FIFO work involves long-distance commuting to and from a mining site, and is becoming increasingly common throughout the Australian workforce. As the Australian mining industry continues to boom in many areas, FIFO work has provided many Australians with the chance to earn an excellent income while working in an exciting field. Fly-in fly-out mining jobs, however, do present their challenges, and they’re not for everybody. Here, we discuss what it takes to be a FIFO worker.
- Strong family support
A FIFO worker with a partner and/or children at home will require a lot of support from their family. Successfully undertaking a FIFO career involves having the understanding from your partner and your children that you’re working towards a goal together. Keeping in regular contact where possible when you’re away for work can also help to manage the separation anxiety that your partner and children may face when you’re gone.
- Having a plan to manage ‘away time’ and ‘home time’
What many FIFO families struggle with is managing roles within the household, both when the FIFO partner is away, and when they’re at home. The key in tackling these concerns is to have a strong plan for how to manage roles within the home and keep a routine for the whole family. These roles and routines should be well understood by the children, and can help provide a structured environment for them, with as little disruption as possible. On the other hand, if you’re single, it is still important to make the most of your time at home. Managing rest time and social activity effectively, and keeping a healthy balance, is important to making the most of your time at home and preparing you for your next swing.
- Being fit and healthy
It may sound obvious, but being fit and healthy can make an enormous impact on your success as a FIFO worker. Often, the work can involve long shifts, and of course the working weeks stretch well beyond the 5-day standard in other industries. Maintaining fitness and having a healthy diet both when on-shift and off, can make the world of difference to how you feel, and how you perform your duties.
- Having a long-term financial goal
Being away from family and friends is not most people’s idea of an idyllic working environment, however many Australians choose FIFO work because of the career opportunities it involves, the exciting work that they’re able to do, and of course, the financial benefits. While it can be difficult to be away from loved ones for the week, two weeks or even three weeks at a time that FIFO work involves, knowing your goals and having a long-term plan for financial success can keep things in perspective. FIFO work offers excellent earning potential, and can help you to realise your financial goals much more quickly than would be possible in another industry.
- Having a solid set of career goals
Another key to managing the FIFO lifestyle is knowing what your career goals are. Whether you’re single, or have a family and a partner waiting at home, defining your own personal career goals is another way to keep things in perspective when working away. It is important to remember that the hard work you’re putting in now is helping you to reach your goals both financially and in terms of career aspirations, and that every swing brings you closer to those goals.
While FIFO jobs are not for everyone, they can be quite competitive in Australia, as they provide excellent financial benefits and career opportunities. Being properly prepared for working as a FIFO worker will help you to succeed in the industry and reach your personal and professional goals more quickly.