Hui Shan

Job Steward at NrgEdge. If you are an Energy Professional (Oil, Gas, Energy) contact me for opportunities
Last Updated: September 13, 2018
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Career Development
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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.


The profiles which will be in demand include:

  • Skilled Operator Maintainers to carry out operation, production and maintenance activities on various production plants.
  • Geologists, company representatives, drillers and rig crews in exploration
  • Cost and Planning Engineers in the downstream segment
  • Gas Insertion Workers in an active residential construction market
  • Engineering Service Managers, technicians and mechanical fitters in line maintenance and engineering services
  • Engineers from various disciplines: mechanical, electrical and control systems engineers, pipeline engineers, and project engineers.

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:

  • What are your interests and specific career goals?
  • Why do you want to switch to another company?
  • What does your financial statement say? Can you switch without causing undue stress?
  • Is your family happy with your decision? How does it impact them?


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!

Job change job in oil and gas industry oil and gas industry career job Hopping oil and gas opportunities
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U.S. renewable energy consumption by sector

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

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Hydroelectric power is almost exclusively used by water-powered turbines to generate electricity in the electric power sector and accounted for about 22% of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2019. U.S. hydropower consumption has remained relatively consistent since the 1960s, but it fluctuates with seasonal rainfall and drought conditions.

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operating natural-gas fired electric generating capacity by online year

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Inventory

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natural gas-fired electric gnerating capacity by retirement year

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Inventory

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operating natural gas-fired electric generating capacity in selected states

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Inventory

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global energy consumption for power generation

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020)

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Because IEO2020 is based on the IEO2019 modeling platform and because it focuses on long-term electricity market dynamics, it does not include the impacts of COVID-19 and related mitigation efforts. The Annual Energy Outlook 2021 (AEO2021) and IEO2021 will both feature analyses of the impact of COVID-19 mitigation efforts on energy markets.

Asia infographic, as described in the article text


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020)
Note: Click to enlarge.

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