From Be. Leadership to Be. Employed

2nd September 2016
By Cath Soper

Cath SoperIn November last year I started working at ACC thanks to Be. Accessible.

Previously, I had completed my Masters at Victoria University and had been job hunting for a while but hadn’t had any luck. I was doing the Be. Leadership programme and through discussions with various people became aware of the Be. Employed programme. It sounded like an ideal way for me to get some much needed work experience, so I got in touch with Sarah and Jake and told them I was interested.

Sarah and Jake were awesome. They helped me identify what sort of work I was interested in and where I was interested in working. After a lot of discussion I decided I was really interested in working in Policy for a government agency. Be. Accessible reached out to ACC about the possibility of me working for them through the Mainstream programme. After that things happened very quickly! I had an interview and before I knew it I was starting my first day of work!

So far working at ACC has been awesome, I’m on a two year placement which has been divided into six monthly slots. Initially I spent six months in ACC's Government Services team where I worked on Official Information Act requests and Ministerials. At the moment I'm working in the Policy team until the end of the year, and then I’ll spend six months in ACC’s research team. For my last six months I will be able to choose which team I liked best.

There have been many learnings from Be. Leadership that I've been able to apply to my role at ACC. Recently I was doing a training workshop with some colleagues and the concept of "storming, forming and norming" was bought up. My group mates hadn’t heard of it before and I was able to explain what it was because we used the idea during Be. Leadership. (I was also wearing a yellow jacket, so I felt very on brand!)

After the year on Be. Leadership I have become more confident in sharing my opinion and volunteering my thoughts without being asked to. I’m a lot more confident in new groups of people and I'm a lot more proactive. These changes have been great for when I started my job at ACC. I’m comfortable in team meetings and happy to share my thoughts with my colleagues.

My understanding of leadership has changed too. I used to think of leadership as something only certain "types" of people do. I imagined leaders had to be extroverted, confident public speakers, who led "from the front". Throughout the programme I realized leadership could take on a number of different forms. You

could be quietly leading from behind the scenes, or be part of a group where leadership was fluid and people stepped in and out of the role.

Since then I’ve realized I can actually take on leadership roles! I've applied my understanding of leadership to my work and social life "leading from behind" when needed. I'm very grateful to Be. for giving me the chance to take part in the programme and become part of the Be. Leadership family!

I really like the way my Be. Employed placement has been set up. I get to have a "taste" of everything and get a feel for how different parts of a government agency function. It’s a fantastic opportunity which I am so grateful to both Be. and ACC for.

If you are thinking about getting in touch with Be. about Be. Leadership or Be. Employed do it! It will be one of the best decisions you ever make!