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 Aoife Lyons from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Aoife Lyons

Occupational Psychologist

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Aoife Lyons
Psychology is a very broad area and I would encourage people to reflect on the field that would suit them best. If you study pharmacy, you will graduate as a pharmacist. It is different in psychology. The role of a Clinical Psychologist differs significantly from the role of an Educational Psychologist, a Forensic Psychologist or a Sports Psychologist. A post graduate qualification will be required to practice in any of these fields. Regardless of the area of psychology that interests you, respect for and an interest in people is a key value that is required. Once you have qualifications, networks and professional bodies are a good way to meet prospective employers.

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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Paul Kinsella on the Local Government Graduate Programme

"The programme includes a process of structured training in year 1 and accredited learning with a professional body in year 2." Paul kinsella. Local Government Grad Programme. 

I studied French and Business in Waterford IT and started a career with Aer Lingus for 7 years, followed by a career in the private sector which offered me opportunities both at home and abroad.

In 2003 I returned home and took up a position as a Clerical Officer in the Public Service with Meath County Council. I worked in diverse areas such as planning and housing. I decided to further my professional development and applied for refund of fees option provided through our HR department.

I was successful and I completed a B.A. (Hons) in Public Management followed by a M.A. in Public Management through the NUI at the Institute of Public Administration, graduating in 2011 with a special interest in social housing provision. I have availed of the opportunity to experience a temporary role as a Housing Investigation Officer investigating matters surrounding anti-social behaviour in council estates in Meath.

I was promoted to Assistant Staff Officer in Cavan County Council and I consider this was a key factor in the development of my career. In May 2015, I came through a competitive open competition through the Public Appointments Service (PAS) for selection onto the inaugural Local Government Graduate Programme as run by the Local Government Management Agency.

There were opportunities available in 5 streams – my chosen stream being Economic & Enterprise Development. I was successful in my application and I joined Fingal County Council on secondment for the 2 year programme as a part of a team of 12 graduates (I call them the 12 apostles!) across the 5 disciplines of the programme.

The programme includes a process of structured training in year 1 and accredited learning with a professional body in year 2. The best part of the programme to date is the camaraderie, vision and sharing of insights amongst my fellow graduates which happens virtually on a daily basis.

Fingal County Council is committed to developing the graduates in terms of an interesting worthwhile structured agenda of learning. I aim to also commence Ph.D studies in 2016.

Article by: Paul Kinsella