content with erratic freelance shifts, I like so many other disillusioned graduates made a decision.
I went online and applied for a U.S. visa. It was time to cut my losses and leave.
In Ireland today over 400,000 people are signing on the live register for unemployment benefits. That in itself is an incentive to stay away. One common sentiment echoed among my family and friends is at home is, “Stay where you are.”
Mainly due to Ireland’s economic disarray, I have enough college friends around the globe to keep me couch surfing for a year. Eoin in Winnipeg; Sinead in Vancouver; Alan in Hong Kong; Victoria in Melbourne; Yvonne in South Korea; Sophia in Barcelona; Antoinette in Frankfurt; David in London.
Modern day technology means we are only a mouse click away. All conscious of Ireland’s state of affairs, we often discuss our musings about prospects back home.
Eoin had been working with a host of reputable radio stations in Dublin before he applied for the Canadian year-long visa. He acknowledges that like so many other graduates, he was very focused on career goals.
“I had been working extensively in the media industry since I was 19 and had been taken up with the job ladder for the next four years. I devoted my life to working towards a pretty unattainable place for someone my age,” he said.
“In the process, I became very cynical about everything and in my early twenties found I'd become someone who I didn't enjoy being. I wanted to do something about that and so I decided to head to Vancouver.”
Like your average Irish person, he has very plain views about the cause of Ireland’s economic downfall.
“The economic crisis didn't just appear 'because of America,' as I've heard many-a supposedly educated person say. Our country is the way it is now because of the people in it. We created the mess,” he says.
“Mistakes were made, trusted professionals committed spectacular errors of judgment. Their legacy is there for all to see at the moment.”
Eoin recently got offered a job with FOX Soccer Channel as an anchor and reporter in Winnipeg. This Irish export will be broadcast nightly across the U.S. and Canada on FOX. Yet another Irish graduate that got away.
For many of us ex-pats the prospect of returning home to become another statistic in the dole queue is not very appealing.
Eimear graduated with a degree in journalism from Dublin City University and spent the last year living in New York City. She interned with a publishing house while in New York, and admits that the job market here in New York is also very competitive.
“There's fierce competition for internships in New York, but there's also so many opportunities that it's hard to get disheartened -- there's always something else to apply for,” she feels.
“And there's so much variety that you can really specialize and do what you love. The flipside to the thriving internship culture is that paid jobs are really hard to come by.”