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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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Administrative 
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Senior Economist - OECD

"Recruitment is rigorous but careers are rewarding." William Hynes, Senior Economist - OECD

My career began at Trinity College Dublin, where I was a student in economics for six years. I gradually built up my knowledge of maths, statistics and economic theory through graduate courses.

As my studies and research developed through a Marie Curie Fellowship at the London School of Economics and my doctoral studies at Oxford University, I began applying the tools and insights of economics to historical and policy-related questions.



My interests were mostly in the area of international economic policy and globalisation. Following a number of short-term policy related roles, I got my first taste of international organisations working as an economic affairs officer in the Office of the Deputy Director General at the World Trade Organisation. While there I helped launch the aid-for-trade initiative to mobilise support to developing countries to connect to global markets and overcome their supply-side constraints.

I continued to work on these issues during my first assignment at the OECD beginning in 2009, while also contributed to the green growth agenda looking at how developing countries could achieve economic and environmental goals simultaneously.

In October 2014, I became a senior economist working on New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) in the Office of the Secretary General. This initiative is an organisation-wide reflection process to draw lessons from the financial and economic crisis to improve OECD analytical frameworks and policy advice. While developing my policy career, I remain connected to academia through an adjunct professorship in international economics at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.

Before I joined I was well aware of the OECD as a source of comparable economic data, but I was unfamiliar with the breath of its activities. The OECD welcomes 40,000 delegates every year, in 250 committees, working parties and expert groups covering a diverse range of public policies. Delegates aided by secretariat come together to agree rules and standards, think about, review and discuss how pressing economic, social and environmental problems can be tackled. OECD offers challenging and interesting opportunities.

Recruitment is rigorous but careers are rewarding. It has a multi-cultural environment, with staff from various backgrounds with different expertise. It is a great institution in which to learn more about the policy-making process, the machinery of public policy and to be part of a team that helps governments address key global challenges through better policies for better lives.

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Article by: William Hynes