Our wee country is special. It has a unique charm and was recently voted the world’s most welcoming city. Northern Ireland is rich in culture, has beautifully rugged coastlines, an epic food and drink scene, a booming job market and of course craic like no other. Northern Ireland has come a long way in the last 30 years and is renowned as a great place to work and live.
In recent years, we have seen several globally recognised brands open offices in NI, a return of top talent that had previously moved overseas, a flourishing nightlife, and a new appreciation for NI across the world. Check out what the team at MCS think are some of the best things about Northern Ireland.
1) Job Market
Historically, one of the major reasons people left NI was to go in search of career opportunities that were perceived to not be available at home. Suffice to say, things have changed. Phil thinks this is one of the best things about NI and we are sure you will too.
Northern Ireland is very much on the rise. In recent times the employment landscape has changed beyond recognition and whilst Tech and IT roles have played a key role in reshaping the job market, that’s far from the whole story. We have seen homegrown businesses rise to compete on the world stage and have proudly received some of the world’s biggest employers to our shores such as ASOS, TP ICAP, Allstate and Thales. The demand for talent across a wide range of professions is at unprecedented levels and the roles available are high quality with plenty of opportunities to progress.
What’s more, with the demand for talent at an all-time high, not only are the roles available of higher quality and more varied than ever before, but we are seeing rising salaries, wider packages and benefits which are much more encompassing.
In short, if the only thing holding you back from returning to Northern Ireland is your career, you might want to think again.
After living abroad in Australia for several years Lucy returned to N. Ireland and hasn’t looked back since. She shares her perspective on the unique culture our wee country is so loved for.
Northern Ireland is a country steeped in history and this makes for a country rich in culture. We have emerged from a troubled past with a once negative perception globally to a place now recognised and appreciated for its openness, friendliness, and welcoming nature. The city of Belfast itself is rich in history and culture; from the old, cobbled streets of the Cathedral quarter filled with pubs dating back to the 1600s which are now donned with globally recognised street art, the juxtaposition between old and new only adds to our cities charm. In recent years the restaurant and food scene in Belfast and NI has reached new heights with plenty of options from fine dining to pub grub, to local food markets- Did you know we have three Michelin Star restaurants in our wee city??? On top of this, the nightlife is great, choose from live singers to traditional music to DJs in a club, you will have no shortage of options to keep you entertained into the wee hours. There truly is something for everyone in Northern Ireland and there is no doubt that the rich culture is what so many love so much about NI.
3) Craic and the people
Northern Ireland is known for its people and their banter. After all, they are what drew Andrew back home after living in France for several years. Check out his take on the craic at home and what drew him back to Belfast.
I moved over to Scotland for University I never thought I’d return to NI. But after a few years, return I did but with a view to moving yet again, this time to France where I had the pleasure of running Ski resort Operations for a well-known travel brand. Snow, sun, fresh baguettes and overall joie de vivre, never mind the Irish accent having its advantages, suffice to say I loved it! After a couple of seasons and summers spent at home, Northern Ireland and indeed myself had changed and had turned down a job in Amsterdam I found myself at a crossroads – continue to enjoy my life of foreign living or listen to the call of home? I chose the latter with a view of finally staying in one country for more than 6 months at a time, and of finally settling down and perhaps getting a goldfish and a girlfriend – which is my go-to joke when asked why I gave up an awesome lifestyle.
I missed us, as people. We’re hardy, self-deprecating, dark humoured bunch and no matter where I have wandered in the world, there really is nothing like us Norn Irish lot. The city and NI had become more modern, more cosmopolitan with a booming hospitality trade and foreign investment coming into our province. My family and even my friends who had moved further afield all started migrating back because there really is no place like home, having a support network around you, meeting lifelong friends again and of course, drinking proper pints of Guinness whilst having the craic, in the only place you can really have proper craic, in NI!
4) The Great Outdoors
Ireland and NI are some of the most stunning countries in the world. The rugged coastlines and white sandy beaches are world-famous with several featuring in the world’s best beaches lists time and time again. Not to mention the sprawling forests, hidden trails, and hundreds of sprawling parks to choose from. Martin shares his take on the beautiful island of Ireland:
Living in the bubble that is ‘Norn Iron,’ we can easily overlook how beautiful our little plot of land is. Simply looking from afar, even online, does not do it any justice. The true appreciation comes from being out in nature, in peace and quiet, either by yourself or with those close to you. Topped off with a hot coffee, a great chat, and a few sugary treats to keep you going.
Here are Martin's Top 5 Walks in NI:
- Slieve Bearnagh, Mourne Mountains
- Slieve Doan, Mourne Mountains
- Portstewart Strand
- Slemish Mountain
- Cushendun Cliff Walk
5) Housing Market
The bang for your buck in NI compared to across the water, both in terms of renting and buying, is a huge appeal for many returning or moving to NI. Two of our team recently bought their first homes and shared their experience of doing so:
Saradha: “I moved to London for University and ended up staying for over 6 years. It was a fantastic place to live and work, and I met my fiancé over there. However, it just wasn’t a place that I felt like I could settle down in. We decided to return to Northern Ireland and were able to buy a 3-bed house with a garden here which we recently moved into. This is something we could never have done in London”
Sharon: “Returning to NI after living away, I admit that initially, my plan was to stay in Belfast until I figured out the next move. However, over 6 years later and I’m still here and now living in my own home. The city quickly charmed me, and I doubt I’d be able to afford a 3-bed house close to the sea anywhere else in the UK!”
So, if you have been considering returning home, or perhaps making a move to a new city, then there is no better time than the present. Trust Us, Future you will Thank You and NI is waiting with open arms.
If you want to discuss the exciting careers that could be waiting for you when you return, contact one of our specialist recruitment consultants today!