How to make sure your next mining career move is the right one

Ladder with the word imagine on the top step

Why wait for someone else to provide you with an opportunity to develop your mining career? Here’s what to do instead.

Are you sitting at work, doing the same job day in and day out, waiting for the right training or promotional opportunity to come along in your company?

All too often people stay in a job, waiting for their employers to provide training and career development opportunities.

Not all employers have training programs in place. Not all employees receive the same training. Companies have a finite training budget and sometimes that budget doesn’t stretch far enough to meet the training requirements for every person on staff. And companies don’t always get it right from the employee’s perspective.

Sometimes those opportunities are promised but never delivered upon, yet colleagues get those opportunities and progress. And expecting your efforts to be rewarded with progression and salary increases can sometimes feel more like wishful thinking than a reality.

Do any of these frustrations sound familiar to you?

If so, it’s time to ask yourself this one big question: Why am I waiting for someone else to provide me with an opportunity to develop my career?

Where else in your life would you let other people decide on the purchases and investments that directly affect your future? And why should your career be any different?

It’s time to channel the energies of your frustrations into some career planning – into setting and achieving professional and personal goals.

Here are a few things to think about.

Accept responsibility for your situation

Accepting that you are responsible for your career is the first step towards finding yourself on the career path you desire.

You need to accept responsibility for choices you have made, your actions, and behaviours that have led you to this point. This isn’t a negative thing; this is a good thing. It’s part of taking back control of your career.

Check out this article by Carol McLachlan for more info on Personal Career Responsibility.

Assess your skills and interests

Do an audit of your current situation. This is a bit like a stocktake of who you are and where you’re at, including your strengths and weaknesses.

Assess your interests, skills, capabilities, and motivators and note them down. If you are not sure of some, sit down with your manager or colleagues and ask them.

What are your aspirations?

Is your current job in line with your career aspirations? Many people find the work they do day to day doesn’t align with the aspirations they had when they first started in their profession.

To identify what your career aspirations are, ask yourself where you want to be in five years’ and then 10 years’ time. If you’re struggling to imagine what that might be, there are a couple of neat questions you can ask yourself that can help focus your mind:

  • Am I jealous of the job someone else has? (And should I maybe be doing that job then?)
  • On my deathbed, is there something I would regret not having done?

Both of those are great questions for thinking about anything in your life, frankly, but for this task, try to think only of your career!

Make the change

If your current job is not in line with where you want to be, what do you need to get there?

Is it time to undertake some management training, enrol in a skills refresher course or get a post-graduate qualification? Use websites like Seek Learning to look at the different careers and courses available.

This is about taking positive action to achieve your goals, rather than sitting back and waiting for opportunities to arise. You might not be able to make the switch to your dream job immediately, but by beginning to set goals and identify gaps, and taking appropriate action now, you can ensure you will achieve your desired outcome.

To be considered for unlisted jobs, make sure to register with us so we have your details on file.


Dan Hatch
Mining People International