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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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.

gradpublicjobs.ie

Article by: Paul Kinsella