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 Nicole Feighery from Insurance to give some advice for people considering this job:


Nicole Feighery

Customer Care Manager


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  Nicole Feighery
I would offer 3 pieces of advice:

- Have a open mind and embrace change in order to grow
- Believe in yourself and your team - anything is possible!
- Be a problem solver, any problem big or small has a solution if you commit to finding one.

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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Career Skills Competition

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National Career Skills Competition - What's Involved

Basic requirements:

  • You are a student of either TY, LCA, LCVP or Leaving Cert.
  • You have taken or will be taking a Work Placement.
  • Your school is participating in the competition.

How it works:
All students need to create a word processed document containing a Career Investigation. TY sudents must also produce a Work Placement Report and Leaving Cert students (including LCVP) must write up a Career Skills Statement. You also need to inform one of your teachers you wish to enter the competition (e.g. TY coordinator, LCA or LCVP teacher, or Guidance Counsellor). They will check your work and organise sending in your applications by post, or online. 

Preparation for the competition:
The best preparation you can do for the competition is to get to read through the competition instructions. Select the programme you are eligable for and click on the links below to view the instructions:

Look through these carefully and check that you understand exactly what we are looking for. Discuss with your teachers or friends anything that you don't understand.

The most important part of the competition is your ability to show that you can understand the Career Skills. Many of these are so obvious that you would hardly notice them - but this does not mean they are not important.

Get to know these skills well, and how to recognise them (they are described here). On your work placement, look out for these skills. When you notice them, imagine how things would be different if they were absent. Notice whether the skills are well developed and natural or weak and avoided. Notice which skills are the most important for the career you are investigating.

Practice your observation of skills on a daily basis - no day goes by without the chance to observe some of these skills with your friends, in your school activities, in your teachers, and at home. Get to know those skills you have already developed [download self-assessment form] and explore ways to develop your weaker skills.

When on work placement, look out for activities and circumstances that help you develop any of these skills. Are there opportunities to use any skills you have already developed? Are there opportunities to develop new skills?

All entries for the Nationwide Competition will be assessed by a team of Human Resource (HR) professionals and the National program co-ordinators of TY, LCA, LCVP and Guidance Counselors. They will be looking for entries that show:

  1. a good understanding of the career being investigated
  2. evidence that you can recognise a number of career skills and relate these to a career
  3. the ability to give a clear description of your day-to-day experience on the placement (TY Only)
  4. that you have developed skills during the course of the placement. 
  5. that you can describe those skills you have developed effectively (LC / LCVP only) 


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