Why I Quit My High Paying Mining Job

In 2009 I had the opportunity to work at a mining site in Prominent Hill South Australia. The pay was $65 and hour and I was doing 80 hour weeks so that amounted to $5200 per week. No one in their right mind would pass up an opportunity like this right? Well then there’s me. I am driven by passion, adventure and freedom. The mining job was sucking the life out of me.

The job was fly in fly out with 2 weeks on and 1 week off. When I came back home for the week I started to realise that even though I was making heaps of money, I was buying expensive things to justify the 2 weeks that I spent working away.

The first thing I purchased was a $2200 downhill mountain bike. It was a Kona Stinky Deluxe team race bike. Then it dawned on me; I could buy whatever I wanted with the money I was making but when I had to go back for the 2 weeks work, I couldn’t use any of the stuff that I bought or do anything that I wanted.

I ended up doing a couple months of work and then stopped exactly when I had earned enough money for that years tax bracket. (This way I wouldn’t end up working for the tax office.)

The point of this story is that I was earning all this money and yet I was miserable and hated the work I was doing. Money doesn’t create happiness. So go out there and find work that you love doing. Make sure you are not doing it for the money because your job should never be a means to and end, but the end in itself.

One Comment

user image Mizar

Good day friend. I was in that same place like you. However, I work in exploration for a mining company. The pay’s relatively high than most jobs in my country and was working a 6-1 roster (and that is in weeks not days).

Like you, I was enthusiastic at first then after just months, the level of passion just took off the cliff and the learning went flatlined. It’s like a part of me is slowly dying the more I stay there. There’s something about the mining atmosphere that just didn’t work out for me. Maybe it’s the company’s goal, the tiring work that is becoming mundane, or maybe the fact that I had to spent more than a month’s time of my life to simply ‘dedicate’ myself to that work.

So on my pitiful one-week break, I usually travel and go shopping some nice expensive things to ‘justify’ my little suffering. Like you, I have to find out for myself that money can’t really buy true happiness but it can buy excitement, albeit a short-lived one.

So I decided to stay so I could earn enough money; worked for a little less than 2 years. Then, I resigned. I was genuinely happy when I gave my letter of resignation. I can’t see myself going back to that kind of work again. From then on, I decided to turn my life to a purposeful one, find a meaningful and satisfying work or maybe change my career along the way. To find those feelings that money will never ever buy. It maybe a rough road ahead but I’m willing to take that risk. You are not alone buddy. Cheers!


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