Many people change careers from oil and gas to another industry with great success.
Unfortunately, the oilfield industry has taken a huge tumble, and job losses are increasing. This economic slow-down will, of course, impact the stability of other sectors.
The announcement made on October 5th, 2017 that TransCanada cancelled the Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects doesn’t give an abundance of optimism for the oil and gas sector. It will be interesting to see the outcome of Keystone XL pipeline, going from Canada to the United States.
Losing your job or actively seeking to change your career can both be scary endeavors; however, they can also be seen as opportunities. Take some time to reflect on what is important to you, what you are looking for in a career, and what will make you happy.
Is Leaving the Oil and Gas Field Right for You?
- Did you enter the oil field straight out of high school?
- Did you join the rigs thinking it would only be a brief career, but became hooked on the money in the interim?
- Were you really happy working those long hours in such harsh conditions?
- What profession did you dream about as a kid? I’m assuming it probably wasn’t roughneck or driller.
Determining if You Should Change Careers
- Is the industry volatile and unstable?
- Are you tired of submitting resumes and getting no response?
- Are your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile communicating your actual VALUE? If not and you still enjoy oil and gas work, this should be where you focus your efforts.
Keep in mind your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile are the only things that represent you in your absence.
One opportunity that the downturn in the oil field affords you is the chance to apply for a job you always dreamed about, but never ended up pursuing. The key is determining what experience and skills you gained from your former positions. Even though you may not think you have any, everyone has transferable skills.
Interchangeable Oil and Gas Areas of Expertise
- Quality Control Management
- Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance
- Preventative Management
- Safety and Compliance
- Production Planning and Scheduling
- Efficiency Improvement
- Budget and Cost Control
- Staff Training
- Process Redesign and Reengineering
- Customer Service and Client Relations
Transferable oil field skills and abilities – known as soft skills or non-tangible
- Time Management
- Analytical and Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
There are a lot of others ones; these are just a few to get your mind thinking.
Once you have determined what talents you have to offer other companies and organizations, you can decide what positions would best suit you. Begin by looking at various areas of the trades, occupational health and safety, teaching and instruction, environmental sustainability, and manufacturing plants. On the other hand, if you always dreamed of being a University Professor, Police Officer, or Physical Therapist, then don’t let anyone get in your way, including yourself! Research what it takes to succeed in the profession of your choosing, and set out on the right path to accomplish it.
Oilfield Industry – Resume Writing if You Wish to Change Careers
Changing careers from the oil field into a new position is easily achieved if you have a targeted resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. So, before you apply for a new job, make sure you have updated your resume and tailored the document, so it is no longer exclusive to the oil field. Include all pertinent information including contact details, areas of expertise/core competencies, education and credentials, work experience, career accomplishments, professional development, and technology expertise.
You will also want to develop a single introductory paragraph that highlights your transferable skills, desire to take on new challenges, and ability to adapt to different work environments.
Include as many numbers and facts as possible in the body of your career changer resume to demonstrate a proven ability to achieve. Even though you are applying for a position outside of the oil field, these concrete statistics will show the reader that you can tackle problems head on and succeed.
Do not focus solely on the job responsibilities that are exclusive to the oil industry; highlight duties that apply to other fields. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate you can effectively transition from the oil field to the industry of your choosing.
[bctt tweet=”Oilfield job hunters, here are great tips to change careers. #oilandgas #jobsearch”]
Oilfield Sector – Cover Letters or Cover Letter Writing for Career Changers
Your cover letter will be a valuable document for explaining why you want to change careers. Don’t merely state you are now out of a job and need to find work. Instead, explain how you have changed a potentially negative experience into a positive opportunity. You have always wanted to pursue X position, and now are eager to gain the credentials and experience necessary to do so. Demonstrate how you have succeeded in prior roles, regardless of what they were; can learn quickly and harness new skills, and willing to give your all to a new company.
Do You Have the Skills and Knowledge Necessary to Make the Change?
Perhaps your new career of choice is a complete 180-degree turn from the oil field. If this is the case, you may find you need to go back to school to earn additional credentials. If you truly have a desire to pursue a new career, then take the time to do it properly; obtain the degree that you need and complete an internship or apprenticeship to get your foot in the door.
Furthermore, if you know someone who has previously transitioned from the rigs to another prosperous position, speak to him and find out if he can offer you any additional tips. Someone who has recently been through this same process can often provide valuable information about what is of particular importance.
This is also the time to start networking! One of the most successful career changing strategies is to network. Spread the word that you are looking for a new position – tell friends, family, and anyone else who may be able to give you assistance or find a great job lead.
Take Some Time for You
If you can afford to do so, take a little time off for yourself. Let your body and mind re-energize before you embark on the next step in your career. Take a class, join a gym, travel, reunite with old friends, spend time with family members, or discover a new hobby. By giving yourself a chance to relax and de-stress, you will find you are renewed and eager to take on new challenges and a different role.
However, do not let joblessness linger for too long. We all have financial commitments and must address them before they get out of hand.
The economy may get worse, so embark on a change quickly before others discover procrastination is not working in their favor.
If you are married or have dependents, make sure your partner is okay with you taking some time off before returning to work. The last thing you want to do is add extra strain to key relationships.
When Changing Careers Set Realistic Job Search Goals
Regardless of the position you held, you definitely earned good money while working on the oil rigs. However, money is not everything. You may need to readjust your goals and priorities and realize that the annual income in a different career field may be substantially less than what you are used. Determine what are “wants” versus “needs.” Assess your household budget and cut out frivolous items or services. Downsize if you have to, and consider moving to a smaller community that has a lower cost of living. The fewer things you have to worry about at this tough time, the better.
Are You Still Committed to Working in the Oil Field?
However, if you are determined to remain within the oil field, there are still other opportunities out there for you. For instance, even though Northern Alberta has taken a substantial hit, there are positions in the United States and overseas. If you are willing to travel further distances, relocate, or work on offshore oil rigs, you may have better luck securing a new job.
When developing a resume and cover letter for overseas or offshore work, make sure you communicate your ability to be flexible, work in different countries, and thrive in adverse or changing conditions. If you have prior overseas experience, make sure you showcase this in your job application documents. Detail large projects you worked on and how you contributed to their success. You will also want to convey that you are capable of communicating and working with the local population to achieve company goals while maintaining respect for and the integrity of the locals.
Regardless of your current position and desired future role, you must remain positive and hopeful! Seek out as much advice and support as you need to ensure you do not succumb to depression or anger. If you need help with your resume, cover letter, or the job search in general, solicit the services of a professional career coach. Remember; these are tough times for many people, but you can and will get through it!
[bctt tweet=”Transitioning out of the oil field is possible with these job search tips. #oilandgas #jobsearch”]
Need Help? We have written many resumes for clients wishing to transition out of the oil field or those changing careers into the oil and gas sector.
You can review our resume writing services.
Below you can sign up for our newsletter to get more articles like this one.