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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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Social?
Social
The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Adult Learner

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Adult Learners


Every year, thousands of Adult Learners, ranging from early school leavers to people with a disability, to jobseekersdecide to go back to education on a part-time or full-time basis.

The reasons people decide to return to learning are wide and varied too:

  • Maybe you want to improve your job prospects?
  • Perhaps you are exploring a career change?
  • You may want to update your skills (information technology has transformed the workplace and we all need to constantly upskill to keep up-to-date)
  • You might simply want to learn for fun?
Whatever the reason, there are lots of opportunities out there for adult learners.

Going back to study as an adult can be daunting, particularly if you had a negative experience of formal education. The good news is that, as an adult learner, you decide what education and training options best suit you. Adult learning options are wide and varied and they are designed to be enjoyable, relevant to your interests, flexible and to fit in with work and family life.

When considering to further your education, consider whether you want your course to lead to a recognised award or not. Many adults simply want to learn about an area that interests them, and are not concerned with qualifications. On the other hand, if your course promises a recognised award, it is important to know who accredits it - otherwise you may not be able to use it for getting a job, or continuing your education further.

Click here to explore awarding bodies with the authority to accredit courses

Follow the links on this page to find courses that suit you, and explore a range of supports that may help you on your way.