From Digital Nomad to Galway City Slicker

Hello all,

This was going to be my last post for 2016, but with Christmas and New Year travel, I didn’t get around finishing it, so here goes! Boy, what a year! Just over a year ago, I decided it was time for a big change on the job front. I had been home-based for the last 5 years, supporting Magento’s Enterprise clients worldwide. I worked with the largest names in E-commerce, and learned so much, and had the privilege of working with the most creative, hardworking, inspiring people I have ever met. (If any of you is reading this, it really was great fun working with you). But it was time to move on… So what IS a “ Digital nomad”, I found this definition on the wibbly wobbly net via the every so reliable Wikepidea.

Digital nomads use wireless internet, smartphones, Voice over IP, and cloud-based applications to work remotely wherever they live or travel.[3][4] Digital nomads also often use coworking spaces, cafes, house sitting agreements, and shared offices in major cities around the world.[5] Digital nomads tend to travel, while they continue to work with clients or employers.[6] This sort of lifestyle presents challenges such as maintaining international health insurance with coverage globally, abiding by different local laws and sometimes obtaining work visas, and maintaining long-distance relationships with friends and family back home.[7] Other challenges may also include time zone differences, the difficulty of finding a reliable connection to the internet, and the absence of delineation between work and leisure time.[8]

Yes, I think I qualified as Digital Nomad, except than that I was at home for most of the time, and as a perk, I had the opportunity to travel for work. I got to see places I’d have never been before, probably the most memorable standing in front of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles ( See below).

My visit to the Hollywood Sign
Yes, that was one of the many highlights. Maybe I am starting to miss the travel ( a bit).

These days there are many opportunities to work from home, although in my experience very few Irish companies offer this option. For me, it was a Godsent, and, for most of the time, it suited us as a family perfectly. I was able to drop off the kids ( then 5 – 7) and pick them up in afternoon, which is a privilege very few regular employees get. If the kids were unwell, they would stay home, and I would continue to work as usual, keeping an eye on them. So no childcare costs, and no commute (unless falling out of my bed to my office counts as a commute). For those who are reading this and are dreaming of working from home, there are opportunities, and if you really search for it, you will find. Trust me.

After 5 years working from home though, I came to the point that I felt very disconnected from the rest of the world, and was looking forward to have human, face to face contact with fellow employees and lunchtime shopping. Technology is wonderful, but it does change something in your brain when your day is spent communicating virtually. I found this Tedhour Podcast very interesting about the changes in society, lack of human interaction, compassion and much more.

There has been a quiet revolution happening in Galway City, and as I started my job search, I discovered there were a number of new, mostly American software companies that set up in the city and also many promising start-up initiatives and incubators. Some of the vacancies on offer require people to have at least one European language. If you have a few languages and experience ( or a great attitude), there really are a number of opportunities, and Galway is your oyster:). I’ll be dedicating a few article on where to find those jobs, and a few things that will be usefull to know around moving to Ireland.

Below are just a few articles that touch on this new wave of innovation, technology and job opportunities. Particularly the last article is very detailed and gives you plenty of scope to dig deeper in opportunities or get an idea what Galway City has to offer:

From Portershed to Jobshed – Published December 2015
The Portershed and much more a year later Published December 2016
Foreign Direct investment and Job creation in the West Published January 2017
Overview of the Galway Startup Ecosystem Published January 2017

Oh yes, for those familiar with the phrase Galway being the graveyard of your ambition, it really is what you make of it. I found a job at SmartBear, and one of the deciding factors was reading this article. The author moved on before I started, and as there are now nearly 30 of us, we are moving into a new building the week after next! As it happens we are recruiting for new talent, check out our vacancies here and send me your CV to send me a message and I’ll pass it on.

I’ll be restarting my interviews with small business in the West of Ireland at the end of the week. Below is the list of interviews I did.

2016 Small Business Interviews West of Ireland

I interviewed 14 small businesses in the West of Ireland, to learn what they are doing and give them an opportunity to tell their story!
Quickest Fox Marketing - Galway County Interview
Micro Biz Awards - Island wideInterview
The Dutch Bakery - SligoInterview
Meet the Wool - ClareInterview
Ziplines - Craughwell, GalwayInterview
Earthwise - Gort Galway CountyInterview
Connemara Math - Connemara ,Galway Interview
Hayes Vegetables Gort - Galway Interview
Ireland West Taxis - MayoInterview
Clare Therapy - Gort, Galway Interview
Galway City Cycles - Galway CityInterview
Insight Stories - ClarinbrdigeInterview
Irish Lift Inspections - Oranmore, Galway CountyInterview
Foliodigital - Athenry, GalwayInterview

If you are interested to get featured, or know a small business that would benefit in exposure, click here to send me a message And yes, if you could share this post, I’d appreciate.

Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook!

Happy New year!

Katleen

 

 

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  3. Very cool to hear your experience Katleen, as a current digital nomad it’s helpful to hear how others found the process. There’s certainly pros and cons (like any work situation) but the lack of face to face can be draining. Thankfully all the amazing events on around Galway give me a great chance to see people and learn so much. Thanks again for the blog and your facebook page, it’s a wonderful way for me to keep up with whats going on around Galway and I know a few friends who are job searching and have found it very useful. Best for 2017!

  4. Pingback: Galway's Startup Scene : 2017 Snapshot - Donncha Hughes, Business Trainer, Advisor & Mentor