Brendan tells us about his role as Executive Officer in the Secretary General’s office in the of the Department of Trade, Enterprise, and Employment, as well as having the opportunity to act as Private Secretary, acting up at the Higher Executive Officer grade.
Tell us a little about your role as an Executive Officer?
I work in the Secretary General’s office in the of the Department of Trade, Enterprise, and Employment. I offer secretarial support to the Management Board of the Department through coordinating papers for the meetings and taking minutes when needed. I coordinate observations on memos and work on Parliamentary Questions. I fill in as Private Secretary to the Secretary General when needed and I lead on all our intranet and communications content for the unit.
What opportunities has the role provided you with so far?
I’ve been able to complete a degree in Public Management, lead an oral PQ session for the Department, manage the transition to edocs (cloud-based filing system) and act as Private Secretary, acting up at the Higher Executive Officer grade.
Why did you choose a career in the Public Sector?
Security and opportunity were two huge influences. For those willing to put in the work to develop themselves, there is a massive amount of opportunity in the public service and it’s something I have gone after from day one. Covid-19 highlighted the benefits of job security to the world, and it is something I do not take for granted in my position.
What advice would you give someone thinking of applying for an Executive Officer role?
I would encourage them to look at the big picture and back themselves to succeed. I took a pay cut to join the Civil Service and it is the best thing I’ve ever done.
Can you tell us about a highlight from your career in the Civil Service?
I worked as a diary Secretary to a Minister and a Tánaiste, and it was incredible to see first-hand how a Government Department is headed up.