A Message for Leaving Cert Students

June 7, 2023

This is a step on your career journey, take one step at a time

Laura Griffin
This is a step on your career journey,

While it is the grand finale for Second Level Education it is only the beginning of your future. And while I understand at this moment the pressure may feel immense, please remember you can only take one step at a time.

As a Career Coach for both Adults and Students. I work with people at various steps in their career, a job for life or even one career for life is a concept that is outdated. Your career is likely to be a long and winding path and one you are just embarking on.

Career Guidance for Leaving Cert Students

The main piece of advice I give when working with students through Leaving Certificate Career Guidance is, make sure you have options lined up. Whether that is on the CAO form ensuring you have back up options or a list of suitable PLC’s or potential apprenticeships etc. Once you have an option you can take the next step and from there identify your strengths and work towards a career that works for you.

From an academic perspective I do advocate for getting a NFQ Level 8 degree and I acknowledge this is not for everyone. However, as I mentioned earlier. I work with a lot of people who have been on their career path for decades and now want to make a change. This is much easier to do once they have a L8 degree behind them. It also unsurprisingly improves your chance of employment out of college and will make you eligible for various Postgrad options.

Your Career Journey

None of this means you must have it all figured out by September or even July 1st. When the results and CAO offers come out, if it hasn’t gone your way remember there are so many routes to take. A year out can be a great opportunity to gain clarity and to get some work experience. A PLC course is a brilliant way to get a better understanding of a broad subject and as an alternate route into a degree course. Reapplying for the CAO next year is also a possibility. If you are still unsure of what you want it is a worthwhile investment to seek private career guidance.

As you progress through your career you will find that your skillset, your work ethic, your attitude to life, and your personality are what carves out the right career for you. Whether the Leaving Cert goes your way or not you will have options to move forward and take the next step on your career path.