Taking an opportunity has really paid off for Bethany

After commencing as a trainee with Cobar Shire Council just over 12 months ago, Bethany has recently moved into an exciting new role with council’s projects team

A career change opportunity that present-ed itself to Bethany Smith just over 12 months ago has recently helped her to land a new, exciting role.
Starting out as an administration trainee with Cobar Shire Council in January 2021, which gave her on-the-job training and involved stud-ying a Certificate III in Business Administra-tion, Bethany has recently joined council’s projects team as a Support Officer.
“It’s a busy department, there’s so many projects currently underway,” Bethany told The Cobar Weekly.
The team is currently working on upgrades to the Cobar Memorial Swimming Pool, Ward Oval, the Cobar Youth & Fitness Centre and the next stage of work for The Great Cobar Museum.
“Thinking back to school it’s definitely not where I thought my life would be, but I’m so glad it has turned out this way,” Bethany said.
Prior to working with council, Bethany start-ed out working in childcare but wasn’t totally convinced that was what she wanted to do as a career.
When she saw council’s administration train-eeship advertised, Bethany said she thought it could be a good opportunity to try something different and at the same time gain a qualifica-tion.
“Friends that did their business certificate said you’re silly not to, if you want a job in admin or any office, that’s the best place to start.”
The traineeship not only would offer her on-the-job training, she would also have the secu-rity of it being a full-time role.
Bethany said she weighed it up against stud-ying at university, which she said would have been a 3-4 year commitment “and one that could cost an arm and a leg”.
“I thought what a great opportunity, it’s only 12 months.
“I can get a qualification and if I don’t like it then I can try something different”.
Bethany said she found the friendly team culture at council an added bonus.
“I started when I was 19 and very young but they were super welcoming and seemed to enjoy seeing a younger face around,” she said.
Bethany said being able to apply her on-the-job training experience to help her complete her TAFE learning assessments meant the whole experience was easier than she’d ex-pected.
“If I hadn’t been doing the traineeship and was just studying at home, I think I would have struggled a bit.”
Bethany said she didn’t find it too hard to fit in her study commitments around work, sport and her social life.
“I didn’t have to commit to too much – it was 2-3 hours a week (outside of work hours) for the online learning through TAFE, which I think is really reasonable.”
With Bethany now working in the projects department, and seeing the success story she has become, council is now looking for their next Administration Trainee.
Bethany encourages anyone thinking about applying for the role to take the leap like she did.
“While traineeship wages may offer less than other fulltime roles, it’s only for 12 months and once you’re through that you’re earning a really good wage.
“I can definitely see myself working with council for the long term,” Bethany said.—Article compiled by Holly McGuinness, Mac-lea