The “Settling in” Period – Mining Graduates

Your first 100 days as a graduate mining engineer on a new mine site is crucial. Like any other role or profession, it is important to get an understanding on how to make the maximum impact in your new role. If you get it right from the beginning, you can continue to enjoy accelerated success in your career ambitions. The first 100 days or first three months is usually seen as ‘the settling in’ period. It is the time to demonstrate early actions, wins and tangible deliverables to relevant stakeholders. 

As a graduate it can be quite overwhelming being on a site especially if it is your first time or on a new site. One of the best things you can do is to prepare! Get an idea of the mine site prior to arriving – yes this involves some googling or finding out from other colleagues/employees in your organisation who may have worked there before, who you’ll report to and who you will be working with to start off. 

It is also a good idea to get an understanding of what role you will be covering and what the role entails. Having a clear understanding of expectations will help a lot. Three of the most important things to demonstrate from the onset is punctuality, your reliability and willingness to learn. 

Within the first month, get to know site personnel by investing your energy in building new networks and establishing new stakeholder relationships. This is a simple yet critical step a lot of graduates overlook which impedes their progress on site. The importance of pit tours cannot be understated. Be confident, exercise patience, resilience and be a fast learner. Also, don’t be afraid of your mistakes! We all make mistakes at times but what’s important is that we learn and not repeat them. 

No mine site will expect you to solve all the site’s problems as a graduate either. You are there primarily to learn and grow in the first few months. While there will be time pressures and a steep learning curve don’t be afraid to reach out for support.