A few thoughts on the 'BOOM'

It's a word that's been used and heard so many times in Australia and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out it's not about rocket science.

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It’s a word that’s been used and heard so many times in Australia and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out it’s not about rocket science. In Hollywood it means ‘there ya go mate! How about that!’ (rough translation). In Australia we all know it’s about mining but does it really sum up what’s happening in the mining industry? It’s a tough one to wrap your head around because it might be a boom for some and certainly not a boom for others and for many Australians it’s that thing that happens in the outback where loads of money changes hands.

For most Australians working in the mining industry however, it’s a tough job that can take them to some of the harshest and most remote parts of the country. For many it’s in their blood and for some it’s a dream for a better life. It’s true, people employed in the mining Industry can earn high wages compared to people in other industries but it’s important to remember this is all comparative. Like in every other job, wages in mining increase with experience and qualifications. Hours are long and conditions can be extreme but what’s often forgotten by many is that expenses can be very high, so that can take a bit of the shine off the whole deal.

The Boom could refer to all the ancillary businesses that have sprung up or have done particularly well around the mining industry. There’s barely an educational institution in the country that doesn’t offer a variety of courses in mining related jobs and trades for those eager to join the so called ride. Education and opportunity isn’t a bad thing by any stretch but is it really about supply and demand? After all, you need a certificate of some sort to get any job in Australia these days and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, who’s to really say?

There’s a lot of talk at the moment of mining in Australia scaling down. How Junior Explorers are cash strapped and barely keeping their heads above water. Has BOOM become DOOM as some analysts suggest? It’s never usually as bad as the naysayers say but a gradual down turn in commodity prices could come as a bit of a shock to mining workers and many could find it difficult to adjust, especially if expenses remain high. The old saying, ‘the more you make the more you spend’ doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been living the high life. It simply means the more money you make the more your expenses tend to go up whether you like it or not. So if wages go down does that mean your expenses will follow?

One thing’s for sure, we’re a tough and adaptable bunch and if you’re contemplating life after mining there’s no need to despair. We have made leaps and bounds in technology and the new frontier for many looking for a change could very well be, virtual. The Internet Economy is real and the only resources needed are a computer, an Internet connection and what’s already in your noggin.