Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.

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Creative
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Back to Work - Self Employed


Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.

A Back to Work Scheme called the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance started in May 2009. There is no qualifying period for the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance. You can get immediate access to the allowance if you meet the qualifying conditions.

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is payable to people aged under 66 and to be eligible you must be:

  • Setting up as self-employed in a business that has been approved in advance in writing by a Jobs Facilitator or Partnership Company
  • Getting one of the qualifying payments below for at least 9 months:
    • Jobseeker's Allowance 
    • Jobseeker's Benefit     
    • One-Parent Family Payment
    • Blind Pension
    • Disability Allowance
    • Carer's Allowance (having stopped caring duties)
    • Farm Assist
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Incapacity Supplement
    • Pre-Retirement Allowance
    • Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
    • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
    • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance or
    • Illness Benefit for 3 or more years.
The website selfemployedsupports.ie has information on the services and entitlements available if you are self-employed and your income is reduced.
For more information: click here