8th anniversary of this blog!

Hi all,

This blogpost has been sitting in my draft section for over a year, so I thought it was high time I publish  it!! Before diving in into writing my first blogpost on this blog 8 years ago, I have to tell you another story first to understand the context:)

In 1993 , I moved from Antwerp ( Belgium) to Dublin, met my now husband, and in 1996, we moved to Galway, lured by an interesting offer in a startup. It’s funny how this all went, as I had been applying for a number of jobs online, but in those days you didn’t really know where the job was you were applying for. One day I received a phone call, asking if I was still interested, and I had to ask where this job actually was. They told me it was in Galway. I had been to Galway once before, and all I could remember was that it rained – the whole time- so I wasn’t so sure I wanted to go to the place “where it was always raining”.. I took the train to Galway, and had my interview in the lobby of the then Great Southern hotel on Eyre Square, now the Meyrick hotel. I admit I had kind of forgotten about this “crucial” event in my life, and experienced this strong déjà vu when I was in the now( much fancier) lobby this ( actually last year’s )Christmas party at SmartBear. The circle was round!

My first interview in Galway

Sadly, the start up I joined didn’t last very long, I lost my job, and I had to start afresh. All wasn’t lost, as I learnt a skill that would come to stand to me.

One of the founders was very keen for us to learn HTML, and  tasked us to set up our own website to understand what is involved in running a website. I remember buying a book on HTML and found it all very fascinating. We could choose any subjects, but he reiterated it had to be something that we loved, or something we knew a lot about. I decided I would set up a website( blogs didn’t exist yet) on Angelfire, with resources about Ireland, and more specifically about finding a job. I started with the basics around transport, recruitment agencies, but there was also a “live” aspect about, in the sense that I had a running overview of all the job announcements as they came in. We got married in 1999 and just before our wedding, my website on Angelfire got hacked, and I lost all the content I had so carefully collected. The kids were born in 2004 and 2006, and it was Christmas day 2009, visiting our in laws in Northern Ireland, I resumed my writing, this time on Blogger and a few years later I moved to WordPress. I sort of added the topics again, but never really got back into it, and published various articles about my travels, holidays and of course jobs/job news.

Fast forward to today, 8 years later and it’s Christmas day 2017, I am still very interested in the job market in Galway!  Back in September I set up a Facebookpage in September called Galwayjobconnector, to provide info about the opportunities there are in Galway. The part I enjoy most is the  weekly newsletter I publish, to go over what’s happening on the job front, what companies are moving to Galway, what skills they are looking for etc. and publish/re publish free job bulletins. Having experienced first hand what it means to move to a new country/city, it’s my way of giving back to those who came after me, and have no idea where to start. I also have this idea of doing a weekly Facebook Live to showcase jobs, and we’ll see how that goes:) Follow my page if you want to get insights in the Galway job market!

As much as jobseekers get lost in the maze of information, employers are finding it harder and harder to find the right talent, so to marry the two sides, I am part of a team of people that set up Opentalent, to bring people from all backgrounds to Galway in April  to interview with Galway companies that have open roles. And if that’s not enough, we are adding a brand new concept of job speed dating, where talent can meet with employers and have a conversation. Follow our Facebook page here to keep informed of what companies are taking part. Register your interest in the job speeddating here.

For now, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and may 2018 be full of joy!

XXX

Katleen

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