On our career journey most people will occupy many different job roles. We may work as a clerk in an office for a while, then an engineer, then a manager and so on. These days a person’s career may span a wide variety of roles over their lifetime, and often across different career sectors. Reading the stories from those interviewed on this site will give you a flavour of the diversity of roles individuals play out in their career.
When choosing a career direction, start with the bigger picture (e.g. Business / Medicine / Childcare) and work your way towards the job roles that appeal to you most at the time (e.g. Accountant / Doctor / Crèche Assistant). If you have no particular job roles in mind, work on building up knowledge and skills in an area you like, you will spot suitable opportunities as your familiarity with the area increases.
Note that if you choose to study/work in an area you like, you will enjoy the experience along the way. As you become more familiar with the area of your choice, you may well spot different job roles that are more appealing to you (e.g. Tax Expert / Surgeon / Montessori Teacher).
It’s quite common to change / modify goals as time passes, but because you are building expertise in the general area (through work or study) you can progress based on your experience so far. As you focus your goals on more specific occupations, you may find yourself taking on additional training to acquire the specific requirements of the role.
Start your research by exploring the opportunities provided in career areas that you are interested in. Look through our list of Career Sectors and follow those that appeal to you most. Familiarise yourself with the general information for the sector first. Then look at some of the typical occupations found in the sector and follow the links to the more detailed information provided.
- Aside from well-known occupations, many exist that you will not know much about, and that may prove to be a good match to your interests.
- Many more variations of typical roles exist than can be listed in our database.
- When researching occupations, always consider how well the role fits your aspirations, personality, natural talents etc.
- Where possible watch the videos from the links provided – they often portray the jobs better than written descriptions.
If you know what occupations / job roles you are looking for, you may be able to find information in our Occupation database. This database is constantly expanding to include new occupations as they arise, and provides a range of information about specific occupations or occupational groups. Where possible we have incorporated videos of people in the occupation or one closely related to it. These often provide greater insight into the job role.
Our database categorises occupations in a number of ways, and uses the idea of a Job Zone to note the difference in education or experience level typically needed for the role. For example, if a job is in Zone 1 (lowest), it requires a basic education (Junior Cert / Leaving Cert) and little previous experience. It is expected that you would be reasonably competent with just a little training, which would be done on the job. In contrast, Job Zone 5 (highest), you would typically need Post Graduate training or greater, or extensive first-hand experience.
You can search for occupations in a number of different ways – Click here. Use the Job Zone filter to arrange your results according to Job Zone if preferred.
Most jobs don’t exist in isolation – they are roles that co-exist with other individuals that form part of a team. When considering a particular career direction, it is wise to be aware of the types of employers that you may have to work for, and the conditions of employment they offer. Being employed by a company you like may open new possibilities for progression and change, as well as new positions of responsibility.
As part of your career research we recommend you research the companies that employ people in the roles you are interested in. Knowing the employment profile of an organisation, the key attractions they offer, the other job roles you would be working alongside, the projects they work on, the remuneration package etc. all significantly affect the enjoyment of the position. Click here to View Employer Profiles
Many employers are committed to making their workplaces and businesses inclusive environments, where everybody is treated with dignity and respect and policies are in place regarding issues such as equality, human rights, dignity at work, and fair recruitment. For example, The Diversity Champions Graduate Directory 2013/14 is Ireland’s first directory of inclusive employers for graduates, students and job-seekers who want to choose LGBT inclusive workplaces.
Job Holder Interviews
Some of the best information you will get about different occupations is directly from people who are currently in those job roles. Wherever possible you should talk to individuals who are working in an area you aspire to work in.
Ask your friends, relatives, neighbours and anyone else you can think of if they know anyone working in your area of interest. Arrange to meet them or have a phone conversation with them. Ask them the questions you want answered – most people are happy to talk about their work, even enjoy it!
We have hundreds of interviews covering a diverse range of occupations on this site which could be your starting point. All the videos and interview material is directly from real people working in Ireland. We also link to numerous interviews with people from around the world, as so many occupations are global positions and are much the same throughout the world. Click here to View Career Interviews
Labour Market Trends
When researching careers, it might also be worth considering how the labour market changes over time. Some occupations almost completely disappear in some countries (cobbler, miner), whilst new occupations that never existed before emerge in growing sectors of the economy.
If your interests are particularly focused and opportunities for education or employment don’t exist here in Ireland, you may have to consider moving country. Labour market information trends are published by most countries and opportunities that interest you may be increasing in other countries.
Labour Market information provides statistical information on growth trend across most sectors of the economy, and easily identify career sectors that have a growing number of employment opportunities. They also identify any ‘Jobs in Demand’ – current job positions that are constantly advertised but recruitment falls below demand for workers. Click here to view Labour Market Trends