Lina Ranieri AIMM explains why her job in a public sector agency with 18,000 employees is a perfect fit for a ‘people person’.
1. On the job
I’ve been with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) since 2000. I look after things like recruitment, strategy for leadership and culture, and secondments with the private sector. I also look after site leadership across the 23 different sites within the ATO. Initiatives at the local level are how we bring to life our culture strategies. There are 80 people within my branch, but we’re an agency of 18,000 people. There’s so much variety in my job – I often say that it’s the best job in the public sector.
2. People person
You can’t stick me in a room and shut the door – I won’t be able to cope. I need to be out there connecting with people. I need that in my job or I go stir crazy. One thing I can do without, though, is lots of meetings – that way we’ve got more time to be out there and be leaders on the floor rather than in a room.
3. First job
I worked in the local chemist when I was 14. I loved it. It was a nice place to meet people and it helped me form that connection with people that I still enjoy so much today.
I have stayed in the public sector because you have the ability to influence government policies for the community. It’s a great place to be.
4. Career trajectory
I led the “people” function at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet before joining the ATO. I also looked after government policy for women in leadership. It was about ensuring that leadership policies included diversity of gender. I have stayed in the public sector because you have the ability to influence government policies for the community. It’s a great place to be.
5. Facing challenges
There are always challenges in work tasks, but I try to look for the opportunities. You need to take people with you and ensure that they are motivated and on board. You get the most out of people when you show them trust.
6. Leadership style
I lead by example. I always put myself in other people’s shoes and I like to role-model the mindsets and behaviours I consider important. I never forget that there is a person at the end of every decision I make.