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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:
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.
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Peter Clifford, Probationer Garda
Peter Clifford is a Probationer Garda in Waterford. Peter had previously worked as a care assistant for people with intellectual diabilities before deciding on a career change. He was also a member of the Garda Reserve for 5 years in a busy city environment which shaped his decision to join the force.
I did Geography, Business studies and German in school. To be honest these subjects didn’t have an influence as I had always wanted to be a Garda. At least now I can speak a few words of German if needed.
I completed my leaving certificate in 2008. I then went on to study Arts in UCC while I was waiting for the Gardaí to open recruitment. College wasn’t for me and I did over a year and a half and left to work instead while waiting.
I think my experience as a Garda Reserve for 5 years has been the single most important for me. I completed a training programme for the Garda Reserves and then I did a lot of on the job learning.
I was very lucky in that Gardaí in the station knew where my interests lay and took me under their wing as a Reserve.
I was involved in a huge variety of incidents and this furthered my interests in becoming a full member. My time in the Garda Reserve also provided me with a range of experiences to draw from for my application and interview.
In the Garda College I have completed a suicide intervention course which has proved to be a very worthwhile course.
In the future I hope that I can further my education and build on the degree that I will attain at the end of the training. I think that furthering education will be crucial if I want to progress my career in years to come.