Oil and gas companies are starting to kick off more projects than they have done for years, meaning that after the prolonged downturn and layoffs, oil and gas jobs are now starting to appear again. However competition is fierce, rates have reduced, and clients want new working arrangements which allow them to complete projects at lower cost. For oil & gas consultants trying to return to work, an increased level of flexibility will be required in order to get the perfect oil and gas freelance job.
This is our final part of our 4 part oil and gas job search series which provides the tools to help oil and gas industry professionals connect with the best oil and gas engineering jobs.
Following the industry downturn oil and gas freelance jobs do not last for months at a time, companies are now offering much shorter contracts and choosing to use people who can offer them fast solutions to their problems. Winning new contracts will therefore require a level of flexibility that has not been previously required.
When searching for a new oil and gas job, or negotiating a contract, flexibility must be offered in order to win a role. This flexibility extends to the job types you are chasing, the rates you demand and the contract length you achieve:
Job Types – Stepping backwards in your career might not sound like a good idea, but it can offer many benefits when you are coming back to the industry. Accepting an oil and gas engineering job at a lower level will allow you to find your feet, and then you can progress your career following this step backwards. If you are applying for a job level that is a step backwards recruitment agencies are sure to question you on this so make sure you are prepared to explain why this is a good choice for you, and why you won’t jump ship at the first job offer you get from elsewhere.
Rates / Salary – The amount oil and gas industry professionals can earn is less than it was before the industry downturn, and you have to be aware of this when applying for roles. It is also likely that you will be applying for many roles including ones that are not an ideal match to your skillset, but that you are still capable of doing. If a job specification is not an ideal match, the only option to stand out from the crowd is to reduce your rates to make sure you are competitive. When you find the perfect job for your skillset, this is where you will get the chance to go all in and demand the high rates that oil and gas industry professionals are used to. The key here is flexibility, tailor your rate to each job prospect and how well matched you are to it.
Contract Length – Most companies in the O&G industry now recognise that offering 12 month contracts to freelance technical engineering specialists is not cost efficient. Many companies want to adopt to the gig economy method of working, where oil and gas freelance jobs consist of completing technical work one task at a time and companies don’t pay for any hours that are not producing deliverables. Oil and gas consultants now have to accept that they will be working on a larger number of much smaller contracts, and should plan for this when approaching new roles.