A – D

Biomedical  Engineer

Working as a bio medical engineer, you would be using your engineering knowledge and skills to help with the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with serious diseases or disabilities. You would work with medical consultants to develop the instruments necessary for diagnosing or monitoring patients. You could be concerned with designing new equipment, such as that used in keyhole surgery, aids for the handicapped, such as replacement joints and limbs, or implants like pacemakers. Your work might be said to harness the techniques of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering to supplement the mechanics of the human body.

You would need to be interested  in discovering practical solutions to problems. Therefore you need a logical but creative approach to problem solving. In additional to your technical and engineering skills and knowledge you would have to be able to work as a part of a medical health team providing care for your patients.

You might be interested in one of the related engineering professions  such as electronic, electrical, mechanical or telecommunications engineer. Alternatively, you might like to consider another of the professions allied  to medicine, such as bio technologist or medical physicist.

You  are likely to work regular hours but may need to work overtime if there are tight deadlines to meet. As this is a field that depends extensively to research  and new technology , you may find that you have to travel conferences and meetings in order to exchange ideas with other experts or clients.

Building Surveyor

As a building surveyor you would provide detailed advice on the design, construction, maintenance, management or repair of proposed or existing buildings. You would be looking for defects in, or way to improve, all types in existing buildings. You would also advise on the feasibility and possible costs of repair to the building, on conversion and suitability of the building for practical purposes.

Your clients would include prospective purchasers, vendors, building societies and property owners. You might find yourself drawing up detailed plans, advising on government of health and safety regulations and you could also be involved with instructing  an architect to prepare detailed plans and with obtaining estimates for carrying out the work.

You would need a practical approach to problem solving. There is likely to be quite a lot of paperwork  involved. You would be drawing up and interpreting plans and for this you need to be accurate.

You might be involved with reading and evaluating both tender documents and documents relating to the law. You could be involved with making decisions relating to deadlines and budgets for work to with you will need to have a grasp of maths. Above all you need to bring common sense and logic to you decision making. You are also likely to be working as part of a team of building professionals, with whom you may need to negotiate the best solution to a problem.

You might consider: town and country planner, architect, estate agent, civil engineer, valuer or auctioneer.

You are likely to be involved in inspecting buildings very thoroughly: this can involve going into dirty, damp and dark areas such as attics and cellars.

You would need to be reasonably fit and agile in order to carry out your surveys effectively. Your work could involve you being outside in all kinds of weather and you could need to walk for quite long distances.

Business Executive

As a business executive, you might be working for a large multinational organisations  with a turnover bigger that the economy of a small country or you might be apart of a small, family run business concerned with no more than a handful of staff. Whatever the size or type of the organisation, you would soon play a key role in helping it achieve its goals trough managing the resources – such as people, money, materials- and work activities.

Your precise responsibilities would vary according to the type of organisation and your position within it. At the first level of management, for example, you may have responsibility for only a small team and are likely to have limited influence on the organisations policies. As a more senior person, on the other hand, you may be responsible for a specific function- such as finance, human resources, IT/management services, marketing/sales or production – and could have a high degree of responsibility for, and influence on, the organisations policies and future development. Frequently, you could be seen by clients as the face of the company for their purposes.

It goes without saying that you will be motivated by achieving set goals or targets.You should also be decisive, willing to take responsibility, and able to work well in a team under pressure, to delegate when appropriate and to motivate and encourage others. Excellent communication and number skills should make you effective at planning, monitoring and reviewing, and able to analyse and interpret information. You should also posses effective presentation and public speaking  skills.

You might consider: chartered secretary, marketing executive, human resources manager, sales executive, health service manager, retail manager, civil service administrator or accountant.

You may nominally work office hours, which usually are 9 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday . However many executives work additional hours in order to meet the demands of the job. You would be largely office based , but may be required to travel to visit clients or attend meetings at other sites within the organisation.

Chemical Engineer

As a chemical engineer you would apply mainly engineering principles to produce and control the chemical machinery needed to manufacture chemicals, plastics, synthetic fibres pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, certain food and drink products and medical gases. You would need considerable skill to control reactions which can be unstable and where factors such as temperature, pressure, flow rate, heat removal and concentration of reactants must all be taken into account. Your work would often revolve around turning a small-scale laboratory project into a large-scale, economically viable, safe and reliable industrial process.

Apart from this area of new product development, you might work in plant design and construction, in production  management or in more general management, technical  sales or exports.

You would need a strong practical interest in science, with meticulous attention to detail and logical and methodical approach to problem solving.

You need good communication skills as you would be required to discuss detailed proposals with other chemists and technologists and to explain technical issues to people who do not have your knowledge and expertise. You are likely to need good IT skills as computers are used extensively in the design of chemical plants. You need to work both under your own initiative and as a part of a team.

You might consider another specialism as an engineer, such as mechanical, electrical, or civil. Alternatively, you may prefer to work in the scientific field as a pharmacologist, pharmacist, metallurgist of biochemist.

Whilst you may have set hours of work, you are likely to be required to work irregular hours, should you be asked for example to manage 24-hour petroleum or chemical production processes to meet a tight deadline. You may find yourself working under pressure from time to time. If you are working in a laboratory or a chemical plant, you may sometimes need to wear protective clothing. You may need to relocate in order to find the job that you really want to and you could be expected to travel, for example to negotiate construction contracts, act as a consultant or attend conferences and meetings.

Construction Manager

As a construction manager, you would be responsible for running a construction site or a section of a large project. You might also be known as a site manager, site agent or building manager. You work would include developing a strategy for the construction of the project, planning ahead to anticipate problems and solve them before they happen, making sure all process are carried out safely – reporting on the progress of a project and motivating the workforce to get the best out of them. You would be responsible for liaising with the architects and planners, to carefully asses the specifications and site plans. You would consult engineers, surveyors, quantity surveyors and estimators, checking costs of labour, supervision and materials before producing time schedules, agreeing labour force requirements and placing orders. You would be in control of the site throughout the construction process.

You would need to apply all you knowledge of construction techniques to ensure that each project is completed on time, on budget and safely.

You would have to be able to motivate people and would need excellent communication skills. You would also have to be able to stay calm when things don’t go quite as planned. Other people would expect to rely on you judgement. You decisions need to be based on your knowledge of technical , legal, health and safety factors but above all on practical common sense and experience. You may find yourself working under pressure when, for example, schedules are slipping or materials fail to arrive.

You might also consider a career as: civil engineer, architect, building services engineer, quantity surveyor, town planner or estate agent.

Whilst your basic hours of work are likely to be around 40 hours a week, you could expect to be working longer hours that this when you are on the site. The hours of work on building sites tend to be particularly long during the summer, when there are a lot of daylight hours, but much shorter in the winter. At times, you may be expected to work in the evenings and at weekends. In addition you can expect to be working outside in all kinds of weather, and you would need to wear protective clothing such as hard hat when on site.Most of your working day would be spent on a site or even travelling from site to site. Some mangers move from one location to another as projects are completed and new ones start. Some are able to reach the site by travelling every day , others live away from home during  the week and return home at weekends.

Diplomat

As a member of diplomatic service you would be working for one of the major departments of the civil service. You would be primarily involved with representing  your countries interests abroad and advising government ministers on aspects of foreign policy. The service is based in the capital of the country, with high commissions in Commonwealth countries and embassies in other countries around the world, together with missions to international organisations such as European Commission and United Nations. During the course of your career  you might work in several different areas of the service, including commercial, information, consular, immigration, political assessment and liaison and general administrative or managerial duties. You would normally spend much of your career working abroad, with tours of duty of two to four years.

Because of the nature of work, you would be expected to have a keen interest in international issues. You should be a natural team player; confident, friendly, calm and reliable in your dealings with others, particularly with those you don’t know.

You should be keen to travel and live in some of the less developed parts of the world. Much of your work would require  a good organisational approach and the ability to work to precise and demanding standards as well as to think on your feet.

If you have the qualities demanded by the diplomatic service, with high levels of integrity and excellent communication and organisation skills, you could aspire to high level positions elsewhere in the civil service, in industry or in export/import. You would need to be adaptable, to see changes as exciting challenges and to built up your contacts within and outside the service. If you have children, you would need to help them cope with an interrupted family life and  adjust their education according  to your travels.