I enjoy writing this blog, hopefully as much as you enjoy reading it. Plainly, I like being able to share my work adventures with those who are interested. Unfortunately, the last 18 months have been less than ideal and fairly whiny – for obvious reasons. As I alluded in my previous post, the tide was starting to change.
When I posted the last blog, I was on a bit of a winning streak. For the first time in forever, I was winning things, amongst them tickets to see Gary Mehigan. Being a major Masterchef fan, that was a huge deal! There was the second place hamper I took home from a raffle. I haven’t won much in my time. Unlike a colleague of mine who just wins at absolutely everything. I recall going to a breakfast event with her and a few other people from the office years ago. She had such a huge haul by the end of the two hour event she needed all six of us to cart it back to the office. For her, it wasn’t a streak; it’s just the way she rolls. For me, it doesn’t happen so often. So when it does, I celebrate and share the news!
Aside from those two, I had a couple more which still gets me excited even months after the fact. There was a recognition from Downer for assisting them in their day to day functions while I was on crusher box duties. It’s an internal recognition program for Downer employees, somehow one of the supervisors nominated me and the crews unanimously voted for me during that month. When I was informed about getting the award, I was floored and I still am. The certificate is now proudly framed and displayed in the home office. Funnily enough, the frame it is in was part of the raffle hamper. How’s that for coincidence!
Another great win from this little dalliance with lady luck was a Department of Local Government (DLGC) scholarship for the highly esteemed Women in Mining WA (WIMWA) mentoring program. For someone hell bent on forging a successful path in the industry, this was a huge deal. This and the Downer recognition made me realise that the path to that corner office, is definitely possible!
But as tides would have, there’s always the ebb and flow we have to live with. Once the sinus issue was sorted and the minor stress of cysts averted, it was time to head back to work. As I was sidelined for some time, I had to undergo a fitness for work check before being cleared to go back. Having not seen the inside of a gym or stairs in months, I suffered through all the requisite squats and lunges and was sore for days. Even before the muscle aches subsided, more not-so-fun news! As the wrist still wasn’t 100% healed, doctors professional opinion was to lay off pushing it too much until it’s fully healed. As there were no opportunities for me with my employer outside the manually laborious process operator world, I opted to put my dreams of an illustrious operator career on the back burner for now. As I was technically no longer fit to fulfil the duties of my role, I resigned from the process operator role. Now, I explore what’s out there.
There were several struggleville moments. Moments where only Mulder and Scully could distract me from the absolute disappointment of having to walk away from the operator experience nursing an injury. Moments where I had no idea what was next, knowing how tight the industry is at the moment, it was very scary there for a while. Moments when it felt like my career in the resources industry was going to go the same way as majority of Mulder and Scully’s cases – hanging, no clear resolution, filed away in a boring filing cabinet in the dungeon office.
However, even in the darkest of days, there were rays of sunshine and positivity. I am very lucky to have a great support system. Luckier even for the folks I never expected who reached out and are actively helping me with identifying what’s next. Pleasantly, I had no idea that some of those who have rallied around me would. So it’s been very encouraging to have made such great connections. Admittedly, there has also been some disappointments. You know that saying about how you find out who your real friends are when times are tough. I can tell you now, that is so very true. But in saying that I think we need these times in our lives to do a purge, cleanse and start fresh – not just with our goals but also with the people surround ourselves with and value.
The task on hand is to plot out what the next career challenge will be. The last few years as an operator made me realise my strengths and weaknesses. It has given me a better understanding of what I am actually capable of. Having had the opportunity to work across a few functions on site also opened my eyes to other options and possibilities.
By now you may have made the same conclusion as I have, the WIMWA mentoring opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. Now I get the chance to be mentored by an influential and inspiring leader in the industry. The program commenced recently with an induction and launch. Although its “women in mining”, there are men involved in the program as mentors. It has been over a week since the launch and I am still on a high. It was such a different vibe to what I have grown accustomed to over the last few years. It was a very supportive, positive, encouraging environment but also challenging. It challenges you to think, to explore and to do great things, to be better.
Although there’s no FIFO happening at the moment, I am hoping to continue with the blog and entertain those who take the time to read it. I have a feeling what’s next will just be as exciting and awesome a ride as the last one!
Remember, we gotta take the good with the bad. Don’t forget to celebrate the wins – however small, CELEBRATE!
Speaking of celebrating, I actually won something else recently; tickets to a magazine launch and a networking event for female entrepreneurs and creatives. I now simultaneously actively plot out Plan A and B. In a nutshell, very exciting times ahead for this stubborn gal, so stay tuned friends!