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

 

Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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  Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!

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The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, or story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
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Return to work supports

Often people worry about losing their social welfare benefits when they return to work. However, there are a number of supports and incentives available that can help you make this transition back into employment.

The Ready Reckoner is a user friendly tool for those in receipt of a jobseeker's payment. It gives an indication of the difference between your potential in-work and your current out-of-work payments based on information provided by you. The tool is anonymous and you are not required to enter your personal details.

To view this: click here

Jobseeker’s payments and part-time work

If you are unemployed and in receipt of either Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance you can accept an offer of part-time work and may be able to qualify for a Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance payment for the days that you are unemployed.
 
Working part-time is allowed, provided that you are:
  • unemployed for at least 4 days in any 7 consecutive days (including Sunday)
  • Genuinely Seeking full-time employment
  • available for work in respect of the remaining days of unemployment
Working for any part of a day, even only for one hour, is counted as a day of employment by the Department of Social Protection. You must advise the Department of any work you intend to undertake while receiving either Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you are engaged in part-time employment you must be available for and genuinely seeking full-time employment to qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance. For more information: click here
The Part-Time Job Incentive (PTJI) Scheme, run by the Department of Social Protection, is intended as a stepping stone to full-time work. It allows certain long-term unemployed people to take up part-time work and get a special weekly allowance instead of their jobseeker’s payment. Recipients of the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme must be available for and seeking full-time work while getting the payment.

For more information: click here

JobsPlus

JobsPlus is an incentive from the Department of Social Protection to encourage and reward employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. Grants of €7,500 and €10,000 are available over two years for each eligible employee.

For more information: click here


The following are some Frequently Asked Questions about returning to work:

Q1. Can I retain my Medical Card?

People who have been unemployed for a minimum of 12 months may retain their Medical Card for a period of 3 years if they commence employment. The Medical Card scheme is administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Q2. Are there any childcare supports available to help me make the transition to employment?

A subsidised after school childcare scheme is available to support low-income and unemployed people to return to the workforce. It is targeted at families that are most in need at a critical time in their progression into employment. By offsetting some of the child care costs associated with availing of an employment opportunity, the scheme aims to support individuals to take up employment.

Details of this scheme are available here.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs also provide additional subsidised childcare supports. Details of these schemes are available on their website www.dcya.ie 

Q3. My income is still low, can I claim any financial support now that I am back in work?

FIS is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children which gives extra financial support to people on low pay. New employees under JobsPlus may be entitled to receive Family Income Supplement (FIS). JobsPlus is payable to the employer it does not prevent you from claiming FIS. If you are signing off the Live Register and meet the other conditions for FIS in terms of hours worked (at least 19 hours per week) etc. you may be eligible for FIS. 

To find out if you are eligible for FIS: click here

 

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