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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Parents Guide
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Junior Cycle - 2nd Year

By 2nd year, your child will have picked their Junior Certificate Subjects from any options that may have been available. English, Irish & Maths are currently offered at three levels – higher, ordinary & foundation.

Most other subjects are offered at Higher or Ordinary level.

At this stage students continue to develop a broad awareness of general career options. Some questions that might help with subject choice at Junior Cycle level

  • Does your child enjoy this subject? Find it interesting & engaging?
  • What level of competency is indicated at this subject? Indicators are exam & project results, school reports and teacher feedback, entrance exams, aptitude tests
  • What careers are associated with the subject? All subjects at Junior Cert will include some level of employability skills – including Working with Others, Communication skills, Working with New Technologies & Managing Time
  • Is the subject a specific entry requirement into any general career area or college course? E.g. All third Level Engineering courses have specific Maths entry requirements. Many require Maths at the Higher level. If your child has expressed an interest in a specific career that requires Maths for instance, you can help by being supportive and encouraging, monitoring their progress and keeping dialogue open about the examination level that’s most appropriate for them. Keep informed about all the options available to them. If Higher Level Maths is not right for them at Junior Cycle, there are always other routes into their chosen career. 
  • If your child is wondering about subject levels for Junior Cert, you will find information on college courses with specific subject requirements at http://www.qualifax.ie

There are also plenty of subject and career specific websites: You will find lots more information and links throughout this site (CareersPortal.ie) but here are just a few:

Engineering  
Maths  
Physics  
Nursing

 

Tourism & Hospitality  

There are often a number of alternative paths to a chosen career. More later.

How can I help?

Keep the communication channels open and stay up to date with school events and programmes. If possible attend schools information sessions on options at Senior Cycle, Transition Year Programmes, Subject Options & Choices, talks, seminars and workshops for parents.

Establish and/or maintain contact with the school Guidance Counsellor and the school by attending parent teacher meetings and information sessions and by keeping an eye on all correspondence and communication from the school. Get to know the key websites for quality information. Avoid taking on the burden of too much information.