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 Sinead Kenny from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Sinead Kenny

Design Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Sinead Kenny
If it is possible to get some work experience during the summer holidays or weekends, it would be great. Find out if there are any positions (voluntary or otherwise) available in your local IT or University. Get involved in a hobby such as model making, this would be very helpful as it would help with dexterity & impart an understanding of the ways in which different materials interact when assembled together.
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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 is Careers Guidance?

Careers Guidance is usually described as a range of interventions to help people to move from a general understanding of life and work to a specific understanding of the realistic life, learning and work options that are open to them. It’s about helping the young person to

  • Know themselves
  • To explore possibilities
  • To Make a Career / Educational Choice
  • To make it Happen

It includes career education, information and counselling. Careers Education includes:

  • Learning about the World of Work, employer expectations, workplace requirements
  • Changes and trends in employment, occupation, legislation, work practices and policies
  • Development of self-awareness in relation to interests, abilities, competencies and values through career assessment tools e.g. Aptitude Tests
  • Development of awareness and understanding of career and educational paths and routes
  • Career Decision making and Implementation skills
  • Career Transition Skills

 

What happens in a one-to-one careers guidance session?

Every child is unique and while some sessions may focus on personal issues in relation to career and education, other sessions may focus on exploring career preferences, Aptitudes, identifying goals, targets, deadlines and agreeing on a Career Development Plan. Sessions may be free-flowing or more structured depending on circumstances.

The meeting might look at Plusses, Minuses and Interesting aspects of various course and career options. This is called a PMI scan (from Edward De Bono) and is an effective way of assessing options. Another framework for engaging with young people is OFFA’s AGENDA – where your child works with the counsellor to establish a solid understanding of their current position and career options by breaking down the students concerns into:

OPINION - FACT – FEELING - ASSUMPTION

The guidance counsellor will also look at the overall student picture - their Aptitude test results, career assessment results, Junior Cert Results, sports & recreational activities, school report & record, personal and educational achievements, any additional educational requirements (disability and other access routse to college).

By looking at all these factors together your child will have the opportunity to weigh up his options, identify career and vocational interests and work towards good career and educational decisions. The one-to-one session offers the private & confidential space that is not possible in a group setting.


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