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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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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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Importance of Self Esteem

Before considering the results of any aptitude and career tests your child may have undergone in school, it is worth while being aware of how your childs self esteem may influence their answers.

Self esteem is an important factor in the psychological health of all of us. Self esteem is a measure of how a person values and believe in themselves, for example whether they believe they are worth something to themselves or others. If a child doesn't believe in their own importance, they arn't likley to be performing anywhere near their capacity. As a result, any tests and exploration they do can only reflect their own lack of belief in themselves, and will hardly provide a solid ground from which to build a career plan.

So before continuing, try and get a measure of your childs self esteem. The following table is a guide only, but may alert you to issues that need to be considered as part of your parenting around career matters.

High Self Esteem Low Self Esteem
is proud of his or her accomplishments in life avoids situations which require risk taking
can act independently feels powerless
assumes responsibility becomes easily frustrated
can tolerate frustrations is overly-sensitive
approaches challenges with enthusiasm always needs reassurance
feels capable of taking charge of situations in his or her own life is easily influenced by others
has a good sense of humor frequently uses the phrases "I don’t know" and "I don’t care"
can postpone gratification is withdrawn
seeks help when needed blames others for his or her failures
is confident and resourceful is isolated and has few friends
is active and energetic is uncooperative and angry
is able to spontaneously express his or her feelings is uncommunicative
is relaxed and able to manage stress is clingy and dependent 
has a generally positive attitude about life has a generally negative attitude about life

If your child is described more by those items in the High Self Esteem column, then exploring career and college options is likely to be productive, and any tests they may have done are likely to provide some useful information

If your child is described more by those items in the Low Self Esteem column, then your child may not be quite ready to be planning their future just yet.


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