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 Elaine MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!

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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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Finding Employment

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Research

Your research will be guided by choices you make about what kind of job you want. Assuming you have a rough idea as to what you want (if not, go to the section on Career Planning) you will need to identify:

1. The locations you are willing to consider
  • How far are you willing to travel to work? Get out a map and decide how far you will 'cast your net'. You may have to revise this over time if you are not finding any opportunities.
  • How will you commute? If by car you may find some locations are more favourable based on traffic patterns. If by public transport, you need to prioritise on locations that you can get to easily first.
  • Are you prepared to relocate? If your local area has no opportunities, would you consider moving to another town / county / country. Depending on your circumstances, this may offer a considerably higher chance of employment.

2. The sector(s) that interest you
  • Unless you are considering a change in career direction, you should probably stay in employment sectors that you have previous experience in. However there may be other roles within those sectors that you have not considered. You may also find that enrolling on a course related to an area of interest will open up new opportunities within a sector.
explore industry sectors here Explore Career Sectors here

3. The companies that operate in those sectors

  • You will need to find out what companies might possibly offer employment opportunities within the sectors you choose. When you find a company, you will need to get to know what their business is about and what kinds of people they look for. All companies differ in their approach to new staff, and have different styles of workplace. Getting good background information on a company is essential for jobs expected to be significant career moves.
explore industry sectors here Research Company Profiles here


4. The roles (occupations) you are experienced enough to take on
  • There may be alternative occupations for which you are qualified and have not considered before. Browsing through our occupation database may give you some ideas and broaden the range of opportunities to consider.
explore industry sectors here Investigate Occupations here


5. The current state of the Labour market
  • Even though our recession has levelled out, it remains increasingly difficult to know where to find opportunities. Labour market information is by its nature quite general, but it does provide information on trends and future possibilities.
  • We look at the current state of the Labour market and provide links to where further information can be obtained.
explore industry sectors here Research our Labour Market here


All of these factors can be researched from our Work and Employment section.


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