Anyone in the investing world has tales to tell of the bear and bull years while mining is synonymous with boom or bust years.
Whilst it is undoubtedly a cyclical industry, this year’s unprecedented events have challenged mining like no other. As a result, there has also been unprecedented activity in reassessing the future direction of the industry. The pandemic has reminded us all of the precarious nature of our lives and the uncertainty of our prospects – as true for the captains of industry as new graduates.
So, as the restrictions ease and the promise of a viable vaccine improves, this is perhaps a good time to consider how those working in the mining industry might futureproof their careers.
Shake hands (or bump elbows)
Online networking is invaluable but, beyond LinkedIn, it’s important to physically network. Whilst COVID has made many of us retreat, we need to take the easing of restrictions as an opportunity to re-connect with people in the industry.
Finding threads of familiarity in conversation lead inevitably to common ground which, in turn, leads to work connections.
Seek out Mentors
Mentors help us to learn about our industry and about ourselves – both equally valuable experiences in sustaining currency in the competitive world of mining.
Currency of ideas
Graduation is not an end point but a beginning. Reading and studying the ideas and findings of experts in the field is a way of maintaining currency within the industry and helps keep critical conversations alive with colleagues.
Diversification is a way of building capability and opportunity for the ambitious. Learning about unrelated topics expands both understanding and the CV. Diversification broadens future opportunities and may just be the point of difference which helps you climb the industry ladder.
Whether this is the discrete technology which applies to your current area of expertise or simply the innovations recruiters are using to screen potential employees, you are wise to keep abreast of new developments.
Networking through industry related groups, meeting people outside the industry and volunteering provide multi-faceted connections which broaden both the mind and future opportunities.
Maintain the Human Touch
In an industry transformed by the huge impact of technological advancements, the human component of empathy and understanding have yet to be superseded by artificial means. Developing reflective practice as an employee is invaluable – and an impressive sign of someone who is a team player.