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 Aoife Lyons from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Aoife Lyons

Occupational Psychologist

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Aoife Lyons
Psychology is a very broad area and I would encourage people to reflect on the field that would suit them best. If you study pharmacy, you will graduate as a pharmacist. It is different in psychology. The role of a Clinical Psychologist differs significantly from the role of an Educational Psychologist, a Forensic Psychologist or a Sports Psychologist. A post graduate qualification will be required to practice in any of these fields. Regardless of the area of psychology that interests you, respect for and an interest in people is a key value that is required. Once you have qualifications, networks and professional bodies are a good way to meet prospective employers.
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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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The site contains a wide variety of of interviews with people working in different occupations in Ireland. You can view interviews about their career and its development, questions about their current job and what level of education and training (known as Jobzones 1-5) they undertook to work in their chosen sector. These people also share advice for people interested in the related career.

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ask the experts
  Hint: Department of Education and Skills
When I started looking for a job I subscribed to a UK-based weekly list of academic jobs. As lecturers tend to work in specialised areas I did anticipate that I would have to work abroad for a number of years, to gain experience and wait for a job to become available in Ireland.

Fortunately, I was nearing completion of my doctorate as DCU Business School entered into significant expansion. I heard about my job through a number of sources - it was advertised both in the Irish Times and on the DCU website.

At that point I was getting the Times every week, as were my parents. I was also told about by a fellow PhD student in Trinity, who was also working in DCU. I applied by filling in an application form, which was available on the web. I was given the opportunity to include additional pertinent information, so I sent in an extra document to accompany the form.

In this I emphasised the fact that my research interests were complementary to those of members of the HRM/Organisational Psychology group, as well as to those of the Learning, Innovation and Knowledge Research Center. I was also excited at the prospect of joining the Business School as it entered a dynamic expansion phase.

The selection process had two components, which were a few days apart. First I had to come in and make a presentation. This was to assess my teaching and communication skills. There was a panel with the Head and Professor of the Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology Group, which I was applying to join; the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning; an external representative; and a representative from the Human Resource Department.

In the next stage, I had an interview with what seemed a big panel at the time. The Dean of the Business School, the Professor of HRM, the Head of the HRM and Organisational Psychology group, two external Professors and a representative of the HR group asked me questions about why I wanted to work in DCU; my teaching and research experience and philosophy; course design and delivery.

The panel made an obvious effort to make me feel comfortable, but I was still pretty nervous - I really wanted to work here!

I was contacted by telephone two weeks later and was told that they would like to offer me the job. The offer was quickly followed by a formal letter and contract.

The decision to take the job was easy. I had also applied for and been offered two other jobs - one in Ireland and one in the UK. But DCU had a very clear fit with my research interests, I was very impressed by their strategy and I'd really enjoyed meeting my potential colleagues through the interview process. I had really enjoyed being in college in Trinity so moving into a similarly welcoming and collegiate culture was very important to me.

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