When working in Dublin my perception was that everywhere the far side of the Shannon was some sort of wet, green wasteland. I pictured it as littered with Supermac’s where people spat on their hands to signify closing a deal (I’m sure my friends and colleagues in Galway will love me saying that!).
As the workload in Dublin got ever-higher in recent years, when the alarm went each morning I thought to myself, how long could I sustain myself financially if I didn’t go in to work at all. People often use the term “firefighting” when describing the modern workday grind but I don’t feel this does it justice … it’s more akin to stepping inside the reactor at Chernoybl every Monday and firing it up each week!
I used to think that unsuccessful people are unsuccessful because they sit around doing nothing. However, my experiences so far have taught me that it’s often more likely caused by taking on far too much, and never quite bringing any tasks or projects to fruition. That said, I can’t deny that I very much enjoyed my time in Dublin but I always felt that, in order to grow and develop into a more well-rounded engineer, I needed an opportunity to work outside of the capital.
So, when the opportunity presented itself – by opportunity I mean my partner telling me we’re moving to Galway next year – it gave me a unique chance to reinvigorate my passion for the industry while also maintaining a healthy work/life balance which was becoming increasingly difficult to do in Dublin.
I’ve been working with O’Connor Sutton Cronin and based in their Galway office since June of this year, although my role does involve the occasional trip to Dublin. To date I’ve found that projects in Galway don’t move at quite the same pace as in Dublin. Even more important still is that project management programmes operate in an environment where contractors, clients and designers work closely and form a reasonably-happy union. By contrast, some projects in Dublin were like a marriage gone wrong, even before the project arrived on site!
In my current role I’m split between our Dublin and Galway bases, the brief being to work with my colleagues to secure more projects in Galway by providing a quality level of service to our clients and design team partners
But so much for the work environment. What about the environment full stop? It has been an adjustment acclimatising to Galway weather. If Bob Dylan was right and the answer is indeed blowing in the wind, then someone from Galway must have heard it by now! I’m told the August we just experienced was “exceptionally bad” and that it’s not normally as wet. As wet? According to Met Eireann it rained 20 out of the 22 working days in August and, if I’m to be honest, I can’t recall either of the dry days.
Despite the perpetual wind and rain though, Galway is a city with an electrifying atmosphere and enchanting streetscape and scenery, not to mention the vibrant and friendly locals. It is an inclusive place bursting with art, music, culture and craic. It’s easy to see why visitors from all around the globe – including this one particular visitor from the east – have such an affection for it.
PS: I’m still Chairman of CIBSE Ireland YEN (Young Engineers Network) and continue to spread the CIBSE Gospel in the Galway region. Drop me a line at email@example.com to get involved.
Expect another letter in the new year.