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 Harding from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Harding

Prison Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Paul Harding
Go for it. If you feel you may be suitable, then you probably are. An ability to not take yourself too seriously would be an advantage!

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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From a task perspective, being focused, organised, ambitious and motivated are important qualities, while (trying to be!) patient and warm are really helpful in dealing with students and colleagues.

I find that I need to very focused and organised, as there are three components to this job, each of which is significant - teaching, research and administration.

There just aren't enough hours in the day to do all that I would like, so being able to prioritise, manage my time effectively and complete a task within the allocated space is really essential.

While I'm focused by nature, I used not to be overly organised, but I have learned! I'm also quite ambitious and therefore motivated. Both are useful in ensuring that I don't neglect any component of my role, regardless of other pressures.

Finally, I always try to be quite patient and warm with people. They are really useful traits in dealing with people - both colleagues and students. It's nice that people feel free to knock on my door. Being people-centred has allowed me to fit in well in the Business School in DCU, which has a really welcoming culture. Being a good at networking is also a useful trait for developing research links internationally.

Hint: Department of Education and Skills

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