There’s no getting away from the fact that the Oil & Gas market is going through hard times. With mass layoffs and uncertainty in the market, there’s nobody that this affects more than Oil & Gas workers.
Whilst we all read through the ongoing coverage of the downturn each day, there’s not much in the way of advice to people who either find themselves out of work and on the job hunt or worried about their current employment situation. There’s no denying it’s tough, but there are some key survival tips that will help you weather the storm.
1. Be active, but selective.
One of the major mistakes that jobseekers make when they’re in ‘panic mode’ is to apply for anything and everything. Don’t do it. Maintaining your value as a candidate is more important than ever. Apply selectively and if the roles advertised now don’t match your skills sets in any way, don’t apply at all. Make each application count.
2. It never rains forever.
We’ve all been caught in a storm at some point and we all know that it passes. The Oil & Gas industry is no different – the sector will recover. Some companies who have cut hard will need to hire fast when they start to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Be prepared and be ready.
3. Be on your ‘A’ game.
Don’t let your standards slip, ever. A poorly written resume with spelling mistakes and bad grammar will not get you anywhere – any of my recruiters will say the same. And when you find a role you want to apply for you MUST adapt your application to suit. The number 1 tip here is to be clear and concise on what your personal value proposition is. Don’t leave the hiring manager with any doubt on what you can offer to their business.
4. Transferable skills.
Oil & Gas is a complex and demanding marketplace to work in, so don’t sell yourself short. Take the time to work out exactly what your transferable skills are and how you can apply these skills to different roles and sectors. It’s a process of discovery, but an important one.
5. Flexibility is key.
Job hunting is unfortunately not like a Hollywood movie. The probability of you finding the perfect job, in the perfect location that pays you well is slim. Something will probably have to give. The more flexible you are on location, role and reward, the greater your chance of success.
6. Safe port in a storm.
It is easier to get a job when you have a job. If you have a job you need to work hard to keep it, even if it isn’t your dream role.
7. Be visible (but don’t be a stalker).
It’s important to keep in touch with the recruiters and companies that you are applying to work for, but don’t over-do-it. There’s a fine line between keeping in touch and making a nuisance of yourself. The job hunt is often a slow process for candidates and hiring managers alike but rest assured that good recruiters will be working hard for you behind the scenes – let them do their job.
8. LinkedIn is your shop window
If you’re reading this, you’ll have a LinkedIn account. Remember that as a candidate your LinkedIn profile is your ‘shop window’ and hiring managers will look at your profile and activity. You should put as much effort into your LinkedIn profile as you should your resume and you need to keep your activity professional – if you’re going to ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘comment’ on anything, think before you do.
9. Contract is where it’s at.
In an uncertain market companies will look to move towards a more flexible workforce. The Oil & Gas market is no exception to this and businesses will hire on a contract basis first. If you haven’t considered a contract role, now is the time to start. Not only is there a higher availability of contract positions, but this is also a good ‘way in’ to a business.
10. Invest in yourself.
While you are waiting for the market to return, make yourself more employable. Use this time to invest in yourself by upgrading your skills and knowledge. If you’ve ever thought about going on a training course in the past, do it now. If you haven’t, you need to start. Think strategically about which skills will make you more employable in the future and go out and get them.
It’s important that you stay current on what’s happening in the industry, so make sure you read articles and journals regularly. Not only will this keep your knowledge fresh, but staying current will give you some sound-bites to use in interview. Knowledge is power.
The important point to make here is that none of these tips are more important than others. Using them all will make you more employable in the short and long term.