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 Elaine MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!

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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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The REACH+ Career and College Preparation Programme is Ireland's most comprehensive, in-depth and multi-format careers programme available. Much more than any textbook, it is a complete, integrated, classroom learning environment that supports Students, Guidance Counsellors and Teachers of career related content, including TY, LCVP and LCA. Unlike any other careers resource available, it contains four key components:

  • The REACH programme book
  • The Students Online Career File & Portfolio
  • Guidance Counsellor Administration, Resources and Lesson Plans
  • The REACH+ Network Support and Training: See upcoming training dates on the right.

To order the programme see REACH+ Order Information

The REACH+ programme has been designed to facilitate the delivery of Career and Educational Guidance in Senior Cycle. The programme is only available in participating schools.

The programme covers five core areas:

  • Career Planning
  • Self Assessment
  • Study Skills
  • World of Work
  • World of Education

REACH+ Information, PowerPoint and Guidance Testimonials:

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To get customised Certificates for your School e-mail us at info@careersportal.ie 

Students are encouraged to engage in a wide variety of career activities and research designed to prepare them for the transition from secondary school to work or college. Students taking part in the program each receive a Student Workbook and gain access to REACH+ Online, where they can complete additional exercises, do career research and monitor their study performance over the course of their senior cycle. 

Guidance counsellors gain access to an easy to use online management system that enables them to keep track of students' progress, and prepare and deliver classes using powerpoints, videos and guidelines offered through lesson plans. 

This consists of three main areas:

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  • Resources (lesson plans, powerpoints, videos etc)
  • School Guidance Website

Additional information can be obtained by contacting reach@careersportal.ie, or by phone (01) 4402314.

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