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

 

Deirdre Lavelle

Care Assistant

St. Michael's House

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  Deirdre Lavelle
It can take time to get to know people with learning disabilities, patience and good listen skills are very important.
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Naturalist?
Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Volunteer Opportunities



Voluntary work is a good way to learn new skills, gain work experience and get involved in your local community.

You may do some unpaid work as a volunteer and keep your social welfare payment. If you want to do voluntary work, you must first get permission from a Deciding Officer at your Social Welfare Local Office. You must continue to satisfy the conditions of your jobseeker’s payment. You must apply under the voluntary work option before you start any voluntary work.

To apply, fill in application form (VW1), which is available from your Social Welfare Local Office.

Volunteering and Your CV

The value of the experience of volunteering and what it brings to your CV is a great reason to volunteer. As a way of getting a start on a particular career path, volunteering is a great way to get experience. It often becomes a foot in the door into the sector and it will most certainly help those interested to gain specific knowledge and understanding of a given organisation. People often gain paid employment as a result of volunteering.

Another big advantage of volunteering is skill set – volunteering strengthens your skill set and equips you for the world of work – people skills; communication skills; team building skills; practical skills - all can be developed by volunteering.

See article: Getting a Job with no experience

Finding Voluntary Work

Many organisations are dependant on the commitment of Volunteers to sustain their services. In particular, within the community and voluntary sector volunteering is about giving, contributing, and helping other individuals and the community at large. Over 63,000 full-time and part-time staff are employed in the community sector, but it might be a surprise to learn that volunteers provide the equivalent work of a further 31,000 people!

So, if you have a particular interest in a charity or organiation you can contact them to see if they recruit Volunteers. Also, there are agencies that have lists of Volunteer opportunities on their websites including:

Volunteer Ireland

This is the National Volunteer Development Agency and a support body for over 20 Volunteer Centres in Ireland.

To search opportunities: click here
To find your nearest Volunteer centre: click here

Activelink

Activelink.ie is an online network for Irish community and non-profit organisations. They provide information on jobs, tenders, volunteering, events, fundraising, training, publications and funding in these sectors.

To search opportunities: click here
To search their jobs:      click here


Volunteering Abroad

There are incredible openings in a wide breadth of countries around the world for a whole range of skills and roles. The world of volunteering is a lot more diverse and vibrant than people realise.

To find out more: click here

 



  Hint: Department of Education and Skills
Management training is a constant over the past twenty years This is necessary both for good practice and for keeping abreast of developments in the management skills area and in the area of legislation.

Most recently I attended a four days course on Leadership in Catholic Schools.

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