GAVIN May has traded in big mining bucks for a lucrative career in the stockmarket.
The former WA miner is travelling around Queensland and telling his story. He is on the central Queensland leg of his tour and will visit Mackay today to share his experience.
Mr May was pulling in the big bucks at $120,000 a year managing mines, however, his quality of life was not up to scratch.
The former farm boy had risen through the mining ranks, starting off driving heavy haul machines, then moving on to overseeing grade control, pit engineering, production scheduling, mine management and so on.
However, Gavin was looking for a better lifestyle and to be his own boss.
"The money was fantastic, but when you've got it, you tend to spend it. Also, I wasn't seeing much of my family and I was thinking about where I wanted to be in the next few years. As good as mining had been for me, I didn't want to be doing it forever and I wanted other streams of income," he said.
The stockmarket was booming at the time and Gavin began playing the stockmarket while still a miner.
"Playing was the right term," he said. "I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn't educated and when the GFC came along, I lost heaps, nearly all I had built up."
Mr May will also speak about future proofing your life.
When the GFC hit in 2007, he was working in iron-ore mining at Dampier Port, where up to 20 ships would often be waiting to be loaded with iron ore.
Mr May said when the crisis sunk its claws in it was "like someone flicked a switch".
"The ships just stopped turning up," he said.
The well-known mining giant he worked for at the time reacted quickly and by January, 2008, thousands of jobs had been cut.
"My concern is people are complacent and people aren't thinking about the future or job security," he said.
Mr May is looking forward to visiting Mackay; it will be his first time in the region.
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