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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?
An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.
Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.
One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
What are your interests?
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.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I took constructions studies for my Leaving Certificate and I found it fascinating and challenging. Maths plays a big role with my job and it is always good to have a good knowledge of it for the trade.