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 Lydia Peppard from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Lydia Peppard

Care Assistant

Health Service Executive

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Lydia Peppard
The advise that I would give to someone considering this job is to do their Leaving Cert and do the Transition year as this would give an opportunity to get some job experience or do some voluntary work within the community.

Do a Level 5 FETAC health related course. The skills and qualities that are needed to do this type of work are a real sense of caring for other people, communication skills, listening skills, be able to take and give constructive criticism without causing or taking offence, patience a willing to give your best effort to your work.
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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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What do todays workers say about the subjects they chose when they did their Leaving Cert (or equivalent exam)?

Select workers from the list of Career Interviews to read what each person answered to the question "What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?"

Elaine Dillon, STEPS


The subjects I took in school were: English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Music, Social and Scientific, History and  French. Having not realised until late in 5th year that I wanted to study engineering in college, I then took physics as an 8th subject at the minimum required pass level. As I had an interest in engineering and the right mindset, the pass physics course was relatively straight forward. As my wise physics teacher advised me, if I didn't enjoy the physics course I most likely would not enjoy engineering.

In hindsight, I should have chosen a science subject as part of my core subjects - all students should. But sometimes school timetables can simply not facilitate everybody's preferences and choices must be made - the important thing is to choose the subjects that are right for you. It is also important to note that it is not essential to have either science subjects or honours maths to achieve a degree in engineering. There are many routes of entry to suit all levels and skills. However, the important thing is to have an interest and enjoyment of these subjects in order to become a good engineer.