Guest Blog: Why I Love Limerick!

Guest Blog: Why I Love Limerick!(Robbie Thackaberry, centre, with Jennifer O’Gorman, Recruitment Consultant from our Limerick office, and David Fitzgibbon, our Midwest Regional Manager) Robbie Thackaberry Logistics Project Management, Dell Limerick My girlfriend and I relocated to the Mid-West in 2016, and have recently bought a house in Limerick. Louise and I met when we were both doing a Masters course in Project Management in UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School from 2014 – 2015. It was a classmate who set the seed for a move to Limerick. She was already working in Dell Limerick and offered a great insight into both the company and lifestyle. Luckily, having been referred, we were both offered positions in the company, starting on the same day in February 2016. I have always lived in Clondalkin, Dublin, apart from one year in London, so the move to the Mid-West is a nice change of scenery. I originally studied my undergrad in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Trinity College from 2003 to 2007. Over the years, I have changed careers a few times from Engineering to Event Management and now Logistics Project Management. Having returned from London in 2010, I took what was intended to be a part-time role in an Event Management company in Dublin. This quickly turned into a full management position, which I held for four years. Over this time, I managed hundreds of projects and events across a portfolio of clients. While fast-paced and exciting, event management is very demanding. Working 60-plus hours a week is hard to sustain in the long term.  Also, it was a smaller company with a career ceiling. As I felt I had gone as far as I could with the company, I made the decision to work towards joining a multi-national in order to further my career. This was the primary driver in undertaking the MSc in Smurfit. Myself and Louise – who works in Global Services Organisation – are enjoying our new lifestyle and careers in Limerick. There’s plenty of opportunities at Dell; we have both been promoted within our first two years and we’re feeling pretty settled here. We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our house and are looking forward to having family and friends come to visit.  We were lucky to be able to buy a new-build house in a great area in Castletroy, just about a 10-12 minute drive from work. Overall, the process of buying the house was relatively straightforward. From speaking to friends, I think buying in Dublin at this time is more difficult. Given our budget, we would have had to compromise on size or location to buy in Dublin. The cost of living is much more manageable in Limerick. When we moved to Limerick, we rented a house in Dooradoyle for the first 18 months. The location was great, with only a seven to eight-minute drive to work. When looking for a place, the rental scene was quite competitive, but certainly not as expensive as Dublin. The commute from Castletroy, even though we are now slightly further from work, is easier than when I was working in Dublin city centre. I drove a motorbike in Dublin as it was great for getting around in heavy traffic. With the bike, I got from Clondalkin to the city centre in 25 minutes, but for anyone doing that journey in a car it would probably take about an hour. I feel the lifestyle in Limerick is more relaxed. People here generally have more free time than those in Dublin; I think that’s mostly down to the reduced commutes. Compared to Dublin, Limerick is small, but there is still lots to do and there’s always a great atmosphere when you’re out. It’s also easy to get around and there some great bars and restaurants. Limerick also has the added benefit of being close to the beauty of the west coast, only an hour from Galway and less than two hours to Dublin. The proposed motorway between Limerick and Cork will only add to this connectivity. It is evident that Limerick as a city is currently attracting a lot of investment, which can only mean great things for the future. Overall, Louise and I are very happy here, so we’re planning to stay for the foreseeable future. Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group would like to thank Robbie Thackaberry for writing this guest blog as part our MidWest Relocation blog series on living and working in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. For job opportunities in the MidWest, contact our Limerick office HERE  ...

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Can Encouraging People to Take Initiative Actually be Harmful?

As organizations face uncertainty and rapid change, taking initiative or being proactive is increasingly encouraged. In the main, being proactive is beneficial for both individual employee performance as well as for organisational performance. There is one circumstance when taking initiative has a negative effect on well-being for employees – when employees are motivated by a sense of pressure and coercion at work (termed controlled motivation) without any sense of interest or identification with their work (termed autonomous motivation). This was demonstrated in a recent article by Karoline Strauss (ESSEC, France), Sharon Parker (UWA, Australia) and Deirdre O’Shea (UL, Ireland), published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior. Proactivity at work involves self-initiating change or ‘making things happen’. It requires effort and thus drains employees energy, one of the reasons why it is associated with impaired well-being.  This research demonstrated that proactive work behaviour was positively related to job strain when controlled motivation was high and autonomous motivation was also low. Under all other conditions, there was no effect of proactive behaviour on job strain. Thus, proactive behaviour has costs for employee well-being when employees experience a sense of pressure and obligation in their work in the absence of any compensating interest or identification with their work. Under these circumstances, engaging in proactive behaviour is unlikely to be sustainable in the long-term, and it could result in more extreme forms of well-being impairments such as burnout, sickness absence and turnover. There is increasing pressure on individuals to engage in proactive behaviour in order to meet the expectations of the organization. It would be wise for organisational leaders and managers to take...

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Disciplinary Procedures & Employer Liability

For the purpose of today’s article, I will briefly focus on disciplinary procedures as this is an area in which employers most often come into difficulty and furthermore is the area where there is the greatest potential liability from an employer’s perspective. Also, this is a topic in which some serious considerations were raised for employers following the Judgement in Lyons v Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board [2017] IEHC 272. The background to the abovementioned case is that an external investigator was appointed by Mr Lyons employer to investigate a bullying complaint which had been made against him. The High Court noted that the process implemented during the investigation (separate meetings and the taking of statements without cross examination) is one which is routinely adopted by many companies but went on to state that “the exclusion of solicitors and counsel, and the refusal to allow cross examination … is a breach of the Constitutional right to fair procedures.” This represented a departure from previous case law in that it apparently extended the right to legal representation to investigation meetings and further it extended rights to cross examine witnesses. In essence, on the face of it the Decision in Lyons means that once an employer engaged in an investigation of a serious matter that could ultimately lead to a dismissal, then every employee involved would be entitled to bring a lawyer to each investigation meeting and, not only that, the lawyer must have the opportunity to cross-examine each witness who is saying something about his/her client. As alluded to above, the decision in the Lyons Case represented a departure...

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My Two Week Work Experience with Collins McNicholas

I walked out of my final college exam with a gleaming smile on my face. No more exams or lectures, I was ready to join the real world. Earn my keep and begin my career path. However, not only was I an excited graduate, but a confused graduate, with an interest in HR and Marketing. Having returned from my J1, I set about sending out my CV. I submitted my CV to Collins McNicholas. The following day I received a call from Director Michelle Murphy, she spoke to me about my CV and offered me the position to cover one week’s holiday leave at reception in the Galway Office. I jumped at the opportunity and started the following week as I knew this would be an invaluable experience. Everyone on the Collins McNicholas team was extremely welcoming and were happy to help when I had any questions for them. Aside from my duties at reception, the Collins McNicholas team invited me to help at a recruitment fair they were holding and also to sit in on the interview process, as they knew I held an interest in HR. As my week at Collins McNicholas came to a close, I was invited to return the following week, spending one day in the Galway office to see how the assessment centres were run, and to spend the rest of the week in the Sligo office with the Marketing Department. On Monday I observed an assessment centre run by HR Manager Caroline Ward and HR Consultant Emma Woods. They spoke with me about the different methods used to test various capabilities that...

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Guest Blog: Mid-West Relocation – Limerick’s Donegal Catch

LAST May, I was boarding my transatlantic flight at Shannon Airport. It was a busy morning, three of the metal detectors were open, and two people in front of me as we arrived at security. We each had a metal detector! And woosh I was through security – This sums up the “mid-west experience”. Welcome to Limerick, my adopted home! Not everyone is looking to “move back” to limerick and the surrounding area. Some of us, the “blow-ins”, have moved here purely for better opportunities, socially and financially, and so far, we are thriving! I left Donegal in 1995. I came down here to go to University. I completed my Physics degree and ultimately my Doctorate. I thought that I would move onto other things and other places, but as opportunity lead to opportunity, I’ve chosen to stay and avail of those opportunities. I have seen the city undergo a huge, yet silent, transformation. You would expect me to be working in a multinational, but I don’t. I’m working for one of the many smaller high technology companies that cluster around Limerick. We float under the radar. We don’t make the headlines, but we punch above our weight. Many of “us” work with some of the leading fortune 500 companies. There’s a whole community here of companies, big and small, and we exchange ideas, tips and coffees. We meet each other on flights to the US, Europe and beyond. From this part of the world we can support Asia in the mornings, straight through to California in evenings. And, more important, I don’t dread the eight-minute commute home if...

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