Entering the industry during a rough patch?

New to the oil and gas business? Is it falling apart?

While NatResPro got designed for industry professionals with at least five years of experience, we have one eye on the future. We realise that there are always experienced people retiring, and for the continuity of the industry, bright and dedicated people must follow.

So this article is the first where we try to help people that are either about to join the oil and gas business or have just done so.

In many ways, life can seem like a competitive game. In just as many ways it isn't, of course, but in the main aspects of your life - you will face plenty of competition.

You don't need to be a professional athlete to see this in play. As soon as we start to develop into young adults, we find that we are competing for love opportunities. At some point, we realise that even since early childhood, we have been fighting for attention itself! (Or we certainly see this in others.)

The biggest competitive game of all seems to be in the job market. That is because winners at work earn vastly more money, praise and respect. These crucial factors can make or break the other ones previously mentioned (love and attention.)

While there is a new wave of people pursuing home-based or location independent businesses, most are either in a job or trying to get a job.

So, what do you do when the oil industry appears to be collapsing?

The reason why this question comes to mind is the current state of the Oil Industry. With Oil down to around $33 per barrel as I write this, I can only imagine how someone who studied Petroleum Engineering or similar will be feeling, as they prepare for their final exams. With all the job cuts in the news, it could seem like an exercise in futility. The chances are that when they started the course, Oil was around $100 per barrel and had recently been way higher. $200 would have been more likely than $20.

This student would have done everything right. They would have resisted the temptation to take an 'easy course' that wouldn't be likely to lead to a good job such as Sociology or Theatre Arts. Engineering is challenging, and in most industries, not only are engineers in demand, but there is a shortage of them. To even stay in a course like this takes hard work and dedication.

But what now? With constant layoffs, bankruptcies, acquisitions and oversupply, what chance does a fresh graduate have? What makes it worse is this crash isn't the result of a banking crisis, it is simple supply and demand. There are no easy fixes.

With the prospect of a lot of student debt and no bright job prospects - is the future bleak?

It seems like all commodity-based businesses are always either entering a downturn or recovering from one!

photo of a North Sea oil platform. Sunrise or Sunset? It doesn't matter because there are many days ahead.

While I have mentioned oil, this has happened across industries throughout human civilisation. There was a time when blacksmiths were in high demand because people wanted their horseshoes changed; this was before Henry Ford destroyed that industry. (We are pleased that he did). Not to mention the industrial revolution itself that automated so many industries processes.

There is good news; in life, you can nearly always find ways to turn a bad situation into a good one.

Here are a few positive ways to look at the situation:

    1. If the industry that you are about to enter, or have newly entered appears to be collapsing. You could look at it through the paradigm that your competition is getting wiped out, not you! Going back to the oil business as an example, the industry itself will still exist way into the future. You can be one of the ones who kept their minds and exercised patience. Perhaps you accept a lower salary or position and bide your time.


    1. Remember your early lessons in school or dating? Sports or hobbies? The fact is that most people never try, give up or self-sabotage. You do not have to be one of these people. Most of your competition will give up, fail, drop out or change industries. As a market collapses, so does the competition and skill pool.


    1. Just as no-one could imagine $20+ oil, we can't believe that it will go back to $100 this year, but it could. If you have already committed to something, see it through as much as possible. If unsure, double down on your efforts to get the job done to the best of your ability. That has its rewards concerning self-esteem and character.


    1. A future employer or business partner will thoroughly understand your situation. They would likely have experienced the same things themselves. They will be more interested in how you reacted to the situation, rather than the situation itself. If you graduated with a high grade, in a degree for a dying industry, that shows tenacity. That is the kind of determination that will help you rise to the top in any industry that you join in the future.


< Getting Your Resume Noticed Partner up to Create a Better Future for the Energy Industry >

Tagged under: Career Advice