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?
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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Task Skills
Personal Skills

Task Skills

Task skills are a range of general skills that are important in order to be able to successfully complete many common tasks found in most work environments. They refer to general situations only - and are to be distinguished from the more occupation specific skills that come from specialist training.

Few jobs exist that would not benefit from a good level of competency in the categories below. Many of these skills can be improved by specific training, or through seeking out opportunities that would require you to gain more experience of the task.

It is reasonable to assume that employers will favor people who can demonstrate successful achievements in these areas.

Examples of Task Skills:

Planning / Organising Creates clear goals, identifies and finds the resources (e.g. time, people, materials) needed to achieve them, and schedules tasks so that work is completed on time.
Time management Takes the time to organise events and tasks carefully so as to use time efficiently. Uses a diary/planner to ensure tasks are undertaken
Practical skills Uses equipment, tools or technology effectively. Easily follows instructions and shows willingness to use whatever tools or technology is required.
Computer skills Confidently uses a computer to write documents, browse the internet or use email programs. Can save files, locate them efficiently and print them.
Problem solving Shows interest in finding the cause of problems, looks for and chooses effective solutions and takes the necessary action to resolve them.
Business awareness Shows understanding of the main business activities of the company/organisation. Has a good sense of the business opportunities available, and the primary competitors.
Customer focus Shows understanding and concern for customers’ needs, is helpful and friendly to them, and deals effectively with any questions or complaints they may have.
Your Career Skills distinguish you from others more than you might think!
Where do I start?
You can use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to discover the most sought after skills needed to get jobs in the modern workplace. By rating yourself on these skills, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. Then, you can look for opportunities to develop and practice your underdeveloped skills.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Skills Self-Assessment
[pdf - 540Kb, 4 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet