Networking is crucial for professionals and jobseekers in the mining industry looking to grow their careers and create new opportunities, just as it is in any other field. But where to start? With so many ways to network, both in person and online, and rules of social etiquette that can make networking feel like walking a tightrope, professional networking can be overwhelming. Complicated tips and rules on how to behave and what to say can make it feel intimidating.
That’s why we’re here to give you some simpler, easy-to-follow tips on how you can best navigate networking in the mining sector as well as the platforms and places that give you the best chance to meet and build relationships with industry peers, leaders, and experts.
10 networking tips for jobseekers in the mining industry
1. Attend industry events and indabas
Attending industry conferences, seminars, trade shows and other events is probably the best networking opportunity there is, and Africa’s mining industry has a huge offering of these every year for professionals to go to. From the annual Mining Indaba in South Africa to the Angola Mining Conference to the Mali Mining and Petroleum Conference, events can be found across the continent and networking is a big part of these.
This can make approaching others to connect with them feel less awkward, as everyone will be open to meeting and speaking with their industry peers, including discussions about others’ careers and opportunities.
These events provide opportunities to not only meet other industry professionals to form relationships and strike deals, but also to learn about the latest trends and discourses in the mining sector, hear from thought leaders, and discover potential job openings.
2. Join Industry Associations
Consider becoming a member of mining industry-related associations in your country – a quick Google search will allow you to discover lists of local societies with membership options. These organisations often host networking events and also provide access to valuable resources.
3. Get online
It may feel scary at first to reach out to someone on the internet, mostly because of the high possibility of rejection or no response, but there are so many opportunities these days when it comes to networking online – plus platforms like LinkedIn designed specifically for networking and finding job opportunities – that you can’t not try it.
Get on professional networking platforms (LinkedIn is popular for a reason), make sure your profile and photo reflect your professionalism, and find ways to network with others. This can be through cold emailing them, which can pay off if done right, joining relevant industry groups and online seminars, participating in discussions to showcase your expertise, and posting think-pieces, either your own or from experts in the field, to spark interactions.
Find communities and forums for your field where you can participate more casually in discussions as you feel and offer your thoughts and experiences while learning about those of other members. These can be great places to form relationships as everyone has one thing in common.
Bonus tip: If you choose to send a direct message to someone you want to build a relationship, keep it friendly, professional, sincere, and to the point. Use formal language with no typos, tell them about the opportunies you are looking for or why you want to initiate a professional relationship, and if you can, tell them what you could offer them in addition. As well as this, ensure you’ve done your homework on the person before reaching out and that you know about their role and achievements and are interested in what they do. This will show them you are genuine and serious about pursuing a professional relationship.
4. Request informational Interviews
Reach out to professionals in the mining industry for informational interviews. Many will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience and appreciate that you’re interested in who they are and what they do. This can be an excellent way to learn about different roles and companies while building valuable connections.
5. Tap into your alumni Networks
If you have a mining-related degree or diploma, tap into your alumni network. Your fellow alumni may have valuable insights and connections in the industry and be able to refer you to prospective employers.
6. Discover mentorship Programmes
Seek out mentorship programs within the industry. A mentor can provide guidance, introduce you to their network, and help you navigate your career path.
7. Be Active and Visible
Back to online networking, another way to do it is less about directly speaking with others and more about creating and sharing your personal brand to attract connections and relationships.
Share relevant content, articles, and updates on your professional achievements in the mining sector online. Being active and visible in your field can draw the attention of potential employers or collaborators.
8. Follow Up
After networking events or meetings, always follow up with a thank-you message or email to your new connections. This helps maintain and strengthen the connections you’ve made.
9. Attend workshops and training
Consider taking courses or attending workshops related to mining industry topics. There are many training and idea-sharing workshops for professionals in the sector. Not only will this enhance your skills, but it can also connect you with peers who share your interests.
A networking tip shared less often, but one to try out as an opportunity not just to uplift yourself but also others is volunteering. Offer your expertise and time to industry-related volunteer opportunities. This can be a great way to network while giving back to the community.
Remember that networking is about building genuine relationships, so be respectful, helpful, and professional in your interactions. Over time, your network can become a valuable resource for career advancement and opportunities in the mining industry.
CA Mining is a leading global recruitment partner for clients in all sectors of the mining industry, providing tailored recruitment services and staffing solutions for assignments in Africa, Canada, Latin America, Australia, and more.
We serve the entire mine-to-metals chain and specialise in identifying scarce-skill talent as well as local, diaspora, and foreign expatriate candidates for projects.
Get in touch to find out how we can be your next reliable partner in staffing for your company.