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

Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!

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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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Career Profile: Farm Business Owner

Imelda Kinsella is a farm business owner (Family partnership) from Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny. Her interests outside farming include travel particularly outside Ireland. 

Farm details

Area ha: 38 ha milking platform, 101 ha farmed in total in four blocks, of this 12 ha is leased
Labour: Family labour plus one full time farm assistant
Herd: 120 spring calving cows and calf to beef system

Career path 
  • Certificate in Farming at Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College
  •  Diploma in Dairy Management at Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College (including a twelve month work placement)
  • Home farming since 2001
Background

Imelda is farming in partnership with her parents Seamus and Marie on their dairy and beef farm. She was interested in farming from an early age. When she came home to farm in 2001 her parents were milking 65 cows and have gradually expanded to the current 120 cows. Entering a formal milk production partnership in 2003 allowed the Kinsella’s access milk quota to expand; it also formalised Imelda’s role on the farm and allowed her to have a greater management input.

Current role

Imelda’s role has changed considerably over the last 14 years. Originally she spent most of her time doing the daily farm jobs. Once she entered into a partnership she was involved more and more in the decision-making process for both daily management and long-term planning. Now she has the main management responsibility on the farm but still works closely with her parents and values their advice.

Up-skilling

Imelda has found her local Discussion Group to be a great place to learn. She was involved with Macra in local LEADER projects which helped her to learn more about business management.

Future career goals

Imelda sees a lot of scope to improve profitability at their current scale and so the priority is to improve this first before thinking about getting bigger. As well as a profitable business Imelda and her family also want to maintain a good work-life balance.

Article by: Teagasc