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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:


Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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  Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.


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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Beyond Activation Adult Guidance Conference Maynooth April 2016

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Beyond Activation Adult Guidance Conference Maynooth April 2016

Monday, April 04, 2016 

Beyond Activation Adult Guidance Conference Maynooth April 2016

The Department of Adult and Community Education has been running a suite of courses in Adult Guidance Counselling for the last 21 years.

They are dedicated to providing learning opportunities that are underpinned by a commitment to personal and social empowerment and transformation. As part of their 40 year anniversary they are hosting a conference for Graduates and Guidance Practitioners in the emerging field of Adult Guidance in Ireland.

The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the various discourses that have shaped the practice of guidance counselling in recent years. It will create large and small group spaces for input, discussion and reflection on the values and beliefs that shape our practice such as, creativity, equality, justice and critical social engagement. The conference will seek to provide opportunities for Adult Guidance practitioners and graduates to reflect on practices and values that can resource us to stay alive and responsive in these challenging times.

Why attend

This conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on your guidance practice with colleagues, engage in stimulating discussions, hear new ideas and rekindle your passion in adult guidance. It is open to all practitioners who work in the field of adult guidance and are interested in making a meaningful contribution to peoples’ lives.

Practitioner workshops

There will be an opportunity to choose two workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which will be facilitated by past graduates and staff. The workshops will provide a space to reflect on your work and the passion and hope that you bring into adult guidance. You will also be introduced to new and emergent developments in guidance practice.

These will include:

  • The Changing Faces of Careers Services in Higher Education: Brendan Baker, Head of Career Development Centre at Maynooth University
  • As a mature student, how do I gain entry to third level education? Reflections on mature and late entrant assessment processes for admission to a university: John McGinnity, Admissions Officer/Assistant Registrar
  • Developments in guidance at European level – the impact on policy and the provision of adult guidance in Ireland – if any? Jenifer McKenzie, Director of the National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE)
  • Groupwork as a resource to Adult Guidance: Mick Fahy is a Tutor in Adult Guidance and training group analyst with the Irish Institute of Group Analysis.
  • Innovative Approaches to Support and Supervision:  Ann McKeon has worked extensively with adult guidance practitioners
  • The importance of IT Career Tools in the Guidance Process: Bernadette Walsh, Adult Guidance Practitioner and nationwide trainer,
  • A Liberating Vision for Criminal Justice Guidance? Maria Walsh and Barry Owens, IASIO
  • A Narrative Approach to Adult Guidance: Orla Hicks, Adult Guidance Practitoner
  • Skype Guidance: Rico Stein, Coordinator of the Kerry Adult Guidance and Information Service
  • Is Unconscious Bias the next big diversity challenge in the workplace? Ann Doran Byrne, Career Guidance Counsellor at second and third level 

Key Note Presenter: Hazel Reid

Keynote presentation ‘Telling tales’: The contribution of narrative career counselling in a challenging social and economic context Hazel Reid is Professor of Education and Career Development and the Director of Research in the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Her most recent book is An Introduction to Career Counselling and Coaching (2016) for Sage Publications, which addresses emerging theory and practice in the career counselling field.


To book and for more information: click here