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 Dave McDonald from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Dave McDonald

Astronomer

Smart Futures

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Dave McDonald

A caring attitude is essential for Health and Safety – you need to be passionate about getting the message across to people and telling them why it is so important. After all, no-one wants to see anyone suffer harm or be in pain.

For astronomy, a yearning for answering the unanswered questions is a must. You also need to be dedicated and focused and not put off by the weather

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Investigative?
Investigative
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Naturalist
Naturalist
 
General
Naturalist types like work that involves 'doing' something to 'organic things', i.e. plants, animals and their produce (e.g. food). They like work that may involve nurturing plants, animals or the environment. Like Realists, Naturalists enjoy a hands-on approach, and like to see tangible results.

Interests
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.

Activities
Naturalist activities may include basic physical work (herding, cleaning animals, planting, food preparation), managing animal and/or plant welfare (e.g. breeding/ propagation/spraying), using an understanding of natural life-cycles to optimize productivity (as with crops, forestry and herding), using knowledge of foodstuffs to produce commercial food produce (e.g butchers, confectioners), the preparation, cooking and serving of food (e.g. chefs and their assistants).