Advice to people wishing to commence a career in OHS
Cannot get the job without the experience, cannot get the experience without the job. This is a common problem all new starters to the OHS industry face. You must learn how to overcome the challenges.
- Get yourself a motto to guide your OHS work, better still if you can develop a graphic to illustrate the motto.
- Identify any skills and experience you do have and how these could be applied to OHS – training skills, project management, negotiation, quality, auditing- highlight these rather than any lack of direct safety skills/experience
- Get yourself some work experience in OHS to develop your skills and help you decide if you like it.
- Get a really good resume. I get stubbie money writing resumes for people and it never ceases to amaze me how crappy the original resumes that I see are.
- Talk about your achievements on your resume.
- Learn how to manage job interviews.
- Get yourself a practical mentor
- Register your resume with the various safety search companies. Sometimes they will recruit from their files instead of advertising.
- Be a lifelong learner and be prepared to prove acquisition of OHS technical skills as well as broader management skills. Leadership, communications and interpersonal skills are very important.
- The ideal is to get a start with an organisation that has an OHS Graduate or Trainee scheme, unfortunately such opportunities are rare.
- It pays to network with other OHS personnel as much as possible, Linkedin OHS forums and professional associations come to mind.
- Get at least a Cert IV in safety and a Cert IV T.A.E., many employers will see this as basic qualifications, realise these are just learner permits.
- Recognise the best jobs go to those with tertiary safety qualifications
- Develop a highly advanced bull-dust detector, by the hell you will need it
- Accept the fact that recruitment consultants will frequently stuff you around
- Seek seems to be a good source of advertised safety jobs, Byron employment is worth a look, Logo has local government jobs plus look on the state and federal government job web sites. University job searches may help.
- Be positive and upbeat despite any setbacks. Maintaining a sense of humour is essential
Obtaining an OHS role is quite competitive but the points above may ease the path.