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 Louise Mc Donald from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:


Louise Mc Donald

Private (Line)

Defence Forces

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  Louise Mc Donald
I would advise them to get themselves physically fit and to maintain it. I would also say that a sense of humour is very important and the ability to laugh at themselves. They should have self discipline and be prepared to accept imposed discipline. Punctuality is very important as is respect for others. If they had sporting interests that would be a help.

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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Adult Guidance Services

Many people are unsure of where they should start when thinking about returning to education for personal development, to upskill or to get a job. There are services and supports available to help you with making these decisions:

Adult Educational Guidance Initiative

The Adult Education Guidance Service in Ireland is available to adults who are thinking about returning to education.

Guidance Counsellors and Co-ordinators provide guidance to those participating or thinking about adult education programmes such as Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme (VTOS), Adult Literacy Programmes, Community Education, including Back to Education Initiative (BTEI).

Information officers within the AEGS can also provide advice and information on local, regional an national opportunities for adult learners.

Adult Education Guidance Services in the Leinster region
Adult Education Guidance Services in the Munster region
Adult Education Guidance Services in the Connaght region
Adult Education Guidance Services in the Ulster region

CareersPortal Career Guidance Service

What is Guidance?

“Guidance facilitates people throughout their lives to manage their own educational, training, occupational, personal, social and life choices so that they reach their full potential and contribute to the development of a better society.” (National Guidance Forum Report 2007)

CareersPortal provides a professional guidance counselling service for students and adults who would like support in making career, educational and/or employment decisions.

This service is of particular benefit to career changers, jobseekers, students and those looking to explore their career and education options.

To book an appointment contact Bernadette Walsh at or phone: 01-2090797. All guidance counsellors are fully qualified professionals and members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.

Note: This is a fee paying appointment service. We cannot provide individual guidance advice by telephone.

Insitute of Guidance Counsellors

The Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) is the professional body representing over 1200 guidance practitioners in second level schools, third level colleges, adult guidance services, private practice and in other settings. 

There are trained guidance professionals available that can help support you with your career planning and decisions. 

Go to the IGC WebsiteFor a list of registered private practitioners with the IGC click here.

Department of Social Protection

If you are currently unemployed, there may also be supports available when making employment and education decisions.

The Department of Social Protection have a number of key employment support services that provide information and advice for individuals in receipt of social welfare.

Contact information for all organisations and services that provide information and guidance to jobseekers is available here.
  Hint: STEPS

I am currently studying a part-time Masters in Image Processing in Dublin City University. This is to satisfy some extra training in an area I work in daily. Image processing is the study of using cameras to replicate human vision. We use them to inspect parts for defects.

Training is very much a big part of our company and it is encouraged that some form of training is completed annually. All relevant training is funded by the organisation. This is common in the engineering world. I am spending a week in Japan soon for further training in Image Processing with a Japanese Engineer

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