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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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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.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
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Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation
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 Websites...

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.
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.

Career Articles



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