You're Limiting Your Career If You Haven't Considered Fly-In Fly-Out

No longer is the fly-in-fly-out lifestyle the sole domain of workers in resources industries. Increasingly, mobile office workers are joining the FIFO lifestyle to access superior employment opportunities that are not available near to where they live. If you’re not considering FIFO you’re limiting your career!

It Just Used To Be Miners

For the resources industry, the concept of a FIFO workforce is standard. If you discover a mineral body it’s going to be a long way from the nearest township and to capitalise on the discovery your workforce will fly-in and fly-out. In my engineering days there were many places in the Australian outback where there was a gold mine or a gas field that was located hundreds of kilometres from the nearest settlement and everyone on site – engineering, administration, catering, and housekeeping - worked some combination of days on and days off; where days off were spent on the other side of the country.

However, with the cost of travel declining relative to salaries, it is not uncommon for people who work in remote locations to live in another country. Their argument is simple; why travel six hours to go to an expensive big city when for the same time and cost I can spend my time off-plant in an exotic location?

Now Office Workers FIFO Too

Historically, a promotion to a “big” role often meant relocation, whether to another city or offshore. And families readily complied. It was as an
exciting opportunity for all, and the (non-promoted) partner wasn’t the prime earner therefore and was able to relocate with minimal impact.

But that situation has changed. Today, it is common for both partners to have rewarding careers and it would be a significant setback for the
non-promoted partner to put their career on hold to follow the promoted partner. With more women entering the C-Suite, assumptions that the relocated partner enjoys a higher salary or better career prospects are invalid. With FIFO both partners can enjoy fulfilling careers.

There Are Few C-Suite Roles Where You Live

As your career advances, the number of potential roles in your locality will decrease, and with it there will be increased competition. Yet one
of the secrets to sales and job hunting is increasing your opportunity set will increase your prospects for success. So why are you limiting your career prospects to your locality? Broadening your career avenues beyond your locale will increase your career prospects.

FIFO Will Become A Necessity

Technological advances are changing our concepts of work (see One day We’ll All Be Contractors), which means that companies no longer need to be located in major centres. They will be located wherever is advantageous for the company. As workers become more mobile and travel costs decline relative to salaries, the concept of the FIFO worker will become increasingly common.


The concept of work is changing. No longer should you be restricted to employment opportunities close to where you live. To enjoy the career you want, you will need to expand your opportunity set beyond your locale. FIFO will be common for all mobile workers.