Career Progression or Quality of Life? Kerry Offers Both

When Grainne O’Sullivan left her career in Dublin for a new position in Kerry, she never imagined that the transition would be such an immediate success. “Within a short couple of months of moving, any worries or guilt I had in terms of the decision to move from Dublin were alleviated,” she reveals.

On a hamster wheel

Now a project manager with Gallarus Industry Solutions, Grainne had spent the previous decade building a career as a project manager, first with PWC in Dublin and Seattle, and later back in Dublin, with KPMG and Novartis. The pace of life was hectic, but after the arrival of her daughter four years ago, she realised she needed a change. That’s when she decided it was time to move back to her native Killarney. She started looking for a new position in Kerry and was working within six months. Initially, she commuted from Dublin, working on the train, but she soon moved and hasn’t looked back since.

“You’re on a hamster wheel,” Grainne says of her life in Dublin. “It’s almost fight or flight mode 24:7 in all aspects of day to day life..”

Long days at work were followed by lengthy commutes and rushed efforts to spend quality time with her daughter. Now, she has more time to spend with her daughter and family and can get outdoors in the evening because she is not commuting.

Lower costs, higher quality of life

Salaries in Dublin are generally higher than they are in the rest of the country, but they have to stretch much further. Grainne reckons that she has gained financially since she has moved down

“Overall, costs have significantly reduced since I have moved down,” she says. Rent and childcare were her biggest expenses. With more money in the pocket at the end of each month, Grainne says she has more opportunities to invest for the future.

And it’s not just about rent and childcare: Grainne can pick up her child from the school five minutes after leaving work and be picnicking at the beach half an hour later. “Quality of life has just improved all around. With the national park at our doorstep in Killarney, it’s now even possible to go for a lunch time run, another big bonus for me as an avid runner.

An abundance of choice

Many people are put off the idea of moving out of big cities by an absence of career options if things go wrong. What if your family makes the big decision to move house, jobs, and school, only for you to be made redundant months later? Will you be able to find another position appropriate for your skills and experience? The short answer is “yes.”

Grainne was exploring career options in March 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 restrictions came into place.

“The variety of opportunities that were presented to me was surprising.” She now knows that it is possible to have excellent career progression in Kerry, along with salaries that are getting closer to what you might expect in Dublin.

Being based here already certainly helped open her to the range of opportunities available. She also cites the influence of KerrySciTech and the awareness it gave her of all the companies with a presence in Kerry.

Recruiting skilled staff in Kerry

Gallarus Industry Solutions operates in the area of Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0, so it relies on highly skilled staff to keep it at the cutting edge. Sourcing these staff in Kerry has not been an issue due to the impressive pool of skills available in the southwest region. They have also attracted staff from overseas who have found the area to be accessible due to the range of transport options nearby and fantastic amenities.

Location is not a limiting factor

Covid-19 has tested the abilities of companies to manage remote work effectively. Gallarus has not been adversely affected by the experience, however, hosting Zoom meetings and online workshops. “Our customers are largely international, and remote work has been very effective,” says Grainne. “There was never a stoppage during Covid.”

Grainne believes that you need not be limited by location “I haven’t witnessed any negatives from being based in Kerry,” she concludes.

Have you moved to a science, technology or engineering company in Kerry? Get in touch—we would love to hear about your experiences.