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Irish girl needs a job please help!


Hi all, I’m 24 and moving to Belgium. I’m from Ireland and speak English and a bit of french. I am a qualified makeup artist and I have been working in a call center for the last 3 years doing admin. I find it almost impossible to find an English speaking job in this country. Ideally I would not like to be an au pair as the money isn’t great. Can someone please advise me of any jobs or recruitment agencies that can lead me in the right direction?? Thanks I’m advance!


As a makeup artist you could contact Mad Brussels They are all about the fashion and design industries and helping people and jobs and projects connect. They have a number of different divisions (see website). You could contact Elke Timmerman at and if she can't help you she can probably direct you to the right person or department.

Jan 7, 2018 20:17

As a 24 year-old with a qualification in make-up artistry, you're going to need more kills/experience, better languages, and I'd suggest you go off and get yourself a decent degree in something employable.

You don't have the technical skills or experience to be able to get away with the lack of languages. If you were 30, had been working in something like TV for the past 10 years, you might have a fighting chance without FR and NL.

Wrong skills and lack of languages = shit money. If you can get paid at all.

Jan 7, 2018 21:17

Please ignore J suggestion about getting a degree in “something more employable” clearly J is from an era where a good degree was free or cost were minimal and meant guaranteed work which sadly is long gone. However the language side J is correct that the better your skills the better your potential emoloyment. People often advertise on places like this for child care but you appatently think its under your pay expectations and from what you say youre unqualified fir a full time nanny job which would require qualifications or Experience. Getting work with only english maybe possible but its not going to be easy. You dont say if youre coming with a partner or family but if so you maybe able to ask your commune for some language courses but these may not be starting as you arrive. I have never been but believe people to people do english speakers job seekers coffee sessions i cant post a link just goggle that and add the word brussels. All the best

Jan 8, 2018 08:42

It would probably be best for you to set up as an independent and then contact film and TV production companies, as well as theatre groups. There are a surprising number of theatre productions in Belgium that all need make up. You might start with the many amateur theatre groups ( They're volunteer-run, so they might not pay anything, but it's a way to start meeting people and build up a local CV.

Jan 8, 2018 12:32

Well, it's good ideas what people expressed here.
But I think, they have no ideas about the job market in 2018.
You can have degrees, good knowledge of languages & work experiences and it can bring you nowhere.
The job market has changed even the more qualified persons struggle to have positions.

But for me if you are makeup artist, you could find a lot of opportunities as there is full of culturals events in Brussels, you could try the Bozar where there is a lot of culturals events
But actually I am Irish too living in Brussels, I could send you if you want some ideas about what I know of cultures here in Brussels.

Jan 8, 2018 18:15

I assume you are moving to Bruxelles as you only mentioned Belgium.
You should try for the unemployment office - for Wallonie , Brussels - - Flanders - - Good Luck!

Jan 8, 2018 18:57


Unless you set up as an independent, you'll most likely pay more in tax in Belgium. Why are you considering the move to Belgium? Is it to learn French/Flemish or for a relationship etc? These will greatly impact on how best to proceed.

If you are looking to move to Brussels to improve your French, for example, I would suggest that this city isn’t the best place for a native English speaker to learn French as it is far too easy to slip into English to get things done here. However, it would make finding a job easier in the city. You might want to look at another city in Belgium or an alternative country though if you intend is to work on your French/Flemish skills. If for a relationship, that pretty much will determine where in Belgium you will look to establish yourself. However, if you are indifferent, then your level of French/Flemish might be something to consider. Once you decide on the location, with limited work experience, it might be best to “play the Irish card” and work at an Irish bar/café. That way you’ll most likely need to practice and thus improve your French/Flemish but will be able to find a job based on English only. You can then look to explore opportunities. However, if you want something similar to the call centre you previously worked at, most international companies have a strong requirement for native English speakers over French/Dutch speakers. I have worked in Brussels for several years and although French/Dutch are required for my job, I have never once had to utilise either language for professional purposes due to the international nature of my line of work. Look at the websites of large multinationals based in Belgium and contact/apply for jobs directly (Microsoft/Mastercard/McDonalds/Pfizer/GSK/Honeywell etc all have offices in Belgium and might be looking for someone with your skill set).

If you are looking to utilise and grow your make-up artist skills, it can be difficult field to break into. You might want to join a theatre company and volunteer your services to build up your local contacts and networks. Having a job while you crack into that area would at least keep you ticking over.

Best of luck with your job search

Jan 9, 2018 14:19

Hi Aishling! I recently moved to Brussels from Ireland, I'm also 24. It is tough finding a role which doesn't require English as a pre-requisite. I would advise searching on LinkedIn and perhaps some of the international companies will be looking for roles such as administrative assistants. To secure a job in the make up world, your best bet would probably to inquire with the different cosmetic stores in person, Mac, Department stores when you arrive. Freelance could be a good option too and I think there is a gap in the market. Belgians lack the makeup expertise that us Irish have and love!
I would warn you about the heavy taxes here in Belgiam. I transferred from Dublin office with my company and my take home pay is 30% less due to taxation.
Sorry I cant be too much help with the job front but if you need any advice or living locations and general tips about Brussels, feel free to reach out. Good luck !!

Jan 9, 2018 14:43