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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Staff Profile – Lynne Kelly-Carton

12 March 2021
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Lynne Kelly-Carton – a great listener.

If you’ve ever sought Careers Advice at NWRC, then chances are you’ve met Lynne Kelly-Carton.

For the past 17 years, Lynne has worked at the college, guiding thousands of students and supporting them as they make crucial decisions about their future education and employment.

Lynne tells us how a lack of focussed careers advice during her own education contributed to a ‘bumpy career’ for her pathway personally, making her job as a senior careers practitioner all the more rewarding.

She says: “ I want to ensure that anyone who visits my office leaves with a sense that they have been listened to and supported to make meaningful choices in their own career journey.”

A mum of 4, Lynne is currently home-schooling, while continuing her full-time work. She says: “Never, has the need for resilience, the ability to multi-task, prioritise, and manage competing demands been more apparent than in today’s society.”

She’s a valued, respected, and in-demand member of the NWRC team.

Lynne will be among our team of Careers Advisors who will be available for guidance and support at NWRC’s Virtual Open Day on March 24.

For more information go to www.nwrc.ac.uk/opendays

“A distinct lack of focused careers advice during my secondary school and college life definitely contributed to a slightly bumpy career pathway for me personally. I firmly believe that my own experience of ‘lacking professional careers guidance’ inspires me to ensure that anyone who visits my office leaves with a sense that they have been listened to and supported to make meaningful choices in their own career journey. This is one of the key aspects of my role as senior careers practitioner that I thoroughly enjoy.

I began my journey with the college in September 2004 and originally took up my role as a careers adviser with Limavady College of Further Education. Following the merger I made the arduous journey to the ‘big city’ and having worked in splendid isolation for a couple of years I was then joined by a new member of staff, Finneen Bradley. At this point I had no idea how this individual was going to have such a dramatic influence on my daily working life. With the benefit of hindsight it should have been apparent we were destined for bigger things. Within a short space of time and under Finneen’s leadership our staff grew rapidly and I took over the role of UCAS manager for the college. Finneen’s relentless energy and the pursuit of excellence meant that I have had to move outside my comfort zone on numerous occasions to promote our service and activities to a wide range of external organisations. For anyone who knows me the thought of being questioned live on radio (without sight of the questions prior to the event) sends me into freefall. However, focusing on the positives it has also contributed immensely in building my confidence and belief that ‘I can do this’.

Testament to how much I genuinely enjoy working in the college is borne out by the fact that I have worked here for over 16 years and given my previous career roles I consider myself lucky to have found a position that I am challenged by but also can excel in. My previous career plan was to impart my love of history to eager school children. Needless to say, I became disillusioned quite quickly that many did not share my fascination and love for this subject area. Armed with a history and media studies degree and a coveted PGCE I discovered that perhaps teaching wasn’t going to be the pinnacle of my career journey. I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and therefore in 2003 I decided to apply for the PG Dip in Careers Guidance which was a new and exciting initiative funded by the then Department for Employment and Learning to train a cohort of professionally qualified Careers Advisers within Northern Ireland. The rest as they say is history!

Fast forward 17 1/2 years I am now like countless others experiencing the chaos and uncertainty of managing family, home schooling 4 children between the ages of 8 – 14 and work life under the cloud of COVID 19. We often talk about the importance of developing our students’ transversal skills to equip them to compete effectively in the future labour market. Never, has the need for resilience, the ability to multi task, prioritise and manage competing demands been more apparent than in today’s society. Working from home has been challenging to say the least but what it has underscored for me is the deep appreciation I have for being part of an amazing team within the Careers Academy and the wider Student Services. It has also reiterated that having experienced home schooling for the last few months that I ultimately chose the correct career path when I moved into Careers Guidance at NWRC!!

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