Despite the decline of crude revenues in late 2014 many companies still recognise the challenges of maintaining a skilled labour force (Shauk, 2015). Many of these have continued their efforts to attract young people to work in the oil and gas industry but the boom-bust cycle and periodic mass layoffs pose a significant threat. Robert Fitzpatrick, Advisor to Walter Hewitt, recognises the importance of fresh blood in the industry and has taken the time prepare the following advice for any recently graduated geoscientists:
- Be excited by the industry: what it has to offer and what you offer it (even if you doubt it).
- Demonstrate: knowledge, initiative, energy and focus. Be busy.
- Talk: to recruitment agencies (they need good candidates and will be able to offer sound advice). See if you can talk to anyone in an oil company – at least find out what it is like.
- Learning: stay current, join a PESGB / Geological Soc, attend lectures (any lectures, you can talk about them at interviews)
- Personal Skills: learn a language or additional skill (basic law or accountancy are not always dull, they could well be useful later).
- Believe in yourself: geoscientists are different and will be valuable again. No one will hire negative people
- Investigate other industries: skills involving logical disciplined thinking are required elsewhere. You may find something else that excites you and you can always come back to the industry in the future.
- Find a role: even if unpaid or possibly “too junior” (is there such a thing when starting out?).
- Be prepared to travel: not just in the UK. The UKCS is past its heyday, but your skills (and many yet to be acquired), imagination and enthusiasm are required in other areas.
- Any job in any industry is a good start. Why did you read geoscience? Travel, money, intellectual interest, love of outdoors …can you remember? What other industries might be attractive? You might find that you are still a geoscientist at heart –the role today may not be what it was yesterday but you may discover that it is still more interesting, challenging and rewarding than many other industries.
Walter Hewitt recognises the importance of graduates to the future of our industry. As such we are always happy to offer support wherever we can. Whilst companies tend to hire graduates directly we will still help with CV guidance, preparation for interviews and are always happy to highlight companies that are looking for graduates to our network.
If you were to give advice to graduates in your field of expertise now what would that be and how could it help?