Mary’s Story: From Ireland to Luxembourg – Overseas Accountancy Careers



We assisted Mary to move from Dublin to Luxembourg where she secured a position with a Big Four firm. Three years later she returned to her native Ireland. Recently, we caught up with her to find out how she feels her international move has been for her career.


Why did you originally decide to move overseas?

I spoke French and wanted to use it. In terms of becoming a Chartered Accountant, it was one of the reasons I did my qualification. I knew it would allow for the flexibility to work abroad. I also had friends already working in Luxembourg who recommended it as a great place to live.


How did Think Global Recruitment assist you in securing your job overseas?

I knew I wanted to go to Luxembourg and you had the connections there, so I was confident you could help me.

Did you have any concerns with moving overseas?

I already knew people living there, whose opinion I valued, so I had no concerns at all about the location. I knew I would miss my family though.

When you arrived in your location how long did it take you to settle in?

Properly settling in took a number of months, I did initially find myself feeling homesick and flying home was expensive.  However, I was doing cross-border work so I was not in Luxembourg for extended periods of time.

Did your move meet your original expectations and how?

Yes, definitely. I was able to use my French and become more self-reliant. From a technical standpoint, I was able to learn new skills and diversify my experience to improve my CV. I was also very happy with the opportunities to travel around Europe as part of my role.

What was the biggest benefit of moving?

There was a noticeable improvement in the standard of living compared to Dublin due to the bigger salary packages. This continued when I went back home as I was able to get a higher salary due to my experience.

What were key things that stood out to you about Luxembourg?

The salaries, the benefits, the fantastic health service. Luxembourg is a clean and safe environment and is great for children’s education. It’s a central European location which offers a multilingual learning environment and excellent sports facilities.

What cultural differences did you notice?

It was quite difficult for those who did not speak French to integrate with the locals. In terms of work, for non-French speakers, site visits would also be quite challenging, given that the clients may not always speak English.

So when did you decide to go back home?

After 3 years I decided to move back to Ireland to be closer to my family.

What, in your opinion, are the advantages of working overseas?

It’s good for your CV and helps in terms of networking and meeting contacts for the future. You get the opportunity to learn how other cultures operate and improve your language skills. This ultimately allows you to command a better salary as a result of time spent abroad.

What advice would you offer to Accountants thinking about working overseas?

You should definitely do it. Get your qualifications first, then choose an area of specialism and find out what opportunities are available. 

What would you say are the advantages of applying for a job through Think Global Recruitment?

You have proven track record and an excellent network of contacts.

Do you believe the original move you made with Think Global Recruitment has enhanced your career?

Very much so.  I currently have a fantastic job in Ireland that I would not have got without my time in Luxembourg. My French greatly improved and the exposure to other cultures and companies has benefitted me greatly both professionally and personally.



We would like to thank Mary for taking the time out to speak to us and wish her the best with her career back in Ireland.

Please get in touch with us here if you would like to discuss moving overseas with one of our advisors.