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 Sinead O'Hara from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Sinead O'Hara

Higher Executive Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Sinead O'Hara

First, I would say that the person should give some thought to what Department they may be assigned to. If, for example, one has a particular interest in environmental issues, then obviously this Department is ideal for them.

The Departments in the Civil Service cover so many aspects of life, and economic and social activity that I think there is choice for everyone. I would also encourage people to think about why they are considering the job - do they see long-term career prospects in it, or maybe they see it as a means to make a contribution.

At the end of the day, service to the public is what a career in the Civil Service is about.


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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National Career Skills Competition 2016

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National Career Skills Competition 2016

Friday, March 04, 2016 

National Career Skills Competition 2016

The National Career Skills Competition 2016 is NOW OPEN for entries - Have you got what it takes?

It's midterm break and hundreds of second-level students are out on work experience this week. Tell us about your work placement - describe the SKILLS you developed during your time on work placement and what you observed about the world of work - and be in with a chance to win some great prizes!



The competition is open to 2nd level students who have taken part in Work Experience.

What are Career Skills?

View this great video and hear TY students describe career skills from their perspective.

We are giving away superb prizes, sponsored by McDonald's Ireland, for the top three entries in each of three distinct categories:

  • TY
  • Leaving Cert (Including LCA & LCVP)
  • Irish Language entries

In addition, the school of the winning student from each category will receive a cash prize for the relevant programme.



We are giving away superb prizes for the top three entries in each category (TY, Leaving Cert/LCA/LCVP and Best Entry As Gaeilge).

The winner of each category receives the amazing Apple MacBook Air Laptop, with Dr Dre Beats for each 2nd Place and a Creative Bluetooth Speaker for each 3rd Place.

In addition, the school of the winning student from each category will receive a cash prize of €1,000 for the relevant programme.

Be in with a chance to win one of these great prizes and there's a cash prize for your school programme too!


The National Career Skills Award Ceremony 2016 will take place in May at the Department of Education & Skills. The winning students, their parents, programme co-ordinators and principals will all be invited to attend the prize giving ceremony. 

The national co-ordinators from all programmes and the Vice President of the IGC will be in attendance, as will key individuals in the area of guidance, education and industry.


The competition is based on your work experience.

When you do a work placement, you get a chance to see and meet the people who's work and efforts contribute to the success of a company or organisation. You get a chance to see what the work is like, and think about whether you might like to do something similar some day. Love it or hate it, you will certainly know more after spending some time watching, helping out, or even contributing to the tasks and activities of these people. 

The competition asks you to investigate closely one person who you get to work alongside during your placement. It asks you to describe the job-role, find out what education is required to enter it, to notice some of the skills required to do the job well, and most importantly, to tell us what skills YOU have developed during that time.

In other words, you need to complete a Career Investigation for a job role you observe and learn more about during your time on work experience.

How to Enter

Competition Entries can be made online, by e-mail or by post.

Online Entries 

Online entry is accessible to students who register with (click on the 'Sign Up' link at the top of every page). 

Once registered with the site, follow the links to complete the National Career Skills Competition.

Postal Entries

Completed Entries should be sent to:

[Programme Name] (The name of the Category] you are entering LCE/LCA/LCVP, TY, Gaeilge)
The National CareerSkills Competition
7, Richview Office Park

Good luck and remember, if you're not in you can't win!

View 2015 Finalists and Winners here

Terms and Conditions apply

The CareersPortal Team