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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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Creative
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.
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Back to Work - Self Employed

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.

A Back to Work Scheme called the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance started in May 2009. There is no qualifying period for the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance. You can get immediate access to the allowance if you meet the qualifying conditions.

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is payable to people aged under 66 and to be eligible you must be:

  • Setting up as self-employed in a business that has been approved in advance in writing by a Jobs Facilitator or Partnership Company
  • Getting one of the qualifying payments below for at least 9 months:
    • Jobseeker's Allowance 
    • Jobseeker's Benefit     
    • One-Parent Family Payment
    • Blind Pension
    • Disability Allowance
    • Carer's Allowance (having stopped caring duties)
    • Farm Assist
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Incapacity Supplement
    • Pre-Retirement Allowance
    • Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
    • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
    • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance or
    • Illness Benefit for 3 or more years.
The website selfemployedsupports.ie has information on the services and entitlements available if you are self-employed and your income is reduced.
For more information: click here

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