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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Sarah Cahill on Promotion to Assistant Principal

"I find the flexible working hours and family friendly environment invaluable as I have a young family."Sarah Cahill, Promotion to Assistant Principal. 

I currently work as an Administrative Officer in the Investigation and Prosecutions Division of the Revenue Commissioners. My background was in Finance; I obtained a B.Sc. in Management & Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology and then chose to pursue the Chartered Tax Adviser qualification from the Irish Taxation Institute.

I worked in a number of small to medium sized accountancy firms during my tax training and post qualification period. I joined Revenue in 2010 and my work consists of the management of project based investigations where substantial tax risk has been identified. This position has required me to have specialist tax knowledge and has allowed me to further develop my management, interpersonal and negotiation skills.

I have also gained valuable experience and familiarity with the tax appeals and legal process through working with the Revenue Solicitor’s office and Senior Counsel in relation to numerous appeals and High Court Judicial Review.

The main factor that drew me to a career in the Civil Service was the opportunity for progression and advancement available within a large organisation. I also find the flexible working hours and family friendly environment invaluable as I have a young family.

Promotion 

Shortly after I completed my bio for gradpublicjobs.ie I was promoted to the position of Assistant Principal. Having first entered the Civil Service four years ago as an Administrative Officer I was delighted to have achieved this next step in progression within that time.

In gaining promotion to the next level I had to show the selection panel that I had the qualities, skills and attributes of each competency through discussing my role and approach on projects and key pieces of work over the previous 2 – 3 years.

I made a point of always ensuring my performance goals at the beginning of each year were informed by competencies for Assistant Principal so that each project and task I worked on helped me to develop and improve my skills in a focused way.

I approached my managers about gaining more experience and was interested and willing to take on new and different projects and tasks. It was also important to effectively demonstrate the skills I had to enable me gain the opportunity to improve and acquire new ones. I also sought out opportunities to get involved in working groups and committees to increase my knowledge of the business and to make new acquaintances across other areas of the Department.

While I have now been promoted to the position of Assistant Principal I am currently awaiting assignment to my new post. I am looking forward to moving to a new area and expanding my experience in a different area of the business.

gradpublicjobs.ie 


Article by: Sarah Cahill