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 Jonathan Pugsley from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:


Jonathan Pugsley

Energy Manager

Sustainable Energy Authority

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  Jonathan Pugsley

Communication and team skills are probably the most important aspect overlooked.

In energy management, it is not I that saves the energy, but often it is folks on the ground using the equipment.

It is the energy managers job to educate by communication, the importance of doing the right things, savings then come as a result.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Occupation Details

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Seconded National Expert (SNE) - EU

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€k >  
Seconded National Expert - EU
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€ -  
Related Information:
Secondment can be for a minimum of six months and up to a maximum of four years in principle. You can return for a second period of secondment once an interval of at least 6 years has passed.

As an SNE, you should continue to be paid by your employer but the Commission pays you compensation for the extra costs of living and working abroad. This consists of a daily subsistence allowance and you may also be eligible for a monthly allowance depending on the distance from your place of origin.

National employers still pay SNEs their salary throughout the duration of their secondment; however the EU offers compensation for the extra costs of living abroad.

For more information, including details of your rights, working conditions and working hours, see the Rules on the Secondment of National Experts.
Data Source(s):
EPSO - EU Careeers

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

SNEs are national or international civil servants or persons employed in the public sector who are working temporarily for an EU Institution

The Work header image

SNEs play a duel role in the EU. The idea is that the SNEs will share their experiences and expertise in particular policy areas with EU staff, and in return will take back knowledge of EU policies and processes to their national administrations. 

As an SNE you will work alongside Commission officials, helping to achieve the strategic objectives defined by a Directorate-General or Service for the benefit of EU citizens.

On secondment, you will work under the instructions of an EU official, according to a detailed job description and governed by rules that help avoid the risk of any conflicts of interest.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

The EU institutions are looking for candidates who are talented, motivated, and highly qualified in their field, and who have the following competencies in particular:

  • Analysis and problem solving - Ability to identify the critical facts in complex issues and develop creative and practical solutions
  • Communication – Communicate clearly and precisely both orally and in writing
  • Delivering quality and results – Take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering work to a high standard of quality within set procedures
  • Learning and development – Develop and improve personal skills and knowledge of the organisation and its environment
  • Prioritising and organising – Prioritise the most important tasks, work flexibly, and organise own workload efficiently
  • Resilience – Remain effective under a heavy workload, handle organisational frustrations positively, and adapt to a changing work environment
  • Working with others - Work cooperatively with others in teams and across organisational boundaries and respect differences between people

An additional requirement for posts in the AD career bracket (administrators) is:
• Leadership – Manage, develop and motivate people to achieve results

Entry Routesheader image

On occasion the EU will invite national and international civil servants and public sector staff to bring their experience to an EU institution for a temporary time period - (where an employee transfers to a different job for a specified period of time is known as 'secondment').

As well as civil servants, experts from international organisations, universities, research centers and other entities belonging to the public sector, can also be seconded to the EU, especially in areas where their unique skills and knowledge are specifically required by an EU Institution.

In order to become an SNE, candidates must have at least 3 years work experience.

SNEs are typically seconded from the civil services of EU countries, so the vast majority are national, regional or local civil servants.

SNEs from EU countries are recruited via their Permanent Representations to the EU.

Those interested in becoming an SNE should contact their country's permanent representation to the EU for information about current opportunities.

Further information is also available from  (type ‘Seconded National Experts’ into the site’s search bar).

Visit the website of the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU 

Detailed information on SeNEs with the European Commission is available here.

Last Updated: July, 2014

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Contactsheader image


Organisation: European Movement Ireland
  Address: 8 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2,
  Tel: (0)1 662 5815
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: EU Careers - European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)
  Address: Candidate Contact Service, Office C-80 00/40, B1049 Brussels
  Tel: +32 (0) 2 299 3131
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
  Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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