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

Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.

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Enterprising?
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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CV & Interview Preparation
Self Assessment
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Skills

Just about all occupations are characterised by a particular set of skills. We often associate the idea of skills to specific technical activities, like fine hand-eye coordination, or problem solving. However, there are a range of life skills which are equally important, and often overlooked.

We all have valuable skills we may be unaware of. Skill based self assessments help us to focus on those skills we may have, and identify the skills we may be weak in.

You can learn more about career skills here: Go to section on Transferable Career Skills

Useful Websites...

Prospects Planner [UK]  
A job exploration tool which aims to help you identify your skills, motivations and interests and then to match yourself to relevant job types. Designed for at College students. (Registration required)
Finding Potential - Free Psycometric Tests 
Free access to industry standard assessments that include: two personality questionnaires, two 360's, two sifting questionnaires for sales & administrative roles and an individual engagement questionnaire.
Communication Skills Self-Assessment Inventory 
Download a 20 item questionnaire that measures your Communication Skills from HTC Consulting.
Skills You Need 
Several free assessments covering many soft-skills used in the workplace. Requires an email to receive results.
Motivated Skills Test 
For existing workers, this is a quick and easy way to identify the skills which are central to your career satisfaction and success. Free, from Stewart, Cooper & Coon
123 Test 
Free IQ tests, career tests, and personality tests. All tests are designed to help you find serious answers to your questions about IQ, personality, or career assessment.
Holland Interest Profiler 
Official O*Net test used widely in the USA to determine your career interests. Matches to careers from the O*Net database. Note: The Interest Profiler on this site is more advanced and links to an Irish database.


Paper Based Assessments

You can download a number of self assessments from the links below.

Skills:
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to discover the most sought after skills needed to get jobs in the modern workplace. By rating yourself on these skills, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. Then, you can look for opportunities to develop and practice your underdeveloped skills.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Skills Self-Assessment
[pdf - 540Kb, 4 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Career Interests
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to identify where your interests lie. This exercise takes no more than 10 min to complete and can help identify what career interest groups you are most interested in.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Interests Self-Assessment
[pdf - 97Kb, 1 page]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Values
This brief exercise helps to clarify your values according to six commonly used categories.
Download:
Worksheet - Values Self-Assessment
[pdf - 145Kb, 2 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet