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 Shane Callanan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Shane Callanan

Electronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).
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Naturalist?
Naturalist
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Self Assessment

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Career Values

We all value different things - some of us value independance over security, or money over creativity. Being clear about what you value will help you select an occupation or employer that will allow you to express yourself best.

Value self assessments measure how important different values are to you. There are no definitive tests as values can be very personal, so tests often measure different sets of values.

Useful Links

Career Values Test [US] 
Provided by Stewart, Cooper & Coon, this test identifies core values and allows you to sort them into a prioritised list. No registration, Free.
MyPlan.com Values Test [US] 
The Values Test can help you learn more about your underlying work needs and motivations, and can help you decide what is important to you in a job. Registration required, Free.

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