Back In November 2019, I met a petroleum engineering student at a career enhancement event organized by the society of petroleum engineers in Tanzania.
The students asked my opinion on whether it is worth it to stick in the oil and gas industry right now or it is better to move into more stable fields. He told me that he is very committed and he wants to be engaged in Tanzania’s oil and gas industry.
But he is now discouraged from pursuing a career in the oil and gas industry considering that he may end up like many others who are having difficulties to find a job in the oil and gas industry
To be painfully honest with you, he is not only the one concern . With oil price being low for a long time this can be a particularly worrying time for many people in the oil and gas industry
To address these concerns, I thought I will take moment to discuss a number of ways in which young professionals can increase their chances of securing and retaining a job in the industry. Or increase more options and what you can do to survive in the current oil and gas market situation
To Stick It Out Or To Leave For More Stable Fields?
Regarding ones staying or going there is no wrong or bad decision because it depends on reality and passion. Let’s face it one by one.
Based on reality is that the East African oil and gas undergoing a massive change in structure and worth.
Investors’ interest in East Africa’s oil and gas market is huge despite the oil price significantly went down in the global market.
The main factor contributes to this is the attractive hydrocarbon prospectively. The natural gas discovered in Mozambique and Tanzania are classes as “World-Class”.
Furthermore, the oil and price went significantly down since 2014. Industry analysts project the price will oscillate between $50 to $60 per barrel for some time. So there will be no sharp downturn. That means there will be no more layoffs.
Also, we may see now oil and gas companies are gradually increasing their activity in the region. Some are acquiring permits to push their exploration and drilling programs to become the next gas producers in the region.
So if you decide to stay in the industry understand how you can differentiate yourself from the crowd because you will face high competition.
For those who decide to leave, there are opportunities to transfer oil and gas skills into another sector of the economy.
For example, for those who have been trained in petroleum engineering. There will be opportunities to transfer into other fields of engineering including mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, environmental consulting, renewable energy and civil engineering or construction companies.
But moving into other fields may also be a bad decision that you will regret particularly if you work into the sector you don’t like and your heart and soul are passionate about the oil and gas sector.
Some people were once planning to enter the oil and gas industry during the high time and many only motivated by wages and personal economic benefits and nothing else, rather than genuine interest. They are now moving into different fields,
But those who are passionate about the industry, they can see long term picture and they don’t fear to take risks needed to stay in the industry.
And I can illustrate this based on my personal experience.
I graduated from college more than four years ago. At that time, it was the beginning of the oil and gas market downturn, and I lost five job opportunities.
I had no source of income, but I didn’t give up, neither I thought of going into another industry. I was passionate about the oil and gas industry and I didn’t care about the lack of jobs,
As many graduates out there, I would never know what I will end up be doing. I spent a few months evaluating myself, understanding my strengths and weaknesses, and aggressively learning about the oil industry.
I knew what I wanted to achieve and the things that I needed to improve, and I went for it.
I learn everything about the oil and gas industry that came my way. To expand my network I wanted to attend an industry event.
But money was scarce. I did spend a lot of hours begging the event organizers to offer me a complimentary pass and In return I would promote their events on my social networks. And you know what? Some rejected my offer and others gave me access to attend the conference
I connected with well-experienced industry veterans both at home and oversea through industry events and social networks especially LinkedIn. I learned a lot from their wisdom and experiences.
All my focus was on the oil industry, and it paid off. Here I am today, doing what I love, and I can tell you, there is nothing as great as doing what you love.
If you are a regular reader of the website perhaps you know that I have a romantic feeling with the oil and gas industry. I am passionate about the industry because it has a positive impact on our societies, countries and the entire world.
The best lesson I have learned is this: The purpose and passion are what will keep you going when things get difficult. If you believe in something nothing stand in the way of making your dream a reality
If the oil and gas industry interests you, learn how the industry works. Make yourself visible. Attends industry events and conference. Join club and professional associations and take training courses. In addition, be active on social network specifically LinkedIn
Believe me or not, despite the current state of the oil and gas market, if you are passionate about the industry, opportunities will come. If it didn’t create them.