Lillian Griffin is originally from Mitchelstown and her own uncertainty about what her future would hold and what kind of career she should pursue was something which spurred her on to set up her own guidance counselling service to help others.
Lillian started her career as a youth worker and has also worked as a journalist and as parliamentary assistant to Junior Minister Sean Sherlock.
“I was a youth worker and project coordinator in Fermoy and I realised that my favourite part of the job was when the clients were looking towards the future. I loved helping them to figure out what options they could explore,”
Lillian has worked in a lot of schools locally including St Fanahan’s College, Colaiste an Chraoibhin and Loreto on part-time contracts and, in recent years, she decided to take the plunge and set up her own consultation room and office from her home in Glenahulla, between Mitchelstown and Kildorrery.
“I really love my job in the schools and the one thing that I realised was that through part time hours it is very difficult to give each student the time required to fully explore all their options on a one to one basis. This can be achieved best through the private guidance session. I also realised that I really enjoy working with adults and Griffin Guidance allows me to see clients of all ages.” she said.
For the past year, she has been working in St John the Baptist School in Hospital, for UCC and also for Griffith College and in Cobh Community College.
“I can fit my work around my family and with the children getting older, it was just good timing,” Lillian explained.
It is a challenging environment in which to be self-employed, but the range of services that Lillian offers means that she is seeing clients ranging in age from just 12 years old right up to people who have recently retired and are ready to take on new challenges.
Speaking about her motivation and passion for the work she does, Lillian stressed that having worked with a lot of schools in the past, she knew and understood the strain students are under when trying to decide on their career.
Trying to decide what the best options are for you and what courses can take you on the right path holds a lot of weight and also takes incredible maturity and forethought and at the age of 17, it is extremely difficult to imagine where you see yourself in thirty or forty years time.
“In schools, I understand that it is difficult to give students the time they need to discuss prospects and go through issues, but here, I can give them an hour and a half of undisturbed personal time and we go through things like exploring potential courses, preparing for the world of work, testing to see what areas they would be suited to or developing a study plan,” Lillian told The Avondhu.
Lillian’s services at The Griffin Guidance Counselling Agency cover everything from CV services and interview preparation to job hunt assistance, which is tailored to the individual’s personal needs and goals, specific career advice, upskilling, returning to education and individual guidance for those repeating their Leaving Certificate.
In terms of specific career advice, Lillian explained that she would look at the client’s area of interest, where their passion lies and also how viable their interest is for a future career. She loves a challenge and is always intent on finding alternative routes if the more obvious ones are not possible.
She also works with young parents wishing to return to work, those who were made redundant and people who want to develop new skills and make themselves more appealing to potential employers.
Lillian stressed that she works with students from first year up and it’s much easier if she works with them early on, as the decisions made in first year for subject choice can have an impact on their eventual career path. She added that she also works with Transition Year students so that they can make the most out of the year, as she stressed that there is no reason that a student cannot have an admirable and impressive CV by the time they finish school.
CONTACT: Lillian Griffin (B.Soc.Sc PDGC), Glenahulla | facebook The Griffin Counselling Agency
email firstname.lastname@example.org | phone 086-2850454 | twitter @lilliangriff