Approaching FIFO work with a balanced perspective allows you to embrace the adventure while acknowledging the occasional bumps in the road. After all, every challenge conquered brings us closer to personal growth and fulfillment.

Before diving into your next opportunity, there are some key factors that need consideration to ensure you get the most out of your FIFO journey.

The factors that have sparked the most discussion are:

Lifestyle Shift:

FIFO often means extended periods away from home. Reflect on how this aligns with your personal and family life.


One of the main draws of FIFO work is the enticing pay, often surpassing salaries for similar roles in urban settings. Evaluate the financial benefits versus potential sacrifices, including travel costs/savings and time away from loved ones.

Employers commonly furnish accommodation and meals for FIFO employees, easing financial burdens and streamlining logistical concerns.

Job Satisfaction:

Explore if the new role aligns with your skills, interests, and career aspirations.

Health & Well-being:

Maintaining mental health amidst the demands of FIFO life is vital. Companies often provide support services and wellness programs to ensure employees feel supported and cared for.

RED appointments provide all staff access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential and short-term support for home and work.

Time Off:

FIFO schedules typically afford generous breaks, allowing workers extended periods for leisure, family time, and pursuing personal interests.

Extended Time Away from Home:

FIFO schedules mean spending weeks away from home sweet home. While it's a tough adjustment, many find creative ways to stay connected with loved ones, whether it's through video calls or sending postcards from new places.

Embracing Seclusion:

Remote work sites may lack the hustle and bustle of city life, but they offer a unique opportunity for self-reflection and reconnecting with nature. It's a chance to embrace solitude and discover the beauty of quiet moments.

Navigating Job Dynamics:

FIFO work may come with uncertainties about project timelines and future employment. However, it also opens doors to diverse opportunities and experiences, keeping the journey exciting and dynamic.

We figured it’s best for you to find out firsthand from one of our very own FIFO workers.

We spoke to Chris, a family man who gave up a 30-year teaching career to step outside of his comfort zone and take on the FIFO life.

We asked Chris a series of questions that we have when they are considering a FIFO role:

What inspired your transition from a 30-year career in teaching to the mining industry with a FIFO role?

It was a big decision for sure. Many reasons but the main one being the need to continually challenge myself. After 30 years in teaching, I became quite comfortable, this was OK most days but I decided to practise what I preached, to always challenge yourself and its healthy to step outside your comfort zone.

How did you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the demands of your first FIFO job?

I've always been conscious of my health but did step up my fitness regime and strength training. Mentally I asked a lot of questions and researched FIFO work using the internet and the team at RED. I spent a lot of time discussing the changes with my wife and two boys. It was really important to me that the C change was going to work for all of us. It was going to offer up many challenges for more than me and this peace of mind was an integral part of my preparedness.

Coming from a structured teaching environment, how do you adjust to the dynamic schedule of FIFO work, particularly the 18 on 10 off roster?

I'm only 3 swings in but have adjusted quite well. I've always been good with routines and planning and structuring my time. Home life and family time have always been our priority. I speak to all my crew each night when away. Time back home after working away has seemed to make our time together more meaningful. I guess sometimes we can take others and our relationships a little for granted. The new roster and home time has seemed to make all of us appreciate that family time more important.

Are there any unexpected skills or experiences from your teaching career that have proven valuable in your new role in the mining industry?

The ability to be flexible, people skills and communication have proved to be advantageous in both professional roles. When working in some pretty harsh conditions for long days, working as a team is not only important to the project but also each other's safety. A sense of humour and keeping an eye out for each other has been important. The ability to build quick rapport with others within my crew has made me feel welcomed and supported in my new role.

Can you share any practical tips for someone gearing up for their first FIFO gig, based on your own transition experience?

Ask plenty of questions around the role but stay open minded. Many stories you will hear might turn you away from FIFO but also might not present as an issue for you. Stay positive and embrace the change. Learning new skills and developing trust and respect within a new team can be really empowering.

How do you manage to strike a balance between work and personal life during your 18-day shifts away from home?

Each night away I always contact my family back home. Touching base daily has helped me feel connected and share experiences of my day. I've been conscious of my energy levels and have completed body weight exercises in my room back at camp. I'm planning to begin some workouts in the camp gym during my next swing. I have read some books and watched a few new series on Netflix. To be honest I get up at 4.30 am, have been trying to get to sleep by about 8 pm so there really isn't much time to kick back. The camp has a bar and recreation room. I've enjoyed some table tennis and 8 ball challenges; this also gives you a chance to socialise and connect with others whilst away.

What strategies do you use to stay motivated and focused during your time in your new role?

I guess I'm still in the "honeymoon" phase. Motivation hasn't been an issue. I'm learning so many new skills each day and using skills and knowledge from recent training, motivation is automatic for me. I'm staying open minded, asking for new experiences, and living my boyhood dreams working with construction equipment including forklifts, EWPs, cranes, trucks and many new tools.

Have you discovered any pleasant surprises or perks in the mining industry that you didn't anticipate before making the switch from teaching?

I have found the accommodation and food to be good. After speaking to others before my change this was a concern. The variety has been surprising and as long as you make good decisions with your meal choices and portion sizes you can eat in a healthy manner. No preparation, cooking or cleaning up after meals is a bonus.

Looking back, what advice would you offer to others considering a significant career shift into the mining industry later in life?

Be confident that it will suite your whole crew back home. Sure, there will be some sacrifices, and you will miss some things back home during certain swings but planning around these and quality time during RandR will be worth it. Stay open minded and be willing to continue to learn. If you think it may work take that leap of faith. You won't know unless you give it a go.

If you are thinking of returning to work locally, or keen on some FIFO roles, we’d love to have a chat about what opportunities are available.

Please get in touch with your local RED office today:

Your next career chapter awaits!