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 Sayers from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Deirdre Sayers

Primary School Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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  Deirdre Sayers
Do not go into teaching solely for holidays, and definitely not if you want to be rich! You need to like children be patient, kind and be able to work with many types of people.
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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Executive Officer - Department of An Taoiseach

"I deal with builders, with craftsmen and women, with artists and sculptors, with the huge cross-section of people necessary to keep such a historic building in pristine condition." Marc McManus, Executive Officer - Department of The Taoiseach. 

I joined the Civil Service, with the Department of Labour, in the 1980’s. After a number of years I took a career break to work abroad. I returned in the early 1990’s, joining the Revenue Commissioners and on returning, I moved to the Department of the Taoiseach as an EO in 2001.

In 2008 I felt that a formal educational qualification would be of benefit to me and I completed an Honors degree in Public Management, supported throughout the four year course by the Department.

IPA Public Management course

The IPA Public Management course is recognised as being highly effective in focusing on the particular issues and challenges facing the Civil Service and in providing graduates with the skills and tools necessary to meet these challenges and deliver quality outcomes.

During my time in the Department of the Taoiseach, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the delivery of a number of key Government initiatives, including the Customer Charter process, the OECD review of the Public Service, the Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Awards and the Innovation Taskforce.

I am currently working in Management Services in the Department. Obviously, given the huge historical and cultural importance of Government Buildings, myself and my colleagues play a vital role not just in supporting the Taoiseach and the day-today business of the Department, but also in maintaining and preserving one of the most recognisable and iconic architectural landmarks in the country.

I deal with the OPW, with builders, with craftsmen and women, with artists and sculptors, with the huge cross-section of people necessary to keep such a historic building in pristine condition. It is a challenging role, but one I do find genuinely rewarding at times and it certainly gives one a fresh perspective on the work of a Civil Servant.

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Article by: Marc McManus