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 Afra Ronayne from ESB to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Afra Ronayne

Mechanical Engineer

ESB

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  Afra Ronayne
I would advise somebody considering this job to talk to people who are engineers already. They should try to talk to people working in different areas of engineering as even when people do the same degree they can have very different day to day jobs, from full time office based jobs to full time site based jobs.

Also it is important to remember that even if you complete an engineering degree you are not limited to a purely technical career as there are plenty of other areas you can get involved in like project management or finance.
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Naturalist?
Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Career Advice Looking for Work

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Looking for Work

Whether you are currently working, unemployed or in education, the process of finding and applying for a job is relatively the same. 

Looking for work requires a positive attitude and careful planning. Job hunting is hard work but it can also be a journey of discovery and your motivation level will affect your chances of finding employment.

You will feel much more confident approaching this phase if you have done some thinking and preparation. It also helps to understand the job search as a process or journey. Mastering this process is a very important step to developing skills in managing your own career. 

Overcoming negative attitudes

When you are unemployed or unhappy in your current job, worried about money, anxious about how your qualifications measure up and are afraid of rejection, you may sometimes find yourself struggling to keep a positive attitude.

Your confidence is a vital element in your work search - employers want to employ people who believe in themselves. Nothing destroys your self-confidence faster than a descent into negativity, worry and fear.

What you think about yourself affects both your expectations and your behaviour. If you think you can't succeed (for example, "No one will hire me because I was fired" or "I'm too old/ too young /not educated enough") you'll feel defeated by your negative thoughts before you even begin your job search and may act in ways that are likely to create negative results.

Consider the following:

I'll take any job I can get.
You're probably selling yourself short. You're a unique individual with many skills and interests. There are many things you can do. If you follow up on areas that interest you, or that you already have some skills developed, you will have more motivation and a more positive attitude. (see section on Career Interests and Career Skills)

If you don't know what kind of work you're looking for, you risk taking jobs you don't like or aren't well suited for. Targeting your job search is much more effective than widely distributing hundreds of CV's to random companies. If you're not sure what you are interested in, create a Career File on this site, and use the career Interest Profiler to match occupations to your interests. Also, take some time to complete some self assessment exercises to assist you in having a broader understanding of yourself.

I'm only qualified for one type of work.
If you think you're only qualified to work at what you're trained for or have done in the past, you may be unnecessarily limiting your options.

Stop thinking in terms of job titles and start thinking about your skills. For example, teachers have communication skills, organisational skills and leadership skills. Hairstylists must be skilled at making customers feel comfortable, marketing products, dealing with cash and working efficiently. These skills are required in many types of work, and could easily be transferred to different jobs that also require such skills.

To find out what skills you have that could transfer to other kinds of work, download our Career Skills worksheet and complete the self-assessment exercise.

I have no idea what I want.
Consider rephrasing this - what have you got to offer? If you have considered just about everything and nothing stands out, then you are not ready for a serious job commitment. So don't go looking for one - just take stock of what you have to offer (skills, knowledge, experience, attitude, personality, values etc  - take some self-assessment exercises if you aren't sure) and take any opportunity that you can as part of a learning process. You will be surprised how much experience you can clock up in just one month of any job, and you will always be wiser as a result.

Planning a Job Search

If you are going to take your job search seriously, then you need to understand the process. We provide a comprehensive overview of the process to help you on the way in our Searching for Jobs section.