Osal is a Clerical Officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Osal tells us a little bit about his role and the opportunities that have been available to him since joining the civil service. He tells us about feeling proud to work in a particularly important area, the learning and professional development opportunities he has benefited from, and his recent promotion to an ‘acting up’ position.

Tell us a bit about your role?

My work in the Policy and Legal unit of the passport service currently revolves around GDPR compliance. This ranges from mapping the organisation’s different data processing activities to ensuring personal data breaches are reported. It’s vital work given the volume and sensitivity of data the passport service controls, and I have recently taken up higher-level duties on an ‘acting-up’ basis.

What opportunities has this role provided you with?

From 2018 - 2019 the Department sponsored me in completing the Institute of Public Administration’s Certificate in Civil Service and State Agency Studies, which I found to be an excellent introduction to the workings of the public service. I have recently finished a two-year Diploma in Law, and was grateful to the Department for agreeing to cover the cost of several modules of the course relevant to my role. Although I haven’t availed of the opportunity myself, clerical officers in the Department of Foreign Affairs can also apply to go on posting in one of Ireland’s diplomatic missions, which is of course a great privilege.

What were your reasons for applying for a Clerical Officer role in the public sector?

The main factors were financial security and the sense that it offered responsibilities that matched my skillset and preferences. I was initially employed as a Temporary Clerical Officer on several different contracts which confirmed to me that I was a good fit for the responsibilities involved, and I had no hesitation in applying when the permanent Clerical Officer campaign came up in 2016.

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

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about applying not to be daunted by the application process or potential number of applicants. Make sure to practice for the verbal and numerical reasoning tests in particular, and this will definitely pay off.