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 Marie Kinsella-White from McDonald's to give some advice for people considering this job:

Marie Kinsella-White

Operations Consultant

McDonald's

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Marie Kinsella-White
The job that I do is highly specialised and the skills that I am required to have to do my job can only be acquired in our restaurant. However, by taking a job in McDonald's you are opening a career path to use those skills anywhere - the skills you acquire are very transferable. It doesn’t matter where you start, the opportunities are there.
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Realist?
Realist
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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Self Assessment
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Skills

Just about all occupations are characterised by a particular set of skills. We often associate the idea of skills to specific technical activities, like fine hand-eye coordination, or problem solving. However, there are a range of life skills which are equally important, and often overlooked.

We all have valuable skills we may be unaware of. Skill based self assessments help us to focus on those skills we may have, and identify the skills we may be weak in.

You can learn more about career skills here: Go to section on Transferable Career Skills

Useful Websites...

Prospects Planner [UK]  
A job exploration tool which aims to help you identify your skills, motivations and interests and then to match yourself to relevant job types. Designed for at College students. (Registration required)
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.
Communication Skills Self-Assessment Inventory 
Download a 20 item questionnaire that measures your Communication Skills from HTC Consulting.
Skills You Need 
Several free assessments covering many soft-skills used in the workplace. Requires an email to receive results.
Motivated Skills Test 
For existing workers, this is a quick and easy way to identify the skills which are central to your career satisfaction and success. Free, from Stewart, Cooper & Coon
123 Test 
Free IQ tests, career tests, and personality tests. All tests are designed to help you find serious answers to your questions about IQ, personality, or career assessment.
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