How we got my husband a mining job

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In 2011, Lisa and her husband made a big decision - close down their family business and find Greg a job in the mining industry. Here, Lisa offers a first-hand account of their experience and provides some great advice for others keen to give mining a go...

We'd run our landscaping business for five and a half years, so it was time for a change. Plus, the current financial market had led to a downturn in business. G is 37 and has worked outdoors in a physical capacity all his working life, so we were looking for a physical job in a growing industry. We also wanted the possibility of a career path, so we thought a bigger company would be ideal.

We chose mining as it seemed to answer all these requirements, plus we hoped it could offer us a lifestyle with some life balance (ie a solid period of time between work trips to spend with our young family, and financial reward for hard work).

Our first step was to seek advice from others in the industry. A friend's husband was very generous in offering tips on how to get started. He advised G to update his senior first aid certificate and get his Heavy Rigid (HR) truck licence. (It's a two-day course offered through driving schools - look online or in the Yellow Pages.)

While G was doing these courses, others suggested he get his White Card. (This is an occupational, health and safety ticket offered as a one-day or night course - again, look online for training providers. G did his through the Master Builders Association.)

Through the landscaping business, G had obtained his builder's licence for creating decks, retaining walls etc, so he qualified for a Construction Industry Training Board card offering good discounts on industry training and courses (apply at www.citb.org.au).

When it came time to start looking for jobs, one of the best websites we found was www.miningcareers.com - it provides comprehensive details on companies, contractors and industry career paths. We then started applying for all entry-level jobs in mining, registering for job alerts on mining websites such as www.thiess.com, www.bhpbilliton.com, www.macmahon.com.au and www.ozminerals.com.  We also applied for jobs on www.seek.com.au.

We applied via email for about 40 positions over a three-month period!

During that time we received only two replies that he was unsuccessful. No one else responded at all.

We were getting a bit impatient so G started to cold call.  The second phone call he made was to a company where he had just applied for a position as a driller's assistant. He was put straight through to an operations manager and after talking on the phone for a few minutes, G was invited for an interview the next day. After a successful interview he had to pass a safety test and a medical.  The day his medical results came in, he was offered a position starting that day.

They were impressed that he was work-ready, motivated and had already completed some of the required tickets.

For the past two weeks Greg has been sent to training courses to get additional tickets, including working at heights and in confined spaces. He leaves for his first stint on a rig in a few days, on a 2 weeks on and 1 week off roster.

From our experience, I would advise anyone who is interested in finding mining work to just persevere. Do as much research as you can into the different areas of work in the industry.  Try to get some courses or tickets under your belt and then start calling around.  Email your resume in, but then definitely follow up with a call to see if you are in with a chance. If not, ask what you can do to make them want to employ you. Show some initiative and motivation - that's going to make you stand out much more than than just another email application.