Transitioning to a New Career In Oil and Gas

With 93 million barrels of oil consumed daily around the world, a career in oil and gas remains a viable and exciting prospect. Those looking for a new challenge in their careers ought to consider joining the industry. There are a wide variety of positions available across the industry, whether you’re looking for something in the executive suite or a station in the field. The oil and gas industry is always looking for recruits possessing specialty skills across a broad spectrum, including but not limited to engineering, business, and management.

Yet even with a bevy of invigorating paths to choose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of transitioning to a new industry. By taking simple and manageable steps over time, you can gradually begin the process of transitioning to a career within the oil and gas industry.

Revisit LinkedIn

In the digital age, your social media presence is as important (if not moreso, in some fields) than your resume. Above all of your other profiles, your LinkedIn should never fall by the wayside. Even if you are not planning on moving on to a different company anytime soon, regularly revisit your page and see if there are any sections that need beefing up. This is a great task to accomplish after you’ve finished a project or a particularly successful workday. Analyze what made the end result so successful and how you used your singular set of skills to reach it, then take care that those skills are adequately translated to your page.

Reconstruct your Resume

Whether you are switching careers altogether or just committed to keeping your options open, it is vital to keep your resume up to date. Once you have been with a company long enough, it’s easy to let it fall by the wayside and gather dust. But taking a fresh look at your resume is a great way to discern if you’re truly satisfied with your current path or if you’re ready to make the most of your skills somewhere else. Try rewriting your resume from scratch. Take care that you’re emphasizing your skillset as strongly as you’re emphasizing your experience and your job titles. In an increasingly diverse job market, the title of your position in a company does not mean as much as the skills you were utilizing in it. Be precise and efficient in describing your duties to stand out in the eyes of potential employers.

Enlist Help

Back when we were students attaining undergraduate or graduate degrees, we were inundated daily with resources designed to alleviate the pressures of resume and career building. As adults, we have been led to believe we must fend for our own careers, and for the most part, our success is linked to the amount of effort we put into cultivating them. But there are resources available for adults if you care to look for them! In addition to free resume critiquing resources available online, reaching out to recruiters in oil and gas can save you a lot of time and headache trying to navigate a new industry. Oil and gas companies looking to fill high-level vacancies save themselves money and valuable resources by enlisting the help of executive recruiters, so why shouldn’t you? Send your information along to recruiters in the field and learn about your options. You may find yourself to be a good fit for a position you would have never otherwise considered.

Keep Yourself Open to Career Change

There is a delicate balance to be struck between being loyal to a company or career path while still being open to other opportunities. If you wait until you’re desperate to make a change to start looking at your available options, you likely will not be objective in charting a new course. Anything will look preferable to your current situation if you allow it to deteriorate past the point of return. Be sure to regularly reflect on your current position within a company.

Consider talking with people in the oil and gas field or positions that you’ve always admired but haven’t seriously considered for yourself. Learn about the set of skills their positions call for and then ask targeted questions about how your own may be translated to a similar position. Even if you decide you’re not interested in the day-to-day work of this other career, you can garner a fresh perspective on the work that you do and what you do—and do not–enjoy about it.


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