herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

I'm not coming home while I can have a better life elsewhere

Amanda Allen (24) moved to London at the beginning of January and in five short weeks landed a job in her chosen career in publishing and, more importantly, a pay rise

The Herald Millward Brown poll this week revealed one in four families will lose a loved one to emigration. I am one of those leaving and I'm not looking back.

I had been thinking about moving to London for a while.

I had a good job in Dublin but, like most 24-year-olds, I wanted a better role with more money. There were very few opportunities in Ireland.

I didn't believe that I would get what I wanted in such a short time, but so far everything has gone in my favour.

The job hunt was slow to begin with and I was getting worried when I wasn't hearing anything back for days on end. The calls did come, however, and I ended up getting five interviews in one week.

From those five interviews, I was offered two positions so I got a pick of jobs, which is something that can only be dreamed of at home.

If this is London in recession, I would love to see it during a boom.

For me, settling in has been easy. Friends and family are already living here so I had a network of people I could call upon arrival, which has made a huge difference.

It's not a world away from home but it's such a busy place it would be easy to feel lost in the crowds.

If you don't make an effort to get out and about nobody will make the effort for you either -- so if you're thinking of moving here you need to get involved in London in every way that you can.

I think everyone will feel lonely at some point after a move but the great thing about being in London is that weekend trips home are very manageable. This is a great safety net to have in the back of your mind if you are unsure about moving like I was.

So far, I have had a great reception from everyone I have met and people understand your situation. I didn't realise it at first but I have met very few actual 'Londoners' because nearly everyone has moved to London at some stage from either abroad or within the UK. This is a huge help and people genuinely understand what it's like.

With the Olympics being held here in 2012, it seems like a great time to be in London. There is a buzz around that just isn't at home at the minute.



CONCERN

People are in the shops, in the bars and in the restaurants, and that makes a huge difference to the mood and outlook of the city in general.

I haven't been here long but already the recession is at the back of my mind because it really doesn't affect me day-to-day.

In the long term, home will always be Ireland and I fully intend to return in a couple of years.

My main concern when I was moving was when I would be able to come home and find a good job with good pay -- but I guess I will just have to wait and see.

It may be five years or it may be 10, but I'm not going to come home while I can have a better life elsewhere.

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