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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Green Skills Youth Unemployment Programmes

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Green Skills Youth Unemployment Programmes

Wednesday, March 02, 2016 

Green Skills Youth Unemployment Programmes

ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation have announced a limited amount of places available for 16-24 year olds on their new Youth Employment programmes commencing on the 11th of April 2016.

These programmes are supported and funded by the Government with support under the Dormant Accounts Fund and Accenture and are free to eligible participants.

Note: Interested young people from Dublin and surrounding areas can apply including young people from Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.

Green Skills is a full-time 14 week programme to upskill youth in Dublin City and to progress them onto paid employment. This course is open to participants who are unemployed and aged between 16- 24 years. All participants will receive professional environmental training in two FETAC Level 5 modules including Sustainable Development and Work Experience, motivational training and a valuable work placement to help them get their 'foot in the door' to companies and organisations they may not otherwise have access to.

Green Steps is a 24 week full-time programme (4 days per week) that involves progression to employment and further education for unemployed 18-24 year olds living in the Dublin Inner city area combining specialist training; a practical work experience placement; mentoring; project work, a family/community relationship project along with supports including employment and further education support.

The intensive programme includes FETAC training in: Community Development (L3), Growing Vegetables (L4), Work Experience (L5) along with a 3 month work placement and post course employment supports.

Places are filling up fast and are allocated on a first come first served basis. 

How to sign up?

E: and request a booking form. An Information Session will be held on Thursday the 3rd March at 11am at the ECO-UNESCO offices, 9 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

Please email to reserve a place as places are limited!

To download programme material visit the following webpages:

For further Information or other queries contact: Niamh Hand –

The CareersPortal Team