Bonnie Mason is currently a Project Manager in the ICT Division at the Australian Government Department of Industry. She talks about her experience as recent graduate of Orijen’s Women in IT Executive Mentoring (WITEM) program, and the path she has taken in her career.
Seven years ago, I moved into the public service from the private sector to take a six month contract role through an opportunity offered by a former colleague. I took a risk in doing so, relinquishing a full-time guaranteed job for a short position with no guarantees, but as this would get my foot in the door, I jumped at the chance.
While I got the opportunity because of “who I knew”, that only takes you so far. To remain in the role and become a permanent public service worker I had to prove myself capable. I’ve done so, and have managed to advance in the public service.
Recently in my personal life, I was given the opportunity to relocate from Canberra to Brisbane. Moving to Brisbane was going to be a great opportunity for my family. As I really enjoy the work that I do, whom I work with and for, I wanted to ensure that I could continue my job. I needed to get my manager to approve my working out of our Brisbane office.
Using existing skills, and the negotiation skills that I learned during the WITEM course, I successfully negotiated moving my job to Brisbane, making it a ‘win/win’ situation for everyone.
I would absolutely recommend the WITEM program to other professional women. I have utilised a fair amount of the course content already (especially negotiation skills) and will continue to do so in the future.
What I found to be extremely rewarding was the opportunity to be able share ideas and issues with other women in similar situations. These women have given me a different perspective on how to approach things and in some cases, solutions that I had not previously conceived. The support given to me by these women is something I will treasure.
Being a participant in Orijen’s WITEM program has given me more confidence in who I am and what I want for my career. I know that I am the master of my own career.
Thank you Orijen for creating this development opportunity for women. The direction and encouragement you have given me and countless other women since its inception has been priceless.