What is the economic/job outlook for a 20 something?

I’m a regular viewer of forum, and very interested in perspective of older posters and posters from abroad who have lived through a recession before because as a 20 something Irish male it’s hard to know in which direction one should go.
I haven’t worked fulltime in just over a year, and despite having heaps of qualifications and industry experience I’ve been unable to get full-time work.
What I have is seasonal, part-time work, short term contract etc which I am grateful for, but nevertheless, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay in the country long term with it.
At the minute I’m toying with the idea of returning to education full-time in the hope of getting something ‘secure’, ‘permanent’ and basically public sector health related in 3-4 years time.
My other option is to emigrate, ideally I’d like to stay here, but as things are it won’t be feasible and while it’s grand for a 20 something male, long term if I wanted to have kids etc, it just wouldn’t work.
So, given the options above, what would the more mature posters of politics.ie go for?

  1.  Stay, and fight the recession, hope for the best 
  2.  Get out of Ireland ASAP and emigrate
  3.  Return to full-time education and hope all is well in 3/4years time.

Reality is as a person in late 20’s, I do want to stay in Ireland long term but I’ve thought about it and if I went somewhere in years to come, and I liked it/had a reasonable career, I don’t know if I’d blame myself for staying overseas.
So, what’s the likelihood of this country being back on its feet within 5 years time and a decent jobs market for employees?
Is there anyone who has gone through this in the 80’s etc who could give a good bit of perspective?

There is an oxymoron in there somewhere :angry:

But seriously, my advice to you as someone who has emmigrated is to cooly evaluate your options. Write them down, make a decision and stick to it. Be not afraid, life is full of crossroads and you can never be sure that your choices are the correct ones before you make them.

AS for emmigration. if there is work for you in England then go there. You will be back 3/4 times a year and its a lot better than being on the dole in Ireland.

My advice is to emigrate. I did it out of choice, twice.
Once in '96 to Germany. Had a fantastic time, earned big bucks. Came back couple of years later.
Left again to Sweden in '05. Not for money, this time.
Any northern continental european country Europe is, in general, far ahead of ireland in terms of quality of life.
Learning a language is not a big deal. And all big cities have large irish ex-pat communities.
You can always move home after a few years.
I can’t understand how anybody who didn’t have committments would sit at home out of work for a year.

True, sure its easier and cheaper to get from London to Dublin as it is from Dublin to Cork. I loved my time in England, the only difference is the accent.

Whatever you do, be it stay in Ireland or go abroad -


I advise all 20 somethings to invest in their education and careers so that when jobs arise you are QUALIFIED to fill them!!

One of the questions the world asks of you is:


I think the more you can do the more you will be in demand and be master of your own destiny. As a 20 something you have one huge advantage - you have TIME on your side!

(Sorry if I sound preachy but I am passionate about this!!)

What are your qualifications in? If it’s construction, you’re probably going to have to leave. If it’s IT, you’d be mad to go, that industry is booming right now.

Considering he has been on the scratch for a year he probably isnt in IT!


You don’t appear to have stated what your line of work is.
This is important to your decision.

ICT is a sector that is still booming in Ireland as it’s export focused.
Retail, Construction, Public Sector and other Domestic focused sectors, forget it. All in decline.

Emigration is not the permanent thing it used to be. I prefer the word migration these days to be honest. You can move around various countries, cherry picking what best suits you.

Above all, don’t build up debt over the next few years, try to build up savings as cash will be king when the financial market as we know it is unwound into something sustainable.

I think you meant booming ?

I find if you change the question and ask ‘what am I staying in Ireland for ?’, the answer becomes more obvious.

If you can’t find a job, then emigrate.
Even if you do find a job, you’re going to be so screwed with taxes etc, you will regret not leaving.

Might sound harsh but what is wrong with that? Should we reward those who didnt bother their ass putting their head down and doing the work?

A 2.1 isnt exactly genius only stuff

I’m at a bit of a cross roads myself. I had been weathering the recession reasonably well until recently. I was made redundant last year, found another job straight away, less money but it was ok. Got let go from that two weeks ago. Again, would have been ok while looking for a new job but the woman’s place are now closing down so we’re a bit fucked.

We’ve a few bob put by and are renting so we’re not up shit creek or anything but we’re at something of a cross roads.

Background is, I’ve a B.Eng in Mechatronics and have been working in sort of design/process engineering roles for the last 5 1/2 years, pretty much since I left college. She’s a science grad and has been working in phamacovigilance for nearly four years.

We wondering what to do, the jobs market is pretty bleak at the moment. We’re both finding that any potential jobs (few and fare between I might add) are bacsically looking for someone who has done the extact job previously.

I’ve no problem emgirating but what is the best way to go about finding work abroad. I was at the working abroad expo recently and bacially if you weren’t a nurse or tradesperson forget you weren’t on the list. I spoke to the guy at the canadian embassy stand and his advise was “type engineering, jobs and canada into google.” I shit you not.

She’s more keen on the uk or mainland europe which is fine by me as well. UK is alright, I’ve applied for a few positons there in the last few weeks but what about mainland europe? Can anyine advice on the best way to go about seeking work there? If possible I’d like to apply while still based in Ireland.

Sorry if I’ve rambled a bit but I’d love to hear from others have been through this before.

I’d take a slightly different perspective: How is society changing? What do you see as the big issues that need to be solved over the next 30 years? How can you be of value to society? No matter what your qualification, you can work in up an coming areas. When you figure this out, find a place where they are actively solving these problems and know what they are doing. You will have great and in demand experience to bring back to ireland if you decide to. The important thing for anyone in their 20’s is to get great experience and become an authority in a field they like and which there will be demand for. Dont worry too much about money, humans can live on the smell of it if they have to. Money wil come if you can deliver something valuable anyway. Right now the renewable energy business is booming in the UK, because they are facing a severe energy crunch, don’t listen to the greenie, carbon abatement nonsense, it’s all down to dollars and cents. Just one idea, there are lots…

I was about to say that if you really want to study you should consider studying abroad; if you’re good enough to get into a top quality foreign institution then, IMHO you’ll get a better, broader education than you will at the institutions of mediocrity in Ireland.

The downside is that good foreign degrees are not recognised and rewarded in Ireland.

In in the UK and it’s fine but if I were in my early twenties and single I’d look to do something different Sweden, Germany etc.
Language - you can learn the basics - you have the spare time now; when you go abroad you can gain fluency when you get there.

Look at gaining expertise and carving out a niche for yourself;

At the risk of sounding all Bill Cullen show some drive and don’t rely on the ‘economy to pick up’ to sort out your life.

Experience from 2001:
My wife found a job in Paris via a company website; they flew her over for interview and later offered her the job.
I found a job in Paris using jobserve.co.uk.
I interviewed over the phone, then traveled at my own expense to interview in person. Thankfully I got the job.

This site seems fairly useful for Brussels: jobsinbrussels.com/

Is there an international association of Mechatronicians (or design/process engineering)?
Country- or city-based association websites can be useful for job hunting; a lot of them post job opportunities on the publicly accessible part of their site.

Best thing I ever did was to emigrate - the worst was to return to Ireland.

I’d consider Oz or the US - get some distance and broaden your horizons, you’ll never look back. The lifestyle is fantastic and you’ll soon realise that in Ireland things stay the same, and you can always come back. Ireland may well be a great place to live in 8-10 yrs time when all our emigrants start to return and bring some fresh ideas to this country. The gombeens have well and truly wrecked it for now.

Not sure emigrate is what I would call it but working away from Ireland for a couple years is definitely a great option for anyone. The UK is a good option in terms of jobs and proximity to home. I’ve been here for over five years and get back to Ireland at least every couple of months, if not more frequently . I plan to move back this year - goes to show you will always return home at some point.

If your career and personal development are important to you then go for it. It doesn’t have to Oz or NZ, as many pinsters have said any capital city in Europe will have options for you.

On the other hand if you want to retrain, change career path for the longer term then going back to uni might be your best option.

Good luck and be brave!

The issue with retraining is that it rarely gives you experience, which is what employers are looking for.

An aquaintance of mine recently qualified as an accountant - a great future one would think, but his job prospects are limited in Ireland as he has little PQE.

+1 this is a much overlooked point. There are other ways to start off with experience tough. You can offer to work for free and a specific area as long as you get PROPER experience in that area, and gradually start charging for your services. It takes a few hours to set up a blog and you can work self employed immediately, and you can probably get international clients quickly. Just another optino

maybe I’m biased but if I were hiring for a mid/high level job I’d think it a little odd if someone of my generation or younger didn’t have at least a years experience abroad (apart from a few career paths). Ireland is a very small country.

Moreover, setting yourself up in a new city and making new friends etc will develop you as a person.