Working as an administrator for the District of 100 Mile House comes with many different hats and no shortage of new challenges.
Sheena Elias, who started at the district as an administrative assistant almost two years ago, now works as a finance clerk and is in training to become the deputy corporate officer. One of the things she enjoys most about her work at the district office, she said, is the variety of jobs she undertakes on any given day.
“There are always a lot of different tasks, it’s not just doing one thing every day,” Elias said. “I really enjoy when there is something new to learn or a problem to figure out.”
Elias moved to the South Cariboo from the Lake Country in the Okanagan where she had worked other administrative roles in a medical office and veterinary clinic. With an abundance of outdoor recreation at her fingertips, Elias said she loves the 100 Mile House area and enjoys camping, snowmobiling, hiking and “breathing the clean air” in her spare time.
She says the small-town atmosphere here is similar to that of Lake Country, and it didn’t take long at the District office to get to know many 100 Mile House residents and business owners.
An average day could see Elias doing everything from preparing the minutes for council and agendas to assisting the public and handling building permits.
Being flexible and having the ability to learn as you go is key to success in her line of work. Elias said everything needs to be accurate so having a mentality that a task will be completed is helpful, even if it takes a little extra time. While much of her job is behind the scenes, she still puts in additional effort for the residents of 100 Mile.
“Everything is very interconnected at the District. We get a request and a lot of hands touch pretty much every project that we work on,” Elias said.
This past year has thrown a few new challenges into the mix for District staff: COVID-19 forced the District to close the office to the public for close to a month, which was difficult for many town residents who were used to being able to access help face-to-face.
Elias and other District staff worked to help residents access online services, such as bill payments and certain permits. And while many residents were happy to make the shift to digital correspondence, Elias said many were also relieved when the District offices reopened to the public.
Overall, Elias said having an open mind and willingness to learn new things – along with an employer who is willing to put in time training and developing skills – is an essential part of working in a multi-faceted position such as hers.
“Finding an employer who is willing to train is really important, as well as having the support from those around you,” Elias said. “You don’t need to know everything right away, but look for a really good team. Without a good team, the job wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable.”