How to quit your mining job (without risking your career)

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Three simple steps to quit your mining job without risking your career.

The skills shortage in mining has shifted the power dynamic in many cases, putting pretty much all of it in the hands of employees who have in-demand skills.

How nice it is to be in high demand! The world (well, the mining industry in Australia) is your oyster. If you’re unhappy, you can up sticks and find a new job pretty easily. (Or, at least, that’s what people think.) But before you make a scene and storm out of your office or off of your site, we implore you not to burn your bridges. Mining is a surprisingly small industry and news of bad behaviour travels fast.

Quitting a job is all about reputation management. Here’s how to quit your job without risking your career.

#1 Analyse your motives for leaving

Mining employees can expect to get tapped on the shoulder about new job opportunities pretty regularly for the foreseeable future. This is a flattering position to be in and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and be tempted to leave. However, it’s important to thoroughly analyse why you want to leave, before making a decision.

Statistically, about 1 in 4 peoplewho quit their job will end up wishing they hadn’t. This is mostly because they’ve been tempted away with money or an excellent HR pitch and not realised what they were leaving: things like good colleagues, a mentor, or missed chances to explore other opportunities where they already were. Here are the top reasons mining employees left their last job.

FUTHER READING: What to consider before you quit your job

#2 Discuss your decision with your boss

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If leaving is 100 per cent what you want, then you need to plan your resignation. This is best approached with a written letter and an in-person meeting.

Important: Whatever your feelings about the company you are leaving, be sure to thank them for the time they invested in you and wish them all the best for the future. Same goes for the meeting. If they ask for feedback and you want to tell them some grievances, be sure to do this constructively. Raising your voice or pointing fingers directly at people and the company is not advised. This is the easiest way to ensure you will never be welcomed back and likely not be welcomed anywhere else that catches wind of that behaviour. 

#3 Keep your ego in check

Once you’ve decided to leave and you’re moving on to bigger and better things, it’s easy for your ego to get a little inflated. Give yourself a pat on the back at home. Gloat to your family and friends. But leave that out of your current employer’s presence while you’re transitioning out.

Leaving on a high is important for your reputation, not only with this employer but with anyone whom they speak to in the future.

  • Don’t speak badly about the company to colleagues (or your boss).
  • Don’t slack off while you’re finishing up your notice.
  • And, it should go without saying, don’t steal anything or damage anything on the way out (yes, that happens).

FURTHER READING: 8 top reasons miners quit their last job

A final word on quitting your mining job

Remember that the mining recruitment world is small. Recruiters, both internal and agency, talk. As do hiring managers. If you walk out with your middle fingers in the air and a head so big you’re unable to pass the doorway, this is probably going to hinder your job prospects during quieter times in the industry.

The best advice we can offer: Be a good person. Treat everyone how you would wish they would treat you if the roles were reversed, no matter if they have not treated you kindly in the past.

If you have the right attitude and you’re ready for a new opportunity in the mining industry, register with MPi. We’ve been mining industry recruitment specialists for more than 23 years.

Stephanie O'Brien
Mining People International