It may all boil down to who you know and what you know. How else to find a job and make a career in mining? These obvious conclusions arise from a series of informal discussion over coffee these past few days.
I got my job in mining because my father was a miner. The same company for whom he worked for many years, gave me a job as a raw recruit just out of university. It no doubt helped that I had a degree in Civil Engineering and the mining company needed civil engineers. I got my experience on that job because two fellows who had worked for my father took me under their wings and taught me all they knew. “We would do no less for Tommy’s son in return for what he did for us,” they said.
My daughter is consulting to mines because she is working for an old friend from my university days. He and I still meet regularly to sip his expensive whiskey and recount tales of the old days. It no doubt helps that my daughter has degrees in those aspects of engineering that are needed on modern mines.
I have set many a young engineer on a path in mining. Partly it is an act of reciprocity to those in the industry who have set me on my path, partly it is because they are well-educated and intelligent. Most often it is because the industry has needed their skills and I have been fortunate enough to have clients willing to give me and them a chance. I hope these young engineers will, in turn, help others.
If you are not fortunate enough to know the right people in spite of a good education or superior skills, then these days, there are many websites where mining jobs are listed. Use them, for they work. But you have to act. You have to do more than submit a resume. You have to contact the job provider, get to know their needs, tailor your resume to the position, and impress them with a positive attitude.
I wish I could recount that my career has been one smooth sail to bigger and better things. This is not the case. The economy has tanked during my career. Politics have felled me and my job. I have been laid off and fired and retired. Yet seemingly, there has always been another job to move to. I would like to believe it is the result of the obvious: a good job done today is the only guarantee of a good job tomorrow. But in the most sober analysis, it comes down to who I knew and what I knew.