Previous enumerator experiences

Case Study

Joan Gallagher from Churchill, Donegal will soon begin work on her third Census campaign. Starting with Census 2011 as an enumerator in Kilmacrennan, each year she has progressed to a new position and in Census 2022 she is a regional supervisor. Here’s what she had to say about her experience with the Census:

When I first applied to be an enumerator for the Census in 2011, I had been out of work for 5 years due to illness. While my health had improved at that point, I had very little confidence about returning to work. I have always had an interest in the Census, so I decided to apply to test the waters. I thought 10 weeks of part time work would give me a good idea of whether I was ready for the workplace again.

During my time as an enumerator, I was responsible for the delivery and collection of nearly 400 forms around my local area outside Letterkenny. I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction I would get on the doorsteps.

I’m a chatty person, so when people would recognise me or ask “Are you related to such and such?” it would often lead to a much longer conversation. That personal touch made it a very enjoyable experience and I really believe that it made the job easier. People were happy to see me return to collect the forms and felt comfortable asking me if they had a query about one of the Census questions.

It was just a few weeks of work, but the experience of meeting all those new people, and the boost it had to my confidence to be able to do so was invaluable.

I enjoyed my time with the Census so much, that I couldn’t resist when the chance to apply for a field supervisor role came up for the 2016 Census. As a field supervisor, I was responsible for managing a team of 10 enumerators. Working at this level made me realise how much organisation goes into the Census. As one of the organisers I felt like I was playing my part in recording history for the generations to come.

For Census 2022, I am a regional supervisor, which is the next step up. While I will miss calling to people’s homes, it’s a great feeling to move up the ranks and I am thoroughly enjoying the chance to put my organisational skills to good use. I’m now in a full-time position where I am responsible for managing around 100 people – a far cry from 2011 when I barely had the confidence to apply!

Testimonials

I was a Census Enumerator in 2016 and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The role is part time and flexible so you manage your own time and workload. At times it can be challenging but overall it was a rewarding role with an end goal in sight. The training and support I received was to a high standard. I really enjoyed the process and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Bernadette,

Dublin

I worked as an Enumerator in Census 2016 and really enjoyed the experience. Being able to set my own schedule and work my own hours, I had plenty of time to get my forms delivered and collected. Daily goals were clearly defined and easily achievable, and there was a great sense of satisfaction when the job was finished. If you like getting out and about and meeting new people, then this is the job for you

Susan,

Howth

My first experience of working on the Census was as an Enumerator in 2011, I didn’t really know what to expect, and while the job was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated, it was also much more rewarding, I really got to know my local area and some of the lovely people living there. I enjoyed it so much that I have been back for every Census since!

Joan,

Donegal

I worked as an Enumerator in the 2016 Census. I enjoyed the entire process from start to finish. Meeting and helping people can be very rewarding

Pat,

Longford

I was an enumerator on the 2016 Census. The Census is part of our history, to be involved even in a small way is exciting. I was a member of a team with very supportive people. I loved the interaction with people

Angela,

Malahide

Working as a Census Enumerator for the first time in the 2016 Census was an eye opening experience. Up till then I saw the Census as a form to fill in, but you don’t know the value of it and the many departments that depend on the info obtained to get the right services to the right areas. I thought I knew my community after living in it for years yet  it taught me so much about the diverse peoples, dwellings and lives of the many people in my community. I got great training out of it and I now work in sales. The skills I learnt and developed during the training and liaising with the public have been invaluable to me in my new career and also in general life.

Heather,

Meath

Doing the Census was a fantastic way for me to get to know my local area and meet some wonderful people. It was a challenge in terms of organising my time, perseverance and communication skills, but such a rewarding experience at the end of it all.

Tony,

Rosslare Harbour

I enjoyed the experience of being an enumerator. The social interaction with people was great – I was regularly invited in for cups of tea and even once for lunch. I learned a lot about my neighbourhood. Having been a user of Census statistics during my career, it was really interesting to get an insiders view of the process. The Census is an important part of planning improved public services, and I felt I was making a contribution to society.

Michael,

Dublin 14

I had just returned to Ireland and was looking for work so was delighted to get the role as census enumerator in the Dublin south city centre. I was able to plan my own hours around other part-time work. My supervisor was very supportive and it was a great way to get to know my new local area. It was great to be outdoors and people were generally happy to see me and respond.

Eileen,

Rathmines/Ranelagh

I had just moved to the area and it was a great way to find my way round. People were very friendly and you felt proud to be a part of Irish history. I’ve found my family in 1901 and 1911 censuses and it was amazing to think that in future the results people will be looking at, I helped to put there. The experience I had as an enumerator planning and organising, communicating with people and delivering my completed area, was really helpful when applying for future roles.

Eileen,

Wicklow