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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Creative 
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Supported Routes to College

Supported access routes to college are about raising third level participation rates among people from under-represented groups.

Two such initiatives for school-leavers who are applying to college through the CAO system are DARE and HEAR.

DARE is the disability access route to third level. It is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers under 23 years old with a disability.

Full details of DARE.

HEAR is an admissions route into college for school leavers who, for social, financial or cultural reasons, are under-represented in third level education. Colleges participating in the scheme set aside a quota of places with reduced points and make these available to eligible students.

Full details of HEAR.

ACCESS Programmes and Courses

For school leavers or other people who can't get to third level by the traditional routes, many Universities and Institutes of Technology across the country offer an ACCESS course or programme of some kind. Those who successfully complete an ACCESS programme may then be able to apply to the college for a place on a third level degree course.

ACCESS courses aim to provide participating students with the skills and knowledge needed for undertaking a full-time third level course and to make the whole process of transition to third level much easier. They also help students to identify and choose the third level course that is best suited to their particular interests and abilities.

An ACCESS Course is typically designed for people whose background education was limited by socio-economic circumstance and educational disadvantage and to support them in overcoming these barriers and succeeding at third level education.