About Finding a Job

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Going to college isn’t for everyone. Some people really look forward to spending three or four years going to lectures, taking exams and studying hard. However, there are others who, for a variety of reasons, decide that going on to higher education isn’t for them. The official statistics say that approximately 40 percent of young Irish people make the direct transition from school to work.

Some school leavers can’t wait to enter the workforce and there is no denying there are some advantages to this approach. The obvious attraction is the full-time wage; people working full-time generally have more disposable income than students. You will also be entering the job market sooner than those who are going on to further education, so you will have a number of years’ full-time work experience under your belt by the time they graduate.

However, it’s not all plain sailing. Not everyone who bypasses higher-level education finds an interesting job with good prospects. While unemployment figures in Ireland have recently decreased, it is now harder for school leavers to get a ‘good’ job than it used to be. For many jobs, some kind of third-level education is now necessary.

This is not to say the situation is impossible, or even very difficult; it just means you must undertake some research and consider all your options. First of all, it is a good idea not to rush into anything. Talk to friends and family, and check newspapers and job web sites to see what opportunities are available to you. Don’t just grab the first pay cheque you see coming! While it might be tempting to work with friends or to take on more hours at your part-time job, it might not be the best career move.

You can get a good general idea about the kind of work that’s available from the employment sections of the newspapers, from recruitment agencies and on web sites such as www. recruitireland. com, www. irishjobs. ie and www. jobs. ie. Recruitment adverts usually say what level of education is required – the Leaving Cert, a third-level qualification – so you will know what positions are open to you.

Many bigger companies and organisations offer school-leaver programmes, which provide on-the-job training and often allow people to gain recognised qualifications while they work. This includes banks, large manufacturing companies and the civil service, among others. For more information, contact your local FÁS office or conduct further Internet research. You can also show some initiative; call a company that interests you and ask if they have any positions available.

Try to think seriously about the kind of jobs you would enjoy, and where your strengths lie. You should already have a good idea of your aptitudes and the academic subjects you were good at and enjoyed – perhaps you preferred science subjects to business, or you were better at Maths than English. Align your skills, aptitudes and personal qualities with the job descriptions you find. This will help you decide which jobs you should put on your ‘A-list’.

Applying for everything and taking whatever you are offered is not a sensible approach – some jobs simply may not suit you. Your goal is to find something with an element of longevity, rather than a job that might be fun for a few weeks but doesn’t have any real prospects. Don’t imagine that you have to get your whole career organized in a few weeks; these things take time. If you take your approach seriously and consider all your options, you have every chance of finding a job with decent future prospects leading to a rewarding and worthwhile career.


Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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