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 Deirdre Kelleghan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Deirdre Kelleghan

Amateur Astronomer

Smart Futures

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Deirdre Kelleghan
Being a self-employed artist is probably the most difficult job really. You need to be highly motivated in the tasks you set for yourself. You need to be able to work on your inspirations and be totally focused on your targets. If your painting does not work first time you need to be able to learn from your experience and use what worked in another piece. Your ability to have confidence in your journey exploring your choice of subjects in paint is important. As regards doing workshops, bringing fun into the entire effort is the most important element to achieve. Your audiences will learn in a more sustainable way and produce drawings to be proud of.
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Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Parents Guide

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Parents Guide

If you want to understand the basics of careers guidance and how it can work for your child, help is at hand with this concise guide.

Parents play a huge role in the choices children make when they start looking for a career. They influence the level of education or training that their children achieve; the knowledge they have about work and different occupations; the beliefs and attitudes they have to working; and the motivation they have to succeed.

Most of this is learned unconsciously – children and teenagers absorb the attitudes and expectations of them as they grow up. Some of the key influencers are:

  • The expectations parents have for their children's education and career;
  • The examples they set for their children;
  • The values they show to their family, friends and to society;
  • The opportunities they offer their children to learn and develop; and
  • The kind of parent-child relationship they develop.

To nourish a healthy and rewarding career for your child, the following factors are worth considering:

  • Encourage your children to get the most education possible.
  • Strengthen their self-understanding.
  • Develop their knowledge about work.
  • Teach them decision making skills.
  • Value gender equity and cultural diversity.
  • Become aware of career resources.
  • Help them become skill-oriented.

What is Careers Guidance?

It’s useful to understand some of the basic principles of careers guidance, the processes involved in planning and building a successful career and how they can be harnessed by you the parent as you support and guide your child on their career and life journey. In this Parents Guide to Career Guidance we:

  • Outline the main principles, influences and processes at work on your child’s career journey
  • Provide useful tips on how you can help along the way
  • Indicate school activities that support each stage of the process

For a detailed discussion on the main areas of concern expressed by parents, follow our extensive guide by using the buttons on the left.

CareersPortal REACH+ Career & College Preparation Programme

The REACH+ Career and College Preparation Programme is the most advanced career guidance programme in Ireland.  It covers a comprehensive range of topics designed to help your son/daughter prepare for the transition from school to either work or college. It is managed by the school guidance counsellor, is full of engaging activities, and requires active participation by the student. 

As a parent you can view your son/daughter’s progress with them by discussing the many reports produced by the programme, and understand in a deeper way the career planning process that is supported by the guidance counsellor.

The REACH+ programme is continuously updated with relevant and timely content. Access to the online learning environment (the Career File) is through the internet and hence is always available.

For further information please contact your schools’ Guidance Counsellor. For more information: click here 

Prefer to read a book?

For those who would like further information, we would recommend 'Sorted! A survival Guide for Parents of Students Making a Career Choice' which can be purchased from this link.

Aiming Higher ~ A Guide for Parents and Guardians, is a guide aimed at parents (and guardians) of prospective third level students, to give them a practical understanding of the higher education system in Ireland and to help them to support their daughter or son in making informed decisions around third level courses and career choices. It is the first guide of its kind that is specifically targeted at parents and extensive consultation with parents drove much of its content.

Click here for more information.



For those who want to look at the bigger picture Career Coach by Dearbhla Kelly teaches parents ways to identify abilities, skills and talents in their teenager, as well as their innate passions and values, to realise their full potential. Career Coach can be purchased from this link.



BookCoverOrig200aCracking the College Code, is a practical guide to making the most of the first year college experience, and covers just about everything that students and parents need to know about going to college.

"It is the indispensable companion for all parents, guardians and students embarking on the journey into third level. This book should be in every leaving cert students' bag as they depart on this exciting but often daunting new destination on their career path." Betty McLaughlin, PRO Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Click here for more information.