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 David Fleming from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

David Fleming

Sub Lieutenant - Navy

Defence Forces

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  David Fleming
Learn about the Naval Service – look at the website, visit a ship alongside a port when they are open to the public, talk to any friends/family in the Naval Service, ring the Recruiting Office.
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Enterprising 
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Volunteer Opportunities


Voluntary work is a good way to learn new skills, gain work experience and get involved in your local community.

You may do some unpaid work as a volunteer and keep your social welfare payment. If you want to do voluntary work, you must first get permission from a Deciding Officer at your Social Welfare Local Office. You must continue to satisfy the conditions of your jobseeker’s payment. You must apply under the voluntary work option before you start any voluntary work.

To apply, fill in application form (VW1), which is available from your Social Welfare Local Office.

Volunteering and Your CV

The value of the experience of volunteering and what it brings to your CV is a great reason to volunteer. As a way of getting a start on a particular career path, volunteering is a great way to get experience. It often becomes a foot in the door into the sector and it will most certainly help those interested to gain specific knowledge and understanding of a given organisation. People often gain paid employment as a result of volunteering.

Another big advantage of volunteering is skill set – volunteering strengthens your skill set and equips you for the world of work – people skills; communication skills; team building skills; practical skills - all can be developed by volunteering.

See article: Getting a Job with no experience

Finding Voluntary Work

Many organisations are dependant on the commitment of Volunteers to sustain their services. In particular, within the community and voluntary sector volunteering is about giving, contributing, and helping other individuals and the community at large. Over 63,000 full-time and part-time staff are employed in the community sector, but it might be a surprise to learn that volunteers provide the equivalent work of a further 31,000 people!

So, if you have a particular interest in a charity or organiation you can contact them to see if they recruit Volunteers. Also, there are agencies that have lists of Volunteer opportunities on their websites including:

Volunteer Ireland

This is the National Volunteer Development Agency and a support body for over 20 Volunteer Centres in Ireland.

To search opportunities: click here
To find your nearest Volunteer centre: click here

Activelink

Activelink.ie is an online network for Irish community and non-profit organisations. They provide information on jobs, tenders, volunteering, events, fundraising, training, publications and funding in these sectors.

To search opportunities: click here
To search their jobs:      click here


Volunteering Abroad

There are incredible openings in a wide breadth of countries around the world for a whole range of skills and roles. The world of volunteering is a lot more diverse and vibrant than people realise.

To find out more: click here

 



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ask the experts
  Hint: Teagasc

When I came out of the Botanic Gardens, I went to work in Holland for the summer and when I came back, I joined a Landscaping firm. This was in the early 1979/80 when the economy was not as buoyant as it is now. We were working on dusty sites, doing landscaping and lawns.

When the weather got bad, you were let go and got a pound an hour "wet time". I remember standing in out of very heavy rain one day in an industrial unit, reading the paper. I saw a job for a Sales Rep to sell horticultural machinery, chainsaws, lawnmowers, golf course equipment etc. I applied for and got the job as an indoors Sales Rep.

It was a great learning curve, I got training in sales, and I was selling equipment related to the industry I was in. That was one of the reasons I got the job as a result of my background in horticulture. That was great training, and I really enjoyed it. I was getting on very well with that job, but when the weather was good (around March/April) I really missed being out in the fresh air.

Within a short period of time it turned out that the company ran into bad financial difficulties, and they let about eight people go and as I was one of the last in, I was also let go. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave me the impetus to set up on my own.

I went out and started working for myself then. It was a big decision for me. I was lucky to get onto a Start your Own Business course, run by the Irish Productivity Centre and FAS. The course was excellent, it ran over sixteen weeks - eight weeks of lectures and practicals, and the second eight was about getting it off the ground.

It was great doing that, and I had a job I used to do on a Saturday. I managed to get another contract for a couple of days a week shortly afterwards, and I just built it up from there. That's really how my own Landscaping Business got off the ground.


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