Ben is a Clerical Officer in the Passport Office in Cork, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He tells us about some of the great experiences he has had in the role from chaperoning UN dignitaries from the Small Islands Developing States group on their visit to Ireland to his work chairing the diversity committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Tell us a little about your role as a Clerical Officer?

I’ve spent the majority of my time in the department working in passport entitlement, which involves working through documentary evidence to issue passports to citizens abroad. I’ve also helped with training new staff on the process.

What opportunities has the role provided you with so far?

I’ve helped chaperone UN dignitaries from the Small Islands Developing States group on their visit to Ireland, an experience I felt very rewarding, especially following Ireland’s election to the UN Security Council.

I sit on the wellbeing committee and I’m an innovation champion, so I spend part of my time at work trying to make the department a better workplace for myself and colleagues, both at home and all around the world.

I’ve also recently taken over co-chairing the diversity working group. The Department of Foreign Affairs is probably one of the most ethnically diverse departments of government, but it still has a long way to go to draw more talent from minority groups.

Why did you choose a career in the Public Sector?

I was drawn by the sense of camaraderie I had seen in others I knew in the public sector, and had not been experiencing in my previous role. The chance to move around, learn new things, and a better work/life balance were also a big incentive.

What advice would you give someone thinking of applying for a Clerical Officer role?

Go for it. It can be a challenge but it also comes with a great sense of reward, and there’s opportunities not only for making the role your own but moving to an entirely different role in a different department.