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 Kelleghan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Deirdre Kelleghan

Amateur Astronomer

Smart Futures

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  Deirdre Kelleghan
Being a self-employed artist is probably the most difficult job really. You need to be highly motivated in the tasks you set for yourself. You need to be able to work on your inspirations and be totally focused on your targets. If your painting does not work first time you need to be able to learn from your experience and use what worked in another piece. Your ability to have confidence in your journey exploring your choice of subjects in paint is important. As regards doing workshops, bringing fun into the entire effort is the most important element to achieve. Your audiences will learn in a more sustainable way and produce drawings to be proud of.
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Naturalist?
Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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My Life as a Female Butcher

"When I tell people what I do, their reactions differ. The men in the industry think it's a novelty that I'm a girl. They're just so proud that any young person still wants to learn the trade.", Amelia Watts, Apprentice Butcher 

One Saturday, after a long day breaking down animal carcasses, I changed into my street clothes and bundled into a cab, before the driver asked: “Been buying lamb?” I didn't like to tell him that smell was me.

The smell was clinging to my skin and hair, despite having spent the day covered up in overalls and a hat. That was a shock – it's safe to say I haven't gone out straight from work since.

I have always loved food, but being a chef seemed so anti-social, and I wanted to be more involved in where the food came from. I had a bit of experience of unusual meat from my other interest, historical re-enacting, so I knew the blood and guts didn't bother me. It's fascinating seeing where the different cuts of meat come from, like doing a big reverse jigsaw puzzle.

When I first became a female butcher, I underestimated how physical it was going to be. I have to handle huge pieces of meat, like an entire side of pig, which is kept at such a low temperature that your bones ache and your hands throb with the cold. It can make working with very sharp knives pretty dangerous.

Your shoulders also hurt from lifting and I've made so many sausages in a day it gave me a crick in my back. Having said that, I do enjoy it (!) – there aren't too many jobs where you find yourself physically exhausted at the end of each day.

As a result, the sleeves of my T-shirts are starting to feel tighter, particularly on the sausage-making side of my body. It makes me a bit self-conscious on a night out. I'm a girlie girl, so having one big bicep isn't ideal. But I never want to be as exhausted as I was in my first week, so I try to see my new strength as a good thing. I could beat most of the men I know in an arm wrestle.

When I tell people what I do, their reactions differ. The men in the industry think it's a novelty that I'm a girl. They're just so proud that any young person still wants to learn the trade. Other guys I've told think it's cool – especially my boyfriend. It's only really a minority of people who turn their noses up at the gore.

Not everyone would care for the uniform either – overalls, hair back, no nail polish or perfume thanks to environmental health. But I do wear some make-up to work – no one needs to see my bare face at 6am.

My biggest fear is getting something wrong and ruining someone's Christmas dinner. In this job, if you get it right and sell a perfect cut of meat, you could make a family's Christmas Day. That’s what it’s all about.

Amelia Watts speaking to Tory Frost ~ The Telegraph 


Article by: Tory Frost