The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Belfast
A city jam-packed with traditional pubs, jaunty live music and a bustling atmosphere essential to any Irish capital, Belfast is the perfect place for city dwellers. Yet with coastlines that locals call the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ just an hour’s drive away, it positions itself perfectly for those who like to escape.
Thanks to plenty of brand-new development, this vibrant port town is quickly establishing itself as a cosmopolitan hub. So much so that Lonely Planet ranked it the best place to visit in the world. With friendly Northern Irelanders, great craic and golden beaches nearby, it’s not hard to see why so many flock to Belfast.
A little bit of history…
- Birthplace of the Titanic, its museum is one of Belfast’s most well-known. You can enjoy afternoon tea in a re-creation of the ship’s original grand staircase for the (ideally not) full Jack and Rose experience.
- The Causeway Coast serves as the iconic backdrop to the Game of Thrones series. Take a walking tour of the Giant Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and walk down the Dark Hedges to recreate your own Westeros experience.
- Birthplace of C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia were inspired by Belfast’s nearby countryside.
- Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven was first played live in Belfast’s Ulster hall in 1971.
- Belfast’s political history is written on its walls. Explore the town and you’ll see colourful murals telling tales of ‘The Troubles’ that will stop you in your tracks in sobered awe.
Jobs in Belfast– where to start?
So, you’re thinking of moving to this Irish capital. But how do you go about finding a job in Belfast?
The city is one of the best places to look for new horizons, with Belfast containing 30% of all Northern Irish jobs. Positioned as the top European destination for new software development projects, Belfast has thriving digital, IT and manufacturing materials engineering industries. Regardless of the sector, you’ll be sure to find a vast range of opportunities and businesses to work for. And if you’re wondering where to even start, why not check out some of the current third sector jobs available in Belfast on CharityJob.
Resources for job seekers in Belfast
Want to know what jobs are available in the private sector? Here are a few recruitment agencies you can get in touch with:
Or need a hand with your CV? Check out these resources:
And what about working for a charity in Belfast?
Belfast has a broad non-profit sector, with many big names choosing to install themselves in the capital for their Northern Irish head office. With thousands of registered charities in the country, you’re likely to find somewhere that aligns with your passion. If you’d like to be updated with the latest opportunities in the city, you can set up a job alert for charity jobs in Belfast.
Or if you’re looking for ways to volunteer, there are just as many opportunities. From supporting the elderly through befriending services, to lending a hand to some brilliant children charities, you’re bound to find your niche. Volunteer Now is a great volunteers’ centre located in the city, and their website has up-to-date listings of volunteer opportunities across the capital.
Some larger charities with bases in Belfast include:
Some great local charities include:
Employment market in Belfast
Celebrating their record-high national employment rate earlier this year, which has since increased to 72.3%, there has never been a better time to live and work in Belfast. The Information and Communication and Science and Tech sectors have particularly high predicted growth-rates, where job numbers look to double in the next 20 years.
You can find regular updates on Belfast’s employment market on the Northern Irish Statistics and Research Agency.
Living in Belfast
Where the most of the UK’s property prices are plummeting as a result of Brexit, Belfast has defied the odds and seen their property prices rise faster than anywhere else in the UK. And with rental costs an eye-watering 280% cheaper than London’s, it’s not hard to see why many consider it a sound investment to relocate to Belfast.
A 3-bedroom Victorian terraced house in the beautiful Queens Quarter sells at around £110,000, whereas the average rent in the city is £604 per month.
Young professionals may be interested in Ballyhackamore, an up-and-coming area filled with bars, coffee shops and a lively buzz. Belmont, on the other hand, is an affordable, suburban location for young families with great schools in the vicinity. Or for those who like to live in (or spy on) large houses, Malcone is the city’s most coveted postcode.
Traffic and travel
The Translink is Northern Ireland’s main train service and provides frequent commuter trains to the city. Belfast’s Translink Metro buses is a well-stocked, easy to use service and the city’s Glider buses provide an even faster route for those travelling between East and West Belfast. With the DayLink travel card, take as many buses in a day as you want and get charged a maximum of £3.50. A price to make any Londoner green with envy.
And for venturing out of town, the Expressway route can get you from Belfast to Dublin in under 2.5 hours and The Stena Line ferry has regular departures from Belfast to Liverpool.
What’s happening around town?
Don’t think that Belfast is in any way haunted by its past, this upbeat and cosmopolitan town is brimming with arts, culture and (did we mention?) lots of pubs…
The Crown Liquor Saloon is Belfast’s Victorian pub containing pew-like private booths historically purposed for ‘proper women’ who didn’t want to be seen drinking in public. Or if you can manage the squeeze, Bittle’s bar is Belfast’s most narrow pub.
Containing 3000 acres of parks, many of which are forested, Belfast is the perfect place for nature-lovers looking to forget that they’re in a city. Take a scenic stroll in the Botanic gardens and Palm house, enjoy the rewarding city views at the top of Cave hill or get lost at Belvoir forest park.
For those more adventurous, Northern Ireland contains the 1,280ft high Mourne mountains where, on a clear day, you can see the coastline of Scotland.
The same town where George Best learned how to dribble a ball, Belfast has sporting nobility in its family tree. Whether it’s football, rugby, even ice hockey, you’ll find yourself well catered for in Belfast. But whilst you’re there, why not try your hand at Gaelic football? This is the sport for those who think regular football involves skipping about trying not to get dirty.
Both Gaelic football and hurling are Ireland’s most popular spectator sorts, regularly filling up the stands at Casement Park.
Theatre and Music
With a constant circulation of plays, musicals, stand-up comedy and cabaret to choose from, Belfast is a hot spot for evening entertainment. The Lyric is popular amongst locals, whereas Accidental Theatre is great for experimental performance.
For a grander evening, catch the opera, ballet or a musical at the gold-trimmed Grand Opera Theatre, where locals have flocked to since the 19thcentury.
Music has been this city’s heartbeat for centuries and Belfast remains a go-to for live music. The Ulster Hall has seen music royalty grace its stage and is a popular tour stop for artists, whereas the SSE Arena in the Titanic Quarter is where the really large masses gather.
The pedestrianised city centre is the perfect spot for some retail therapy where Victoria Square, the city’s largest shopping centre, boasts a broad range of luxury and high street brands. But you won’t have to look hard to find a large number of independent shops in this city. In fact, over half of the country shop at independent grocers for their everyday food shop, proving Belfast to be an easy place to live and shop ethically.
If Belfast sounds like the kind of place for you, then here are the jobs that’re currently available on CharityJob.