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 Dave McDonald from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Dave McDonald

Astronomer

Smart Futures

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Dave McDonald

A caring attitude is essential for Health and Safety – you need to be passionate about getting the message across to people and telling them why it is so important. After all, no-one wants to see anyone suffer harm or be in pain.

For astronomy, a yearning for answering the unanswered questions is a must. You also need to be dedicated and focused and not put off by the weather

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Realist?
Realist
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.
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Rural Social Scheme

The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) is aimed at low-income farmers and fishermen/women.

To qualify for the RSS you must be getting a social welfare payment. In return, people participating in the RSS provide services that benefit rural communities. For example:

  • Maintaining and enhancing various walking routes
  • Energy conservation work for older people and those at risk of poverty
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Social care and care of older people
  • Community care for pre-school and after-school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work
  • Projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres
  • Community administration or clerical work
  • Any other appropriate community based project identified during the scheme

Participants in the scheme work 19.5 hours per week. These hours are to ensure participation on the scheme does not affect your farming/fishing activities. A mimimum payment of €215.50 applies. 

If you get a place on the RSS Scheme, you are offered a contract from your start date for up to 22 months. 

As this scheme is administered locally, you should contact your local RSS implementing body for further information or an application form. 

Further information on the RSS scheme is also available click here

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