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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.

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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Career Sectors

A Career Sector is an area characterised by a collection of occupations that have something in common, for example, the type of work they do or their role in the economy. Very often people are attracted to the products or services provided by a particular sector, and seek to find employment close to the essence of that area.

Within each sector there are a wide range of opportunities. These range from unskilled work up to the professions that characterise the sector. It takes years of hard and dedicated work to reach the highest levels within any sector, but if that is where your interest lies, the effort is worth it.

Everybody has to start somewhere, so choosing a sector, and the level you wish to enter into it are important decisions. Typically, the higher up on the educational ladder you climb, the higher the level you enter the sector. That is, of course, if your training is appropriate to the sector. A qualified lawyer would have to start off at the bottom of the ladder in the construction sector if they choose to work as a carpenter!

The important thing is that sector specific skills learnt in one sector often don't have great value in another sector - which is why people tend to stay and move about within the sector they have developed the skills for. It may also important to know whether the sector you are considering investing in is a growing one or in decline - it helps to know that there may be good job opportunities available in the future.

We provide information on over 30 sectors operating throughout Ireland, divided into 6 broad categories. You can explore extensive information on each of these sectors from here

Sector Experts

Where possible we bring you the most up-to-date information directly from the organisations that oversee the different sectors. These organisations provide detailed information from which career seekers can make their most informed choices. You can view the Sector Experts area here.


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