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 Margaret Donaghue from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:

Margaret Donaghue

Prison Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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Margaret Donaghue
Learn as much as you can in any situation that presents itself. Never be afraid to try something even if it scares you to do so. And give it all you have. Be a good listener and a good communicator and be fair.
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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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Q and A with Thomas Street Volunteer Ambassador

"I’m a pretty outgoing and social person and have always loved chatting with people. Volunteering in the Liberties area has led me to meeting many different nationalities and lots of different characters with their own story to tell.", Paula Connolly - Thomas Street Volunteer Ambassador 

What inspired you to start volunteering?

I have always felt strongly about issues such as homelessness and drug rehabilitation, having great admiration for volunteers who dedicated their time to such causes. I myself previously became aware of the Thomas Street Programme last year and immediately got involved in a volunteer role myself when the programme began this summer.

How would you describe your role as a Thomas St. Volunteer Ambassador?

As Ambassadors to the area we are always on hand to offer assistance and advise to both tourists and locals. People often see us in action and are very curious about the work we do - it’s a great opportunity to share some of the sites and history of the Liberties area.

What aspects of the role do you really enjoy?

I’m a pretty outgoing and social person and have always loved chatting with people. Volunteering in the Liberties area has led me to meeting many different nationalities and lots of different characters with their own story to tell. There are so many areas you would normally stroll by without a second glance but there are often stories to tell about these historic areas and I love sharing them with visitors and the local community.

Which is your favourite landmark in the Liberties area?

St. Audoen's Church is a personal favorite of mine. There is a lot of impressive architectural detail to the building and so much history to go with it. Not many tourists or even locals are aware of this fantastic building but it’s one I like to point people in the direction of.

Do you feel The Thomas Street Ambassador Programme has made a positive difference to the area?

The programme does a great job of spreading awareness of the areas history and culture. There is so much to the Liberties that people don’t know about, the vast majority of tourists are attracted to the Guinness Storehouse but they are always happy when we share the story and history of sites like Christchurch Cathedral as well as Francis Street and Meath Street.

What advice would you give to someone interested in volunteering?

I’m a great believer in volunteering and giving back to the community. I have met some lovely people during my time so far and have made some great friends along the way. There’s no better place to contribute than your own local area and volunteering has proven to be such a rewarding experience for me.

Paula Connolly ~ Volunteer Ireland 


Article by: Paula Connolly