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Discover your story with Career Craft

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Did you know that best-selling crime author John Grisham was once a lawyer?

He wrote The Rainmaker between meetings and court hearings, and then The Firm, A Time to Kill and a whole host of other law-related crime books which became Hollywood blockbusters.

It makes sense that he wrote about what he knew, what fascinated him, what he cared about. And yet, his extreme success did not come from his legal training or even his ability to fight for justice for his clients. It came from his capacity to weave a narrative and to write so articulately - the law simply fuelled his inspiration.

Choosing a career can be tough and terrifying work. The pressure to get it right, to discover your gifts, to judge the jobs-market, to make money, to do what you enjoy; even Grisham would struggle to tie all these plot lines together.

The tools we used to choose careers 30 years ago, before constant technological innovation, offshoring, global dependencies, mass migration, remote working and a whole host of other features of the modern world existed, cannot be applied to today.

As a career coach, I would argue that there is no “safe” job anymore and there is no “perfect” career for anyone. Yet there is a direction that may suit a person more than another, a field that might allow for someone to play to their gifts, to make the best contribution they can make. That direction does not have an end-point, and the journey of career exploration is a constant state of learning, course correcting and acquiring different experiences and skills that allow for a unique offering to the world.

I work together with my clients to help them find this direction, to discern whether Due West would be more compatible with who they are than North, not to help them know whether they’ll hit America or the Spice Islands – the adventure is their own. The tools we use to orient the process are coaching and psychometrics; they tell us about the Strengths, Higher purpose, Interests, Non-negotiables and Environmental needs of a person – about their SHINE.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, had studied to become an engineer. He used engineering principles and thought processes to create the Kindle and the Amazon platform. In 2009 he gave a talk to engineering students at Princeton and he told them to try to figure out what they were interested in, not what they thought would make them money. “It’s very difficult to chase after a wave,” he said. "What’s better is to place yourself in the middle of something you genuinely love and wait for the wave to come find you."

If you or someone you know is at school or has recently finished and is trying to navigate their career journey, I am a chartered work and organisational psychologist and have been working with career seekers for over a decade. I’m based locally in Killarney so please reach out for a confidential chat www.careercraft.ie.

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Top 10 Essential tips for Leaving Cert Students in lead up to June 5

The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting […]

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The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting year.

The natural anxiety felt by students is often heightened by the annual media hype around the state exams and it is really important that you do your best to manage that stress effectively, so that you are ready to perform to the best of your ability once the exams start. The following tips may help to keep you focused and a little calmer in the lead up to June 5.

1. Review, don’t cram – Focus on summary notes, flashcards, or mind maps. This reinforces what you’ve already studied. Prioritise areas where you feel less confident, but don’t try to learn new material.

2. Practise past papers – Review marking schemes and time allocation for each question you will need to answer on each paper. Practise a sample of questions against the clock. This will maximise your scoring potential.

3. Organise your materials – Check the exam timetable and highlight your own exams. Prepare the stationary that you need, gather pens, pencils, calculators, and so on. Pack your bag the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

4. Maintain a healthy balance – Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is crucial for memory, concentration and stamina. Eat well, include proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your meals to maintain energy levels. Drink plenty of water, hydration is essential.

5. Try to manage stress – Schedule short breaks during study sessions and do something enjoyable and relaxing, like a short walk, playing or listening to music. Get fresh air and some light exercise. Use relaxation techniques like breathing exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

6. Focus on a positive mindset – Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your preparation. Concentrate on what you know and not on what you think you don’t! Try to avoid negative self-talk and steer clear of discussions that heighten anxiety, such as comparing how much you’ve studied with friends.

7. Plan your weekend – Create a realistic timetable for the weekend, balancing study sessions with breaks and relaxation and don’t overdo the study. You need plenty of energy for the exams.

8. Stay connected – Talk to friends and family, if you are feeling overwhelmed reach out and get support from loved ones. If it’s helpful, have a short, focused study session with friends to clarify doubts.

9. Keep things in perspective – The Leaving Cert is important but won’t define you and regardless of what happens you have several options open to you. Try to reframe the media hype as the whole country getting behind you, for what they know to be a tough time for you.

10. Get Set for exam day – Double-check the venue, seating arrangements, and required materials for the day of the exam. On the evening before the exam, do a light review of key concepts but avoid heavy studying. Ensure you know how to get to the exam venue and plan to arrive early (at least 30 mins on the first day). Decide what you’ll wear to avoid rushing in the morning and have your water and snacks ready to go.

Above all else, give the exams your best shot! Once they are over you have a lovely ‘study-free’ summer and bright future to look forward to. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!

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Disability toilets for Killarney Library

Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year. Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting. She said: […]

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Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year.

Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting.
She said: “Application has been made for funding to the Department. As soon as the funding is approved, work will commence on the provision of Disabled Toilet Facilities.
“While ramps are installed for accessibility, it is unacceptable that any public building be without disabled toilet facilities in this day and age.
“I am aware of several people with a disability who constantly use the services of the Library and are very happy with the staff and the services that Killarney Library offers but are disappointed at the lack of disabled toilets.”
“I will be keeping the pressure on to have these facilities provided as soon as possible.”

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