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 Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer

STEPS

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Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.
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Realist?
Realist
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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Paul Kinsella on the Local Government Graduate Programme

"The programme includes a process of structured training in year 1 and accredited learning with a professional body in year 2." Paul kinsella. Local Government Grad Programme. 

I studied French and Business in Waterford IT and started a career with Aer Lingus for 7 years, followed by a career in the private sector which offered me opportunities both at home and abroad.

In 2003 I returned home and took up a position as a Clerical Officer in the Public Service with Meath County Council. I worked in diverse areas such as planning and housing. I decided to further my professional development and applied for refund of fees option provided through our HR department.

I was successful and I completed a B.A. (Hons) in Public Management followed by a M.A. in Public Management through the NUI at the Institute of Public Administration, graduating in 2011 with a special interest in social housing provision. I have availed of the opportunity to experience a temporary role as a Housing Investigation Officer investigating matters surrounding anti-social behaviour in council estates in Meath.

I was promoted to Assistant Staff Officer in Cavan County Council and I consider this was a key factor in the development of my career. In May 2015, I came through a competitive open competition through the Public Appointments Service (PAS) for selection onto the inaugural Local Government Graduate Programme as run by the Local Government Management Agency.

There were opportunities available in 5 streams – my chosen stream being Economic & Enterprise Development. I was successful in my application and I joined Fingal County Council on secondment for the 2 year programme as a part of a team of 12 graduates (I call them the 12 apostles!) across the 5 disciplines of the programme.

The programme includes a process of structured training in year 1 and accredited learning with a professional body in year 2. The best part of the programme to date is the camaraderie, vision and sharing of insights amongst my fellow graduates which happens virtually on a daily basis.

Fingal County Council is committed to developing the graduates in terms of an interesting worthwhile structured agenda of learning. I aim to also commence Ph.D studies in 2016.

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Article by: Paul Kinsella