This is an exciting time for energy professionals, especially for all those who are looking for a job change within the oil and gas industry!
The current year is already witnessing a steady rise in the oil prices and the number of LNG projects thus painting a positive picture for the future.
Additionally, industry experts say, that the trend of employing temporary and contractual staff on an ongoing basis will continue to grow by 24%, which up by 1% than the previous year.
Looking at the studies and profiles in demand, it is evident that there is immense scope in the industry and if one is looking for a job change, this could be an ideal time.
Opportunities, however, may come with a caveat and hence it is important to understand the pros and cons associated with switching jobs to make an informed decision.
Getting started: Gain clarity
Before you hand over your resignation letter, it is important to determine if a career change is a good move. Start by answering a few questions:
Dos for job hopping in the oil and gas sector
Regardless of your current job, your academic proficiency and your work history the oil and gas industry offers numerous opportunities. However, it is important to pick the one that will propel you to success.
DO – Know your options
The lifecycle of an oil and gas project moves from the conceptualization stage to the decommissioning phase. There are different levels in between and each of them requires a different skillset.
This industry is open to talented professionals, which means that if you are willing to learn you can easily climb the career ladder and even explore lateral movements to newer functions.
For instance, if you do not like working on offshore rigs, but are a technology enthusiast, you can switch to digital lead roles by completing a relevant certification.
DO – Intensive research
Since you are planning to move to another company, research becomes crucial for your personal as well as professional growth.
Start with researching the disciplines that are in high demand, the best companies to work for, covering your interest domain, company policies, work visa requirements and other government regulations.
While Houston, Abu Dhabi, and Perth are hotspots for exploration and production activities, new opportunities are emerging in countries like Malaysia, Mexico, and Mozambique.
Furthermore, speak to industry experts, and learn about the benefits and loopholes. The more you know, the better decision you will make.
DO – Compare the benefits
Learn about the benefits that you avail in your current job vis-à-vis the gains you will enjoy in your next job.
Begin by comparing the obvious: your compensation. As per the 2018-19 Hays Salary guide, 57% of oil and gas professionals will get a minimum of 3% rise in their next review while 21% of employers won’t increase your salary at all.
Learn where you belong and what are your chances of growth in your current organization. Once you have the number, compare it with the compensation that you are expecting in your new job.
Make sure you include the cost of living and the work-life balance in your decision-making. Apart from direct monetary benefits also compare additional benefits like working hours, job flexibility, growth prospects, insurance benefits, and other bonuses and allowances.
Don’ts for job hopping in oil and gas sector
It is important to know what might go wrong and how it can be avoided to keep the decision-making simple and easy.
DON’T – Be intimidated
The competition in the oil and gas industry is fierce. The industry requires highly skilled and experienced professionals and it is recommended that one keeps upgrading one’s skills as the demand shifts.
This dynamism in the industry often intimidates the professionals. Therefore, the idea here is to understand your potential, market value, and the expected competency. If you fit the bill, then you must consider switching.
However, if you identify a knowledge or skill gap, then it is advisable to gain the required expertise and then plan the job change. This ensures that you do not settle for less.
DON’T- Risk your safety
Safety parameters and guidelines are crucial in the oil and gas sector. Learn about the safety policies, employee benefits and the insurance policy of the company you are planning to join.
Gather references if possible from existing or former employees on how they treat their workforce to avoid work-related injuries, accidents, and diseases.
DON’T – Compromise on your stability
One should have the right reason to switch. Often employees quit due to boredom and monotony at work and then later regret their decision.
Therefore, if you are planning to quit for growth opportunities or better exposure, it is crucial to analyze rationally if you will achieve what you are aiming for in your new job.
Additionally, if you are not sure about the new work environment or the growth potential, then it will be wise to drop the plan until you have clarity and extensive knowledge.
But do keep looking for more suitable options. Switch only when you are sure. Compromising stability may cost you your career.
The best part about the energy sector is that if you are willing to do hard work, there isn't any dearth of opportunities. It offers a lucrative salary, travelling, stability and growth opportunity. Just weigh the pros and cons of your career decision and you are good to go!
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 17 September 2018 – Brent: US$78/b; WTI: US$68/b
Headlines of the week
As weather systems batter the Atlantic and Pacific – Hurricane Florence hitting the Carolinas in the US and Typhoon Mangkhut cleaving its way through East Asia – the oil industry is watching for signs of continued turbulence, worried that it could add to a market jittery over upcoming Iranian sanctions. Particularly in the Atlantic, where the 2017 hurricane season was very disruptive over crude production in the Gulf of Mexico. A year later, with growing onshore production, the risk of disruption is now higher than ever, with tropical storms liable to cause major flooding in major shale basins like the Permian.
While destructive, the typhoons of the west Pacific generally do not have a large impact on crude prices. The major crude production areas of Southeast and East Asia tend to be relatively insulated from the direct path of storms, which will already have had their strength sapped after hitting the Pacific bulwark of the Philippines. The refining centres in Japan, South Korea and China do get impacted, but preparedness tend to dull the impact. However, the situation is different in the Atlantic. Two weeks ago, when Tropical Storm Gordon whipped its way through the Gulf Coast, WTI prices leapt in response as offshore rigs shut down and evacuated workers. Traditionally, the hurricane seasons of past will largely be confined in impact to WTI prices, but the increasingly international reach of American crude now has a direct discernible impact on the global Brent benchmark as well.
After Florence and Gordon, there are three more storms brewing in the Atlantic. Even though Gordon proved weaker than expected, some 160,000 b/d of production was shut down for over a week, while Florence avoided major output areas. Up next is Hurricane Helene, which looped back towards Europe after developing in West Africa. Hurricane Isaac headed straight towards the Caribbean, where refining infrastructure has been fragile due to PDVSA’s chronic woes, but has now weakened into a tropical depression. Tropical Storm Joyce started out looking like a direct threat, but now appears that it will peter out in the middle of the Atlantic without making landfall.
The Atlantic hurricane season is now at its peak, and will continue until the end of November. For now, the 2018 season does not look to be as disruptive as 2017 or even 2016, which is why the WTI discount to Brent has dropped down to US$10/b, down from US$7/b when Gordon started threatening. Major weather prediction agencies have also revised their forecast for storm numbers down, with the Colorado State University cutting its prediction of named storms from 14 to 11 in August. There is still time for a major hurricane to develop, but for now, the 2018 Atlantic season looks to be relatively benign for crude production and prices.
The impact of Atlantic hurricane seasons on GOM output
The Oil and Gas sector is still recovering from some difficult times in the recent past and has adapted a high-performing culture to generate more from less. That has also translated to replacing the older, expensive resources to younger, cheaper talents and leveraging the gig workforce.
Thus having a few decades of experience in your kitty might sound like a huge advantage but in reality, this might become a burden if you are in the job market and competing with your younger counterparts, especially in this dynamic energy industry. The reputation of being redundant and lack of acceptance of newer skills can precede you and shroud the recruiter’s decision.
However, there is always a demand for experience in the job market and the top oil and gas companies are in a lookout for personnel, who have relevant prior experiences and are ready to adjust to the evolving changes in this industry.
Upskilling to remain relevant in this industry is crucial for the ageing workforce but when you are seeking a new job, everything zeros down to getting an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to the recruiter.
The first hurdle is to have a cracking resume or curriculum vitae that get shortlisted for the next round.
Here we share some tricks to age-proof your resume and check all the right boxes in a recruiter’s mind within the first 6 seconds of their short attention span.*
1. Be creative to attract attention
The best weapons you have are the skills that were acquired during the long tenure spent in this industry. It can easily become a drawback for your resume if you tend you write extensively about all these skill-sets and fail to understand what the specific job opening demands from its candidates.
It is advisable to select your skills carefully and highlight them with more visuals and fewer words. Use graphs and percentages instead of long sentences to make your resume stand out. Try to feature them on the front page and showcase only the relevant skills for the job you are applying.
2. Downplay on dates
Now, this can be a little tricky but not difficult. Do not unnecessarily highlight personal information like age and if needed move it to an obscure corner of your resume where there are lesser chances of it to be noticed.
While, for some jobs, the academic credentials are necessary to be mentioned, we recommend to feature these on the front page with the degree and university name but try and avoid the graduation dates. The recruiter might indulge in quick math to estimate your age. Also, when you mention the job history, maintain the chronology but avoid mentioning the start and end dates.
Please note that none of the above implies for you to submit misleading information to your prospective employer at any given stage of the recruitment process.
3. Highlight the recent and relevant experiences
There has been a massive shift in oil and gas processes, equipment and technology in the last few decades. Improvements in drilling mechanism, data-collecting sensors, technology to improve worker’s safety, etc. have changed most upstream and downstream jobs.
You might have also gone through this age of transformation but your resume might look dated if you end up mentioning the entire history.
Keep it crisp and recent; bypass mentioning any experience that may not be relevant today and does minimal value-add showcasing your talent for the new job. If you have moved out of oil and gas industry sometime during your career, keep it off the resume unless that experience adds value to the current job opening.
You ideally should be showcasing all the accolades that came your way throughout your professional life. Craft your messaging around mentions about the impact of your performance on the employer’s top-line and bottom-line results.
Having said this, under no circumstance should you use incorrect career or skill information in your resume.
4. Speak the language of the recruiter
Pick terminologies mentioned in the job description and highlight them in your resume. Try to tailor-make the resume to befit the job description and hence easier for the recruiter to understand your relevancy.
Keep working on your resume on a constant basis and it will become an easy task to quickly modify the variable content based on each new application.
5. Provide Social Media Coordinates
Provide the LinkedIn, Twitter and other relevant Social Media coordinates in your resume. There is a high possibility that you will be scrutinized on your social media activity and hence it is good to keep your professional social platforms details updated on your resume.
This also signals about your ability to stay relevant with the time by adopting digital communications.
Update your profile picture and preferably get it done by a professional photographer who focuses to capture your positive attitude and energy.
Maturity and leadership skills come organically to older workforce due to their extensive experience; And half the job-search battle is won if that can be captured in your resume and featured to the potential employers.
While it is discriminating and unethical to deny a job due to your age, there are several instances of biased recruitment in every industry, including oil and gas.
Bonus Tip: It is said your network is your net-worth these days. Connect with other energy sector professionals and share your experience with the community to increase your professional network.
We wish you all the best in your next job search!