Returning home is well worth the effort


Like many others who have been working abroad, Ms Deirdre Ashe, (32), and her husband, John, decided to return to Ireland about a year ago - encouraged by the economy's continuing buoyancy. The couple had a four-month-old baby and wanted to be closer to family. "The driving factor, the thing that made us do it this year rather than any other year was the fact that the economy was so good."

Ms Ashe graduated with a degree in Economics from UCG in 1989 before undertaking an MBA at Sheffield University.

From there, she moved to London and worked in the advertising and healthcare industries before following her husband to New Zealand in 1997, where he had been offered a job as a research scientist.

In New Zealand, Ms Ashe worked for Boots as marketing manager and then with Telecom New Zealand before she and her husband decided to return to Ireland.

Surprisingly, she says it was impossible to secure a job offer prior to returning. For Ms Ashe and her husband, it seemed many potential employers and recruitment consultants would only consider them once they had made the move.

"John had spent a lot of time trying to make contacts on this side of the world, with minimal success. When they get an e-mail from New Zealand people just throw it in the bin."

Once they had decided to settle in Dublin, Ms Ashe eventually secured a job with the VHI as general manager of marketing.

Although she has never worked in Ireland, life here is nothing like she expected. "It's exceeded my expectations in terms of how more involved the industry has become and more outward looking. Everything has a global context, whereas years ago I don't think it had."

The task of moving back to Ireland all the way from New Zealand is clearly no walk in the park, but she says that they were surprised at how difficult it was to organise minor things like a mobile phone, car insurance, and not being able to open a bank account from New Zealand and wire money across.

"Little things like that made it very difficult. When you're making the decision to move, you don't think its going to take weeks and weeks to sort out small issues like that."

However, aside from these small frustrations, she and her husband have no regrets. "This time last year we were in New Zealand packing boxes and we're really happy about where we've gotten to in the last 12 months."