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 Claire Purcell from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:
Take the time to get your head around the subjects. Sometimes it can be tempting to just learn off methods and exam questions to get a good degree but at the end of the day that won’t help you in industry. You may find then that you’re back at square one having to learn how to code for yourself when there’s no examples to copy and paste, and no friendly classmate to give you their code. The best thing I do for my own learning in college is take the time to really understand what’s going on in assignments and exam questions, because once you get it using it becomes so much easier.
What are your interests?
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
In Leaving Cert I chose to study French, German, Physics and Chemistry. The languages are relevant to my current career, where there is an emphasis on languages and communication. On hindsight, it would have been very useful to have studied History, as an in-depth knowledge of the past would be helpful.
The Sciences I believe, though not obviously applicable, did aid me in the development of analytical and logical thinking.