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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.

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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National Volunteering Week 2015

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National Volunteering Week 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

National Volunteering Week 2015

National Volunteering Week 2015 which promotes volunteering, takes place from Monday 11th to Friday 17th May this year.

There are 3,000 opportunities available for people to help out in their community or do some charity work.

National Volunteering Week has been running since 2012 and is supported by Salesforce.

Nina Arwitz, CEO of Volunteer Ireland, said that the aim of the initiative to to help people who want to volunteer to get involved. "What we're hoping to achieve is basically more people volunteering," she said. "Research we carried out recently showed that about 20% of people want to volunteer, but they just don't know where or how to find out about opportunities. "

So the week is all about sign-posting them to where they can get involved in volunteering.

"And it's really easy - we've got a national database of volunteering opportunities at, and you can go on that database and there's about 3,000 opportunities at the moment."

Is a career in the Community & Voluntary Sector for you?

It may surprise you to discover that its not just about volunteering - organisations in this sector also employ over 100,000 people, similar to the numbers in agriculture and horticulture. Within the sector, Community Organisations employ approximately 63,000 full and part-time workers and the Social Enterprise segment employs some 30,000 people in over 1,400 social enterprises! Check it out here.

The CareersPortal Team