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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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Social?
Social
The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Sectors

What are Career Sectors?

Career sectors contain a collection of occupations that have something in common, for example, the type of work they do or their role in the economy. Very often people are attracted to the products or services provided by a particular sector, and seek to find employment close to the essence of that area.

We provide information on over 30 sectors that make up the Irish Labour market. These have been divided into 6 main categories to make it easy to explore.

You can return to this screen as often as you like to make different selections.

Where possible we bring you the most up-to-date information directly from the experts that oversee the different sectors. These organisations provide detailed information from which career seekers can make their most informed choices.

Artistic & Creative

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Art, Craft & Design

Producing new pieces of art, craft or designs.

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Entertainment & Performing Arts

Working in the music/entertainment business as an artist (performer) or in one of the many roles that are involved in the design and production of a show.

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Fashion & Beauty

Working in any area involving fashion, beauty care, hairdressing and personal hygiene, e.g. Fashion design, Beauty therapy etc.

Business & Administration

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Accountancy & Taxation

Working mainly in business, recording details of financial transactions and providing advice on financial and tax matters.

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Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

Creating advertising, managing marketing campaigns, and ensuring that a company is always seen in the best possible light.

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Banking, Insurance & Financial Services

Providing services to the public and business through banking, insurance, fund management and other forms of financial services.

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Business Organisation & Business Management

Involved in the running of a business, helping it grow and develop, operate efficiently, meet business objectives and manage its workforce.

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Clerical & Administration

Working in an office and being involved in the day to day running of a business.

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Sales, Retail & Purchasing

All forms of work directly involved in the delivery of products and services to the marketplace.

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Transport & Logistics

Transporting goods and people, the infrastructure (roads, rail etc.) that make this possible, and the services that are required to maintain operations every minute of every day..

Living Environment

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Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Food

Working with the land, managing livestock, crops, and the environment. Working with the production and distribution of food, and its safety.

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Animals & Veterinary Science

Looking after the health and welfare of animals.

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Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture

Fishing in the open seas or farming them in fish farms. Looking after the sale and promotion of all seafood.

Medical & Caring

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Medical & Healthcare

Working in hospitals, clinics and medical centres looking after the health and care of people with physical illness.

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Social & Caring

Caring for individuals experiencing psychological difficulties, or with the welfare of individuals or groups of people experiencing some form of hardship.

Science & Engineering

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Building, Construction & Property

Working in the planning, building, selling or management of construction projects (housing estates, roads, warehouses etc.).

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Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Creating high quality drugs or chemicals, testing them to ensure they are effective and safe, and monitoring their effect on people and the environment.

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Earth Science & Environment

Work with technologies that monitor and predict changes in our environment, with the development of renewable and sustainable energy sources and on the protection and conservation of natural resources.

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Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Designing or manufacturing electronic or telecommunication devices, or being involved in the generation and supply of electricity.

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ICT

Working in the manufacture, sales or support of all forms of computers and computer systems, or in the creation and development of software.

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Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing

Working in the design, use, maintenance and control of all forms of mechanical devices, e.g. in construction, manufacturing, aviation, automobiles and related areas etc.

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MedTech

Work in this area is covers the design and development of products, from contact lenses, wheelchairs, implantable devices, equipment for screening, to the most sophisticated diagnostic imaging and surgical equipment.

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Physical & Mathematical Sciences

Researching and investigating aspects of the physical universe, or using Mathematics to solve complex issues in science or business.

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Space Science & Technology

Exploring and developing the technology used to build satellites, space vehicles and the instruments and experiments that they carry.

Society & Government

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Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU

Working for the government to ensure the efficient and correct running of the country.

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Classic Arts, Languages & Culture

Working in museums, art galleries or heritage management, or using languages professionally, e.g. translating or interpreting.

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Community & Voluntary

Working to provide services to people of all ages across areas including social, community, youth, education, and charity, voluntary and sporting organisations.

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Education

Teaching at any level, including professional training, or involved in the design and development of courses and the qualifications that they lead to.

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Law & Legal

Involved in the administration of the law, defending the rights of individuals and organisations.

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Leisure, Sport & Fitness

Working in a leisure centre, in sports as a player or coach, or involved in personal/fitness training.

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Media & Publishing

Communicating information through various forms of media, e.g. TV, Radio, newspapers, the internet, and film.

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Security, Defence & Law Enforcement

Working in the Garda, Army, Navy, Air Corps, or other organisations involved in personal or national security.

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Tourism & Hospitality

Attending to the needs of local and visiting tourists, e.g. the hotels, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions, and promoting Ireland as a welcoming place for people to spend their time.