“I’m petrified about my future”
Earlier this year, Higher Landing and the Quaderra Group, a boutique oil and gas search firm, teamed up to survey over 200 oil and gas professionals and asked them about their career concerns. These were highly skilled professionals – engineers, geologists, geophysicists and other technical professionals - both employed and between jobs.
The results were staggering. Most were absolutely terrified about their futures.
The majority of those surveyed – over 70% - said they wanted to do something more, better or different, and almost half said they were looking for options outside of the oil and gas industry. In fact, many younger professionals are shunning the oil and gas industry for jobs in sexier and more socially acceptable industries like technology, agriculture and anything ‘green.’
However there’s another side to this.
Despite reports that many Albertans are considering leaving the province to look for work, that many are losing their homes and making their first visits to the food bank, 55% said they intended to remain in the oil and gas industry, hoping to do something similar to what they were doing before.
We need a reality check
The energy industry is in the midst of generational disruptive change.
For most of its workers, expecting a return to boom time is dangerous. Who knows what the industry will even look like once the dust has settled? Or when that will happen?
If you combine the masses of unreported unemployed consultants with those who are collecting EI, industry professionals have told me that the unemployment rate in the oil and gas patch is closer to 50%. Prospects are slim, very few traditional energy producers are hiring and the ones that are find themselves inundated with hundreds of applications for the same job.
A recent report released by the Labour Market Outlook 2016 to 2020 for Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry suggests that oil prices will start to rise in 2017, with some rehiring expected. But it also goes on to question ‘when will capital investment resume to be able to rehire our top talent?”
The lesson is clear: oil and gas professionals can’t afford to wait for a rebound.
They need to act now.
We are doing our best…
We are genuinely concerned about these people. We work with them everyday. One thing we stress again and again: job search has changed and it’s never been more critical to know your personal brand and how to transfer it to new industries & opportunities.
And while we’re very concerned about the uncertain future of the energy industry, our partnership with The Quaderra Group is helping us place many of the oil and gas professionals currently enrolled in our programs back in their beloved industry. That is still possible if you approach your job search strategically, creatively and in a way that truly separates from you from the increasingly large pack.
Top 5 Concerns
Here are the top concerns expressed by oil and gas professionals.
- My Prospects Look Grim
- I Want To Do Something Different
- I Hope to Find Something Similar
- I Don't Know How to Transfer My Skills
- I Don't Know My Brand
Review the full survey results here.
This is a critical issue in Alberta. We would love to hear your thoughts on what we can do as an industry, community and country to help these people. For more information, feel free to reach out to us. Follow us, check us out on twitter and/or send us an email!