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 Keith Hayes from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Keith Hayes

Ambulance / Paramedic

Health Service Executive

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  Keith Hayes
At a minimum get your Leaving Cert, that’s required anyway. But don’t sell yourself short aim for a third level college qualification, something like a science degree. It may not have obvious benefits now but the career is changing direction so fast it could stand to you big time.

Take your time in applying I joined the service when I was 25 yrs old and looking back I think around that age is the right time. When you consider some of the calls we attend and things we may need to deal with, joining at 17 or 18 after the Leaving Cert with little or no life experiences may turn you off because it is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.
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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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Communications Consultant - European Commission

"The EU needs ‘digital natives’ – millennials who can help the EU click, copy and code its way to a more digital existence." Ian McCafferty, Communications Consultant - European Commission. 

After completing a BA in English and History at University College Dublin, I worked as a volunteer with various NGOs and non-profit organisations before deciding to pursue a Masters in International Relations in Dublin City University. This led me to take on an internship in a small NGO working with migrant communities in Ireland, which eventually evolved into a full-time job.

Over the next few years I held a number of positions related to advocacy and project management, culminating with the role of Head of Communications. That was my springboard to the EU.

Stagiaire at the European Commission 

Having become increasingly aware that many decisions being made in Brussels had a direct impact on people in Ireland and elsewhere, I wanted to get closer to the decision-making process, learn about it in a hands-on, practical manner and develop my capacity to communicate about it to raise awareness and, ultimately, get more people involved in shaping those decisions. I applied to become a stagiaire at the European Commission and was selected by its Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM).

Over the course of the five month traineeship I took whatever opportunities came my way: I had the chance to write and to develop presentations; I asked to undertake trainings and play a role in various projects; I looked to learn what I could and get involved where possible. As a result, when a vacancy within DG COMM’s Social Media Team arose toward the end of my traineeship, I was in a good position to apply.

Social Media

The opportunities are there if you look for them. My job is to give the European Commission a voice online - more specifically, on social media. Social media is driven by storytelling, the art of which is to know your audience. As audiences vary depending on the platform in question (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc), my job is to tell a story in different ways across social media.

Every story is different and so is every day at my desk. Our approach to presenting the Commission’s key messages is always evolving, as is the way we react to responses and collect and analyse the resultant data (e.g. number of people reached, engagement rate etc). I am constantly learning. Irish graduates can bring a lot to the European Institutions: new perspectives; personal opinion; fresh energy.

The EU needs ‘digital natives’ – millennials who can help the EU click, copy and code its way to a more digital existence.

Being a native English speaker is definitely a big advantage. Having a good grasp of at least one more language is one step further. If you like the idea of working with a multi-cultural team of talented and passionate people and want to make a real difference, the EU could be for you.

gradpublicjobs.ie

Article by: Ian McCafferty