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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Study Skills
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Day Dreaming


Study Skills Intro

Taking grinds or putting in extra time on study are the two ways that first spring to mind as a way of boosting exam results.

Both these responses to exam anxiety my be useful and worthwhile. However, students tend to overlook that making more efficient and effective use of school and study time is another way to improve exam performance. 

For some students exploring other ways of ‘doing study’ may prove the most useful approach to gaining better results and at no extra cost in terms of money or time. We invite you to take a little time out to look closely at the way you study, to examine your ‘study methods’ and techniques with a view to making improvements to them. Making changes to what you do when you study can bring surprising rewards. 

Many of you interested in taking this exercise are involved in a sport or a creative pastime in music, art or drama. Can you imagine what your chances of success would be if you did not receive instruction in your sport or artistic activity. Sports people, musicians, writers, actors are constantly looking at ways of making their performance better. Success in any of these fields of activity rarely happens without coaching. Study is no different. It is well worth while taking time out to look critically and honestly at the way we study if we are to improve our performance. 
 
The most successful businesses spend a sizeable amount of their budget exploring ways their workforce can be more efficient. This involves workers and managers together looking closely at how they go about their work. An improvement in 'work practice' that results brings benefits both to the business and to the worker.

The test that follows should give you a good idea of your study performance. The aim of this test is to get you to examine your 'work practice' by as a student and to follow through on the recommendation provided. The process we have developed involves the following steps:

1. Take the study skills test.
2. From the results page, click on any Help me! links that appear. Read carefully through the list of recommendations.
3. If possible, print out the suggestions page, and tick off the items that you need to introduce to your study approach. You may need the help of your Guidance Counsellor or teacher to prioritise and clarify the changes that you are about to make.
4. Write down in your own words your plan for making these changes become a reality.

Making changes to the way you have been 'doing study' will not be easy. Old habits die hard. Just like the sportsman or artist introducing a new skill or technique, it must be practiced and perfected until it becomes an automatic and natural part of your approach to study. 

Most of the suggestion/ideas in this material seem ordinary and common sense. Don’t forget, if you make only just one or two changes to your study behaviour and repeat the new method/technique night after night, week after week, term after term the difference then becomes great.


Worksheets

We have several worksheets to support the use of the Study Skills test for secondary school students. Click on the links below to download these sheets in Adobe PDF format.

Workbook:
Learning Skills Workbook

Worksheets:
Place of Study
Organisation
Motivation and Goal Setting
Reading Skills
Note Taking Skills
Revising and Exam Preparation
Examination Performance