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Drew explored a variety of career options at KINNECT and found his passion

People Stories 20 Sep 2023

Careers aren’t always linear, and often we find new ways to use our skills in an unexpected role that brings us great fulfilment. That’s certainly been the case for trained Exercise Physiologist Drew Bettison, who has found his niche as a KINNECT Project Manager.

Fresh out of university, Drew moved back to his family home in Mullumbimby to start his own Exercise Physiology business – but that wasn’t without challenges. “I ran exercise classes and one-to-one client sessions, attending every GP clinic to introduce myself to get referrals, but there wasn’t much demand, so I also had to work part-time at a physiotherapy clinic. After two years I was just surviving and not really thriving,” he recalled.

Drew and his wife moved back to Brisbane so he could pursue full-time work. That is when he applied for workplace Rehabilitation Consultant role with KINNECT in November 2015.

Career progression with a variety of challengesDrew Bettison on a boat doing research for a job description.

Today you’ll find Drew managing complex and large-scale injury prevention and health surveillance programs for KINNECT’s clients in Queensland, and on occasion, nation-wide. However, since joining KINNECT eight years ago, Drew has worn several different hats.

After three years as a consultant, Drew progressed to the Regional Manager for Southeast Queensland, looking after the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane clinics. Two years into his role a restructure saw him move into a Team Leader position for the Brisbane region. “The jump in responsibility from Consultant to Regional Manager was huge – I learnt a metric tonne in that role.” he said.

A few years later, an opportunity arose that he couldn’t pass up. “KINNECT opened a Project Manager position. I was always the biggest fan of project work and was more excited by the delivery of projects for injury prevention, than rehabilitation. I applied for and moved into that position” Drew explained.

Drew’s role now involves planning and delivering large-scale projects for Queensland. This includes manual handling training, safety training, job dictionaries, risk assessments and health surveillance projects (for example respirator fit testing, onsite medicals, and drug and alcohol testing). This move was possible thanks to the flexibility, encouragement and career progression opportunities provided.

The flexibility to move to different roles has been invaluable – the experience it’s given me has been incredible. KINNECT gives you the freedom to move roles within the company, and if there’s a role that fits you, KINNECT can help make that happen” he said.

Helping others and autonomy – the keys to job satisfaction

Drew is emphatic about how finding his ‘spot’ has impacted his job satisfaction, saying: “I’m definitely happiest in this role right now.”

He loves working with clients to see what their sticking points are with injuries and see how KINNECT can help them. “My biggest thing is, and it sounds cliché, that I really do love to help people. My favourite part of the role is helping companies make their workers healthier. So, if I’m delivering or project managing manual handling training, my first thought is always ‘How do we deliver this in the best way possible to get their workers engaged to prevent injuries in the workplace?’ Hearing feedback feels amazing – for example in one instance, we delivered a big manual handling program for a company and a year later they reported that their back and shoulder injuries had halved.’

A key reason Drew enjoys his role is the level of autonomy he has, being able to work independently and make decisions in the best interests of the clients.

I was the first Project Manager at KINNECT, so I was able to sort of help create the role. Although I am a Project manager, I sometimes also where the hat as Account Manager – create quotes and discuss with the client exactly what they need to make their workers healthy, safe and productive. It makes decisions and project delivery must faster.” Drew explained.

This autonomy has helped him develop deep relationships with clients who appreciate having a single contact to work with. However, if he needs help, his colleagues are always willing to step in: “I can always reach out to other staff – I’m never on my own. My manager will always help me with resourcing consultants or giving me ideas on how to get things done, and our project administration officers are always happy to help with organising, scheduling, or helping with quotes,” Drew said.

As he passes two years as a Project Manager, Drew would like to do more face-to-face meetings with the clients onsite, where he could get to know the company in depth so he can deliver the best project for them. He’d also like to stretch into more projects for national projects when they arise.

For now, however, Drew is happy to do a job he enjoys at an organisation with great people – a factor that is worth more than money to him: “I love doing my job and I love the people and culture at KINNECT. Unless I liked the people I work with, I wouldn’t work at a company, even if I was making a million dollars (OK, maybe for a million)”.

Drew is proud of the healthy working relationships he has and has made lifelong friendships which have extended outside of work. He said this is because “people can bring their whole selves to work. We’ll be just as happy to see each other outside of work as we would at work.”

For people considering using their allied health skills in a different way, or who want to progress their career, Drew believes in following what you love doing. “KINNECT has the flexibility for people to progress into where they want to be whether they’re going from administration to finance or rehabilitation to health surveillance. It’s possible to totally change careers. If clinical work isn’t your thing, find a new way to use your skills and you’ll land where you’re meant to be. You won’t feel the stress doing it,” he explained.

If you’re interested in a career that will help you reach your ambitions, why not join us? For information about current vacancies, visit our Careers Centre.