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 Jonathan Pugsley from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Jonathan Pugsley

Energy Manager

Sustainable Energy Authority

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Jonathan Pugsley

Communication and team skills are probably the most important aspect overlooked.

In energy management, it is not I that saves the energy, but often it is folks on the ground using the equipment.

It is the energy managers job to educate by communication, the importance of doing the right things, savings then come as a result.

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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Career Profile: Herd Manager

Michael kennedy is a Dairy Herd Manager from Glenville, Co. Cork. His interests include both hurling and football. 

Farm details

Area: 45 ha
Labour: His father Martin who also works off-farm, Michael and relief help once a week.
Herd: 116 spring calving cows

Career path
  • Level 5 Certificate in Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College (1 year)
  • Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Dairy Herd Management Kildalton Agricultural College (1 year)
  • He has worked as a herd manager for 1 year
Background

Michael grew up milking cows. His father Martin also has an off-farm job with O’Dwyers steel which is one of the reasons Michael decided to go home farming. The herd is pedigree Holstein Friesian and both Michael and his father have a big interest in breeding.

Overview of current role

Michael is responsible for the herd and grassland management. Martin used to measure grass occasionally but Michael now religiously walks the farm every Monday. He uses the grass figures to discuss any actions needed with his father. Both pick the team of bulls to be used on the cows and both help to keep the herd records up-to-date.

Up-skilling

Michael learned a lot from the weekly grass walks every Monday in Kildalton. He also learned a lot during his two work placements, on a 300 cow and a 180 cow farm. He has started attending a discussion group and also hopes to join a young farmers group in the future.

Career goals

After Michael came home farming, he and Martin decided on a five year farm plan. Reseeding and improving the farms infrastructure are the two main goals. Michael wants to learn more about managing the farm’s finances and sees himself taking on more management responsibility in the future. 

Article by: Teagasc