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 Margaret Donaghue from Public Appointments Service to give some advice for people considering this job:
Learn as much as you can in any situation that presents itself. Never be afraid to try something even if it scares you to do so. And give it all you have.
Be a good listener and a good communicator and be fair.
What are your interests?
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
English, Irish, French, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, History. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I chose the subjects I did. I am glad I chose Honours Irish as it enabled me to enter An Garda Síochána, and French as I feel having another language is important.
Perhaps I should have taken up another language like German or Spanish instead of the science subjects as I do not see the relevance of these subjects to my career.