Monday, 23 June 2014

the absolute best of news

It's been a long and often frustrating road for me, career-wise. I finished up my education as the recession in Ireland was really getting into the swing of things, and with the labour market as precarious as it is in the UK getting a decent job in London seemed highly unlikely for someone with a skill set such as mine. 

Leo and I made the decision to take a 'time out', he from a great job in a Swedish bank, and me from combining market research and waitressing in my 60 hour work week precarious hell. We made a break with our old lives, moved to Copenhagen,and began a carpentry and design course (here's the tag all of the carpentry posts are in). 

Those 7 months were scary. I'll be perfectly honest. While it was idyllic living in a snowy Copenhagen and there were no money worries, as the course rolled around to a finish it became clear that life was changing. What to do now? Stay in Denmark? Learn Danish and try to get a job that isn't the dreaded Australian themed restaurant (the single worst place I've ever worked, for sure)? As the course came to a close I tried to make the best of things. Leo somehow managed to wrangle an amazing job, and started basically the Monday after we finished woodworking. He also found a nice apartment. 

I, only the other hand, was in an inbetween place. I was 3/4 in Ireland, learning to drive (everyone should have a manual license, they're some serious skills worth having) and doing an internship which ended up being hugely important for the learning experience it afforded me. 1/4 of the time I was back in Copenhagen visiting Leo and wondering how it was all going to tie together. 

Getting my license took longer than anticipated (I had no car to practise in and was a complete, how do you say, n00b, so it took 4/5 months to pass the test) but by February I was back full time in Copenhagen, doing the full-time Danish lesson thing and cycle upwards of 16km per day to and from the apartment Leo had purchased on the outskirts of the city. After a while I got myself another temporary job, earning good enough money but in no way on career path. 

And then, out of the blue, came the most fantastic opportunity, so amazing I can barely contain my excitement when I think about what it means for the future. I received an offer for A FULLY FUNDED PHD!!!!!!! I still can't believe it. The project I will be working on is a dream, I will be examining austerity measures, the labour market, and the welfare state, I get to use qualitative research methods, and furthermore it means I'm one step closer to being able to move back to Ireland permanently, with the hopes of making a life for myself/us there. 

So, as of October, I will be relocating to Durham in the north of England, which I could not be happier about. As common sense dictates, Leo will have to keep his job in Copenhagen for a time, but I'm secretly (or not so secretly) hoping he'll pack in the whole banking thing and do something more creative/meaningful. Life is short, too short for managing risk for a corporate giant. I am so glad to have been given this opportunity. It's been so hard being a young graduate in the economic climate we found ourselves in. I can't emphasise this enough. I've finally, 1 1/2 years after finishing my Masters, been given the opportunity to begin on a significant and meaningful career trajectory. 

I'm not only glad for myself, and for all the hard work that I can do, but for how I might be able to help Irish society. Ireland is such a wonderful little country, but becomes less and less focused on equality as time goes on. I hope to work hard in the coming years to make it a more equal place.
For now, I'm counting down the days to handing in my notice at this housekeeping job, working really hard to improve my background knowledge on UK political and welfare contexts, and day dreaming about living in the north of England. Life sure is exciting!

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