'Boundaryless careers'. Polish professionals on the Irish labour market
Department of Sociology Trinity College Dublin Dublin, Ireland
After Ireland opened its labour market to nationals from the new EU member states (NMS) in May 2004, it became an important destination for many Central and Eastern Europeans. The debate on this East-West European migration, however, tends to mainly focus on NMS migrants who work in low skilled positions in Western European economies. Relatively little is known about NMS migrants in more skilled occupations. Hence, this paper will focus on those migrants who work in more skilled positions in construction, IT, financial services and hospitality sectors.
Using data from an ongoing qualitative panel study, the presentation will look at Polish migrants in Ireland who are working as middle-level professionals. The paper will endeavour to sketch how those migrants construct their careers beyond states' and organisations' boundaries. Migrants' working lives will be analysed in terms of what Arthur (1994) described as 'boundaryless careers' concept. Analysis will investigate whether the freedom of movement within the European labour market has opened up new career opportunities for this group of migrant professionals. It will also explore whether we can currently observe the emergence of new international career trajectories in the middle of the European labour market. Finally, through examination of choices related to acquisition of qualifications and professional associations' membership it will focus on how migrant professionals perceive their working lives, in regional, European or global terms.
Arthur, M. B. (1994). "The boundaryless career: a new perspective for organizational inquiry." Journal of Organizational Behavior 15: 295 - 306.