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 Keith Lynch from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:
Only enter the Defence Forces if you are willing to commit to it 100% as it is a long tough road which can be extremely rewarding if you fully engage it. Like everything in this life, you get out what you put in.
What are your interests?
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
In school I studied English, Irish, Maths, History, and French. As I came to this line of work late in life experience and courses I have done since leaving school have been helpful to me.
I did the foundation in counseling skills course in Maynooth College, I feel this has helped me in my work as it developed my listening skills.
Also here I had my first introduction to non verbal communication and reading body language etc., which is very useful in my current job as I work with people who communicate largely by non verbal means.
If I could go back in time I would have worked harder in school and achieved a better leaving certificate, as I spent many years doing a job I was not suited to.