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  • Writer's pictureannemangan5

Outcomes of the School-Leaver CAO Workshop from the Student and Coach Perspectives

On completion of a recent Career Coaching Workshop, the participants, who have just completed their leaving cert, have this advice for their peers.


When reviewing your list from earlier in the year, de-clutter by removing the courses that you don’t want. Ask yourself, why you have chosen this course. Interest in the field of study and the subjects is what matters.

If you find that you are over-thinking your choices, take time out on your own. Go where you feel relaxed, maybe a walk by the sea or a cycle.

Listen to yourself. It is easy to get caught up in others’ ideas. Find space for yourself and your thoughts.

Choose a course not a college. However, if extracurricular activities such as sport, music, theatre etc are important, then the choice of college is a consideration.

If you happen to be attending the same college as some of your friends, be aware that you may not make new friends easily.

Don’t panic. If your 1st choice is something you would love to do, don’t take it out just because you think you didn’t do well enough in the leaving cert.

Consider the commute to college? What are the consequences regarding social life, work, hobbies and interests? Does staying local make more sense? How far are you willing to commute? Is it possible for you to move closer to college?

Apply the No-Lose model of decision making. This means that regardless of the choice you make, or the CAO makes, it is right for you at this time. Enjoy the journey in the knowledge that there will be lots of great opportunities along the way.

If the course doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world.


College life is about new experiences and meeting new people. It provides a host of opportunities, not to be missed. The first few weeks of college are when many new friendships are formed. Be careful not to miss out by hanging out with your friends. Few people are brave enough to chat to people in groups.

Our intuition, often referred to as gut-feeling, is an amazing resource, one that we all have on tap. It just needs to be heard. Sometimes our bodies give us good clues about which way to go. Even after we have done the research, talked to people and come up with a logical choice, it is possible that our intuition is telling us to go with the other choice. Don’t be afraid to trust it.

If you are part of a group of friends who chat about career decisions, then Group-Think is difficult to avoid. Group-Think is where we set aside our own personal beliefs or adopt the opinions of the rest of the group. It stifles creative thought and leads to poor decision making.

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