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 Steven Kilgannon from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:


Steven Kilgannon

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

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  Steven Kilgannon
Do not judge the job by your experience in the college. Join the Garda Reserve to gain experience of the outside world. Be yourself and put in the effort to achieve your goals.

The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, or story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
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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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