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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.

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Investigative 
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Administrative Officer - Department of An Taoiseach

"While government decides policy, we are responsible for and seeing it effectively implemented on the ground." David Crowe, Administrative Officer - Department of The Taoiseach. 

During my studies in the areas of Corporate Law and Economic Science in National University of Ireland, Galway; I had never really considered the civil service as a career, as they weren’t hiring at the time.

Seeing the competition advertised gave me the chance to seriously consider it for the first time. When I first applied I knew very little about the role and duties of the civil service in the running of government.



Since then I’ve learnt a lot about the importance of what we’re responsible for and the effect we can have on the people of the country. While government decides policy, we are responsible for and seeing it effectively implemented on the ground. Supporting government in setting policy, it’s an exciting challenge to be part of.

I am currently working in the Economic, Northern Ireland and International division in the Department of the Taoiseach. While only a very recent entrant, I’ve already prepared briefings for the Taoiseach and other senior officials and played a real role in drafting the National Reform Programme before its submission to the European Commission.

This was cross-government document which required us to work with many other departments and required a wide range of skills. This provided the most memorable moment so far for me, when I attended an Oireachtas Committee with Minister of State Donohoe about the National Reform Programme.

I have found the managers and colleagues in the division to be extremely supportive in helping me settle in and providing guidance on my work and there has been a wide range of training provided by IGEES (Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service) to continue my professional development. The flexible working hours have been a real bonus in the position, making the work-life balance much easier to manage.

I’m currently looking forward to the opportunities for travel and varied work the job presents. In fact, a colleague in the division is currently in Shanghai and there are annual programs to go on secondment with European agencies.

There is also huge potential for varied work in the civil service as I can be rotated to another department in the service for a period of time, giving me the chance to add breadth to my career.

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Article by: David Crowe