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 Paul Meany from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

Paul Meany

School Principal

Department of Education and Skills

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Paul Meany

Need to have a belief about the value of the sort of education provided by the school to which you are applying.

Need to be able to cope with ambivalence - being leader in the school is not a black and white thing.

Need to believe in people, whether it is staff or students.

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Naturalist?
Naturalist
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Career Interviews (Videos)

The most direct way for your child to explore occupations is through a work experience. Here your child will get a much fuller sense of the real life work environment and pressures of the job, and see first hand the day to day activities of the job. Most children will learn significantly from such experiences, and the more you can help your child get work experiences the better.

Second to work experience is if your child can get the opportunity to meet and talk or interview someone in the job. Here they can ask questions that they may have, and get the opinions and views of the jobholder. A frank discussion / interview with a jobholder is very valuable and is to be encouraged where possible.

To facillitate the difficulty of obtaining such interviews, we have interviewed hundreds of workers around Ireland, and asked about their jobs and their career path to date. For each person we interview we asked the following questions:

  • Questions about your career and its development
    • What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
    • Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
    • Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
  • Questions about your current Job
    • How did you go about getting your current job?
    • Describe a typical day?
    • What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
    • What are the main challenges?
    • What's cool?
    • What's not so cool?
    • What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
  • Questions about education and training
    • What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
    • What is your education to date?
    • What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
    • Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?  
  • Questions about yourself
    • What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
    • What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
    • What is your dream job?
  • Advice for people thinking of this job as a career choice
    • What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
    • What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
    • What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Click here to view videos and interviews


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