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5 Tips for Making a Successful Career Change into a Mining Job

Posted: 13/07/2012 5:00:00 AM by Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Mining, Oil-and-gas, Job-seekers


Have you considered changing your career? We speak to many people every week who are seriously thinking about a total change of career in order to cash in on the mining boom. While the lure of high wages and the continuing news of a global skills shortage in the resources industry may sound appealing, it’s essential you plan carefully or risk encountering a massive upheaval in your life.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal identifies five things you should do before you make a leap into a completely new job.

Have a clear idea what the change entails

Do your research to find out:
  • What training is required
  • How long it will take to complete the training
  • How much work experience is needed before you can get a job on site
Many jobseekers are disappointed to find out one or more training courses isn’t enough. Often, you need both work experience and site experience before you can snag a high-paying mining job.

Find a mentor

Jobseekers often call a recruiter when they start looking for work. If you’re moving into a new field, it’s best to find someone who can mentor you and coach you on your new industry. A mentor can give you advice on how to realign your skills and also teach you the lay of the land. Once you’re work ready, then you can engage a recruiter who is usually only interested in filling a specific job advertisement.

Research, research and do more research

Having a qualification, or even several qualifications, is no guarantee you’ll get the job. Make sure to research the job before you apply. Also, consider some of your soft skills that would make you a better fit over someone with similar qualifications. Do you speak a second language? Are you a good fit for camp life? What other extras do you bring to the table? It’s not enough to say you’re a hard worker and you can prove yourself once you’re on the job. Help the employer understand why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Take a step back

Taking an entry-level job might be the best strategy you can deploy when switching careers. It gives you a chance to find out what it’s really like to work a FIFO swing and live on a mine site. While the work may not be what you have in mind for the long term, it’s easiest to break in with an entry-level job. The added benefit is you get a chance to assess a dramatically different working environment without worrying about advancing your career. Once you’re on site, you can easily find your way around, make new contacts and find out how to get the job you most want.

Have a backup plan

Many people wait months or years to get the mining job or offshore work they want. Be patient. Whatever you do, continue working in your current profession or job until you know you have secured a position. Multiple factors go into the hiring process including interviewing and pre-employment medicals. At times, interviews are conducted months in advance of the actual hiring.

Whatever your situation, changing careers can be fraught with anxiety. While you can’t anticipate every aspect of a new job, being prepared will improve your confidence and reduce the stress levels associated with a career transition. Be patient and keep a positive attitude. The candidates who are most flexible and agreeable are more likely to make a good impression than someone who is demanding and cynical.

Keep in mind . . .

Remember, there is not a labour shortage in Australia but a skills shortage. Hiring managers are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of applications. They must find skilled people who will fit into the existing culture of their mining camps or offshore rigs.

Have you considered changing your career to take advantage of the resources boom?

Keep up-to-date with employment and industry news:

  • Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog. We’re publishing new information every day about employment in the Australian resource industry.

  • If you’re looking for a job in mining, energy or oil and gas, make sure you visit our industry jobs board where we only advertise real jobs by real employers.


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