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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.

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Administrative?
Administrative
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Adult Learner

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Up-Skilling Courses +


A number of government upskilling programmes have been developed which aim to encourage individuals to continue their learning and increase their skills level. Many of these programmes include financial supports.

If you are unemployed, or want to further your education, there is likely to be a support programme that will help you financially, while doing a course you may be interested in.

Most upskilling courses are designed to assist unemployed people to improve their skills and increase their chances of getting employment. Detailed information on current Employment Programmes can be found in our Job Seekers area

For information on Employment Programmes click here

Did you know?

From May 2018 Springboard+ offers 8,088 free places on 245 courses leading to awards at certificate, degree and post-graduate level. The majority of courses are part-time for a maximum of 12 months and are open to all eligible applicants regardless of their employment status.

The following are eligible to apply for courses in 2018/19 academic year (subject to the applicant meeting all requirements, e.g. academic requirements):

  • Retuners (Formerly known as Homemakers)
    • May apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria.
  • People in employment
    • May apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria.
    • Please note that a 10% course fee contribution for Level 7, 8, and 9 courses is applicable for employed participants. This is payable directly to the provider.
  • The unemployed or formerly self-employed
    • all courses are open to these category of applicants, with the exception of the two year part-time ICT conversion courses which are not open to those in receipt of a Jobseekers-related payment
To search courses: click here

MOOCs - Massive Online  Open Courses

MOOCs are free courses that are available to anyone. They don't give you a recognised qualification, but they do provide an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge of a subject, or if you simply want to upskill. Some MOOCs are designed by the top universities around the world. Here in Ireland, MOOCs are offered by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. All you need to participate is internet access. A searchable database of MOOCs is available here.

Need advice on what to do?

With so many possible courses, and a variety of different financial supports available, many people choose to discuss their options with a local careers advisor. Government based services provide free consultations and are available nationwide.

Click here to go to Adult Guidance Services