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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Social?
Social 
The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Career Interests

Choosing a career direction that takes into account the sort of things you are interested in makes good sense. This ensures that you will be motivated as you have a natural inclination already in a particular area.

You can learn about career interests here:  Go to Interests Page

In addition to the online interest tests mentioned below, you can take the Careers Portal Interest-Profiler (CPIP) to measure the relative strengths of your interests.

This instrument also provides you with a free printable report containing a summary of your career interests, along with some occupations that match your interest profile.

You will need to login to take this test as your results will be kept for you in your Career File.

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


Useful Links...

BBC Careers Test 
Brief 10 minute test to identify your top interest category from the 6 types described by psychologist John Holland. Free
Holland Interest Profiler 
Official O*Net test used widely in the USA to determine your career interests. Matches to careers from the O*Net database. Note: The Interest Profiler on this site is more advanced and links to an Irish database.


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