Advice to people wishing to commence a career in OHS

Advice to people wishing to commence a career in OHS

Young engineer with pensive face and security helmet Another classic by the late George Robotham

Introduction

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.

Some advice

  • 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

Conclusion

Obtaining an OHS role is quite competitive but the points above may ease the path.

Download George’s free Ebook

Guidance For The Beginning OHS Professional

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