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 Karen O'Flaherty from ESERO Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
Read a lot – it’s a great way to find new ways to express ideas. Write a lot, even if just for yourself, so that you get used to communicating your ideas on paper. Develop your time management skills – that is crucial when working in an area that has very tight deadlines. Learn more languages – it’s very helpful to have an insight into how people express themselves in different languages.
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.
Rory Fitzpatrick , CEO of the National Space Centre
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I wouldn't have been what you would call a very studious student. When I was in school I was mainly playing rugby, and loved rugby, but didn't really like studying so much. But I did study Latin, maths, English, Irish, art, physics and history. Physics I was very interested in and it's the interest in physics right now that helps me with work, but it wasn't something I excelled at in school.
I had very good science teachers in school, and my interest in physics probably has pushed me in some way. With this industry you are learning every day; every day is a school day, you gotta learn stuff, you gotta read yourself a lot. I have to educate myself an awful lot on the technologies we're dealing with and what's going on in my sector, so it's self-education really more than anything.