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Start your career research early in Sixth Year

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

It’s a bit of a shock to the system for everyone, but it is very important to hit the ground running in terms of your work rate and approach to study and revision from early on. The same applies to your career research. Many of you will have done some career exploration in Transition Year and Fifth Year which is really valuable. If you haven’t, don’t worry there is still plenty of time. Students who have done the Leaving Cert previously will tell you just how quickly the year seems to go. Before you know it the time will come to make decisions about what direction you want to take next. You don’t need to be told that this is a really important decision, which means you don’t want it to be a rushed one. Starting your research early in Sixth Year will allow you to take time to look at all the options available to you which will then enable you to make an informed decision when you need to. I’ve no doubt that many of you are already feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of having to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. You don’t need to make that decision now, but you will want to decide what form of education or training you would like to pursue for the next couple of years and what career areas/sectors interest you in the foreseeable future.

Seek out supports and valuable resources

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My advice is to start by making an appointment with your guidance counsellor in school who will give you some great suggestions of pathways and courses that might suit you, answer any questions you have and support you through the decision-making process. Ultimately you will have to decide what direction you want to take after school, but using all the really good supports and resources available to you will help hugely, that and taking the time to do proper research!

Steps for successful career research

Step 1: The research starts with yourself; consider your likes, dislikes, interests, skills, strengths, personality traits, values, aptitudes, competencies and subjects you are good at. Think about what motivates you. If you are finding this process difficult, look at some of the free self-assessment tools available online on websites such as www.careersportal.ie, www.qualifax.ie, www.yooni.ie and on the Exit Entry App. They will help to get you started and will give suggestions on broad career sectors as well as specific careers and courses that are worth looking in to. However, you will need to do further research!

Step 2: Explore the world of work, the career sectors and actual job titles. Think about the work settings that appeal to you and those that don’t! The sites mentioned above have extensive information on lots of career areas. Take a look also at the weekly webinars on various career areas from @synergycareers.

Step 3: Look at the education and training options that will help you to develop your skills, knowledge, expertise and experience in a particular area to start you off in your career. You will be continuously building on these over the years. Think about the many options – apprenticeships, traineeships, post-leaving cert courses, CAO courses, study abroad options and more. Then look at the detail of what you will be studying by looking carefully at modules, how they are assessed and the breakdown of practical and theoretical learning. Make sure all of this suits the type of learner you are. Register for the open days, many of which will be virtual again this year, starting from the beginning of October. Put any questions you have to college staff who are only too willing to answer them. You will find details of all career events on a weekly short video by @classroomguidance and lots of really informative Podcasts on courses and colleges on @leavingcertguidance.

Remember there is not just one pathway for everyone, there are many – make sure to explore them all early in Sixth Year and then make an informed decision that you will be happy with.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor - For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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