10 Ways to Change Careers from Oil and Gas to Another Industry

Many people change careers from oil and gas to another industry with great success.

Unfortunately, the oilfield industry has taken a tumble, and in some areas, job losses are increasing. This oil and gas slow-down could, of course, impact the stability of other sectors.

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 thrilled 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

These are known as soft skills or non-tangible

  • Interpersonal
  • Communication
  • Organizational
  • Time Management
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership

There are a lot of other skills. 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 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 your choosing profession 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 tailor the document to no longer be 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.

Incorporate 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 exclusive to the oil industry; highlight duties applicable to other fields. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate you can effectively transition from the oil field to the industry of your choosing.

Oilfield job hunters, here are great tips to change careers. #oilandgas #jobsearch Click To Tweet

 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.

Maybe, you have always wanted to pursue the 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; you can learn quickly, harness new skills, and be 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 desire to pursue a new career, then take the time to do it properly, obtain the degree 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 important aspects of success.

This is also the time to start networking!

An effective career change strategy 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 assist you 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 different roles.

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 worsen, so embark on a change quickly before others discover that 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 to.

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 with 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. Convey you can communicate and work with the local population to achieve company goals while maintaining respect for and the locals’ integrity.

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 job search in general, solicit the services of a professional career coach. These are tough times for many people, but you can and will get through them!

Transitioning out of the oil field is possible with these job search tips. #oilandgas #jobsearch Click To Tweet

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.

Please review the resume writing services we offer to get your career moving in the right direction. 

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