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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Self Assessment

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Personality

Having the right personality for the job can help enormously. Finding an occupation that 'fits' your personality sound like it should be easy, except when we consider that 'personality' is a very complex thing to measure!

There are many personality theories, and some have been adapted for use to guide occupational choice. In general, personality self assessments are probabily better for personal understanding than for occupation selection, yet they can provide added depth of information from which to refine your choices.

You can take our free personality test when you login to your Career File (signup required). The results of this test may help you to be aware of your strengths and characteristics, which can be used to help you with your choice of career direction.

 Go to the CareersPortal Personality-Profiler here:  Go to Interest-Profiler 

Useful Links

Typefocus [US] 
Typefocus offers a personality test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Full version requires payment, but a good free version is available here.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter II [US] 
The most popular personality test of all - now free online with a brief report (full reports have to be purchased). Good range of related resources also available on this friendly 'American' site. Free, Registration required.
Personality Theories 
Comprehensive look into major personality theories used by psychologists, HR professionals and business trainers.
Big Five Minitest 
This test gives a very quick Big Five profile and is more for understanding the model thank for serious personality assessment, although as a quick simple guide it works well
Finding Potential - Free Psycometric Tests 
Free access to industry standard assessments that include: two personality questionnaires, two 360's, two sifting questionnaires for sales & administrative roles and an individual engagement questionnaire.

Paper Based Assessments

You can download a number of self assessments from the links below.

Skills:
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to discover the most sought after skills needed to get jobs in the modern workplace. By rating yourself on these skills, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. Then, you can look for opportunities to develop and practice your underdeveloped skills.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Skills Self-Assessment
[pdf - 540Kb, 4 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Career Interests
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to identify where your interests lie. This exercise takes no more than 10 min to complete and can help identify what career interest groups you are most interested in.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Interests Self-Assessment
[pdf - 97Kb, 1 page]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Values
This brief exercise helps to clarify your values according to six commonly used categories.
Download:
Worksheet - Values Self-Assessment
[pdf - 145Kb, 2 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet