For many of the people who send us emails, the answer to this question is about the money on offer.
We’re not saying this is not a good reason; however, if money is the only reason you want a job in the mining industry, then you definitely need to read on.
During the downturn in the mining industry from 2012 to 2016 many mine sites closed, leading to redundancies. Stories about people who lost houses, cars and possessions, and children being moved out of private schools, became common.
Others had high levels of debt and simply could not find a job paying a large enough salary to service their loans.
The reality was many of these people might have been in the industry for several years but they had assumed the salaries would last and had little in the way of savings. Although few predicted the severity and speed of the downturn it had far-reaching impacts — and it is easy to reflect on these in hindsight.
The mining industry is on the rebound. Skills and labour shortages are beginning to appear in some regional areas and more entry-level roles are on offer. Now is a good time to not only ensure your application documents, such as your resume, are in order, but also to ensure you’re clear on your reasons for joining the industry — and have a plan for exiting the industry.
Approaching everything with the knowledge that “the money and the work won’t last forever” will help ensure you make the most of the opportunity. With mining being cyclical, and mines having a finite life, it’s important everyone considers what comes after mining.
-Be clear about the type of work in the mining industry that will suit you. Research the types of roles offered as entry level, but also the career paths available. Check out Career Pathways here
-Be open to accepting an entry-level mining job that may not be your ideal role. Many people got a start in their ideal career through such a job
-Establish a savings plan from the outset. If you’re not certain how to create a budget, seek out some help. It is natural to want to purchase items that have previously been unaffordable or ‘treat’ family and friends. Having a balanced budget should allow for these and ensure your plan remains on track
-Ensure you stay connected with old colleagues and workmates — they will be your key to returning to a Monday-to-Friday role some day
-Accept any additional training or areas of responsibility — diverse experience and skills will make it easier to transition back to a ‘town’ role
-Be proactive in your own training and development. Sometimes companies don’t provide additional training, but if it is an investment in your future career, then it is worth doing. In Australia, the training could also be a tax deduction.
-Develop and refine the skills you already have, particularly with technology and the soft skills such as managing people, problem-solving and creative thinking. Check out The 10 skills you’ll need by 2020.
Mostly, enjoy the opportunity and the changes it can make to your experience, skills and home life. And ensure you plan for the next stage of your career and your next job — be it in mining or a more traditional job in a Monday-to-Friday role.