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 Public Appointments Service to give some advice for people considering this job:
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.
What are your interests?
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I took constructions studies for my Leaving Certificate and I found it fascinating and challenging. Maths plays a big role with my job and it is always good to have a good knowledge of it for the trade.