Oil and gas job loss refers to the disappearance of jobs because of fundamental structural economic changes as distinct from transient fluctuations in demand. Covid-19 pandemic has affected global economic activity. This has led to a collapse of demand and with it the fall of crude oil prices.
The recent drop in the crude oil prices, even hitting negative territory for the first time in history could lead to catastrophic job losses.
A friend recently shared with me how she was laid off from a managerial job due to the ongoing global economic meltdown driven by the corona virus crisis. She has worked hard all her life, thrived on the pressure and challenges of her work, and enjoyed the money she earned. Becoming unemployed for the first time in her mid-40s was a huge blow, and one she was not well prepared for.
What is a job loss?
There’s no two ways about it: Losing your oil and gas job is hard. Whether it has everything to do with your performance, or economic forces beyond you, it’s still hard.
However, if you look at job loss, like any setback from a bigger perspective, you will realize that success in life is measured more by how we respond to life’s setbacks and challenges.
The story of my friend is one that I’ve heard many times in the last few days. Corona Virus has truly disrupted people’s lives.
The challenge people in this situation face are how to handle not only the loss of their job, but also the emotions that come with the loss. These ranges from a sense of humiliation, feelings of personal failure, vulnerability, anxiety, to resentment and self-pity. Losing a job is a big blow to your pockets, but we must admit it is also an even bigger blow to your ego and self worth.
Over the last few days, millions of people across the world have found themselves involuntarily out of work, too often through no fault of their own.
Take America as an example. As of today (27th April, 2020), over 26 million people have lost jobs in the US, wiping out a decade of employment gains. It is projected that over 200,000 oil and gas jobs will be lost in the United States.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Oil and Gas Job Loss?
But whether the reason you lost your job has everything to do with your performance, or absolutely nothing, how you respond to this situation is what will set you apart from others when it comes to finding a new job.
When it comes to hunting for a job, attitude is everything. A proactive and positive mindset will differentiate you from the rest. This will make the difference in how ‘lucky’ you will get in this unlucky economic conditions.
It will actually determine whether you will one day look back on this time with some measure of gratitude for what you gained from it – a chance to re-evaluate your priorities, spend extra time with your family, teach your kids stuff, or to simply re-affirm what matters most to you.
Confucius once said,
“Men’s natures are alike. It is their habits that carry them far apart”.
This can be loosely translated to mean that no one likes to loss a job, but your habits separates you from the rest.
The following seven habits will help you to separate yourself from the pack, move your job search forward, and keep your application as the top of the pile. You can spend time to ensure you bounce back into a job, but perhaps also get an even better one than you had before this crisis.
1. Stay Future-Focused
At this moment, when the whole world is facing the covid-19 challenge, it is very easy to get stuck in the past. In a world and things we used to know…familiar territory.
We are all longing for the days when we could move around easily. We are keen to get back to our ‘normal’ life. Truth is, life as we knew it is gone, forever. We shall come out of this crisis into a different world.
It is therefore very important to stay focused. You should not get stuck in what shoulda-woulda-coulda happened and did not. Doing this only perpetuates negative emotions that fuel anger, self-pity and a sense of powerlessness. Yet, you are so powerful.
Focus on the future, and what you need to do today to set yourself up for success post covid-19 crisis. Find out the skills you need to learn to be of value to your employer in the future, or research and create products or services that your business will provide to clients. Be helpful.
What you focus on expands, so focus on what you want, not on what you don’t.
2. Don’t let your job or business status define you
If there is something Corona Virus have taught us is that we are not defined by what we do, the cars we drive, the places we hang out at or even our offices.
Losing your oil and gas job or business is a very personal experience, but do not take it too personally. The person you are is not what you do. It never was. You define who you are, not your job or business.
If a company decides to fire you or make you redundant, don’t take it as a personal rejection against you. This applies too when a business fails. It is not that you have failed in life as a person, just that the business idea is not working as envisaged.
Research by psychologist Marty Seligman found out that the biggest determinant between those who succeed after setbacks of any kind is how they interpret those setbacks.
Interpreting Setbacks in Life
People who interpret an oil and gas job loss as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to ‘get back on the horse’ in their job hunt than those who interpret it as an unfortunate circumstance that provided a valuable opportunity to grow in self-awareness, re-evaluate priorities and build resilience.
Most job or business challenges today are due to economic forces far beyond your control. Some business models have stopped making sense.
As an employee, this means even your employer is also trying to find new ways of doing things.
If you are business owner, it means your business model has changed. Clients needs are changing fast meaning you pivot and provide value in a different way than you were used to.
Potential employers or business clients will be more attracted to people who have proven or are proving their ability to stay positive and confident during this period of great uncertainty.
“When everything seems to be going against you remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
3. Prioritize Self-Care in dealing with oil and gas job loss.
With the measures to stay at home, you will find yourself with more time and with little to do.
When you have lost your job, it is all too easy to plant yourself on the couch, remote in hand, beer or bag of chips in the other and wallow in self-pity.
This has been made worse by the current measures that require us to stay at home to stop the spread of corona virus. However, mental and emotional resilience requires physical resilience.
It is therefore important to be intentional about taking care of YOU and doing whatever it takes to feel strong and fit. You now have no excuse that you don’t have time to exercise.
How Stressful is Your Oil and Gas Job Loss?
Losing a job is very stressful. However, studies have shown that doing some exercise builds resilience, leaving you more immune to stress. It also helps in boosting our immune system, which is important to fight the corona virus as well.
Do some sit ups, jumps, go for a run, do some gardening or just do anything that lifts your spirits. This helps to shift the negative emotions that have the potential to keep you from being proactive in your job hunt or business creation.
4. Surround yourself with positive people.
You can do this by surrounding yourself with positive people.
It is said that birds of a feather flock together. That saying has never been truer than it is today. The people around you impact how you see yourself, your situation and what you do to improve it. Emotions are contagious.
In this regard, you should be intentional about who you hang out with. Avoid getting sucked into the vortex of those who want a marathon pity party. Surround yourself with family members, friends, colleagues or business associates who lift you up, and avoid those who don’t.
How Do You Stay Positive After an Oil and Gas Job Loss?
Read positive books, watch inspiring movies or documentaries. Improve your knowledge of the subject matter that you want to be known for.
It is true that things are bad, and people are not only losing jobs, they are also dying. However, getting stuck in that gloomy outlook is not helpful at all.
It wastes precious time and energy far better spent finding ways of bouncing back into the job market, or re-starting your business.
Let everyone know that while you did not chose your circumstances, you are confident that with time and effort, you will all pull through together, and that you will all be stronger and wiser for it.
5. Tap your network to manage oil and gas job loss.
The adage “Your network is your net worth” is particularly relevant today when it comes to finding new jobs and business opportunities.
Companies are looking for people to help them survive this crisis, and develop new ideas. They are also cutting costs while still looking for better ways to serve their clients.
With the right attitude, you could be the person they are looking for. You could be the entrepreneur to provide them with new or alternative ways of doing things in an efficient manner.
Reach out to the people you know or with whom you have done business with. Offer to help, ask for introductions or to be connected to someone.
Whatever you do, do not underestimate the power of your network to open up opportunities and land you that ‘lucky break’ you are hoping for.
6. Treat finding a job as a job.
Experiencing an unexpected job loss in most cases finds someone unprepared and without an immediate plan of action. It is advised that if you can afford to do it, give yourself a break for a few days, weeks or months.
But let us assume you cannot afford such luxury of time.
You need to get back into a routine. Create a structure in your day. You have more time now than you had before, but you will be shocked at how little you can do in a day when you don’t have a plan. Be intentional with your daily routine.
How to Recover From Oil and Gas Job Loss
Create a job search plan with clear goals and small manageable steps or actions. Then prioritize, structure your day and treat finding a job as a job.
I will give you an idea; wake up at 6am in the morning, make your bed (if you live alone), take a shower, brush your teeth and dress up. Go have breakfast as you listen to radio or watch TV for current news. Then find a place in your house, a room or a corner which you can turn into your ‘work station’ and use your time to find a job. Take breaks, just like you would do at your work place.
Well, you might not do exactly as I have written above, but you get the point. Ensure you have a routine.
7. Extend kindness to others.
This is pretty simple; extending kindness to other people makes us feel good. It is not just a nice thing to do something for others, it is actually a helpful thing to do for ourselves.
Whether helping your neighbour or volunteering.
Scientists have found that acts of kindness produce some of the same ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain as anti-depressants. In addition, when you give your time to help others, it helps you stop dwelling on your own problems. This helps in making us realize how much we have to be thankful for.
This can also be a smart and effective way for you to build your network, and show potential employers that you are not sitting idly by waiting for work to come your way.
There is no better mood booster than making a difference for someone else, even when you wish your own life were different than it is.
To wrap it up…
In conclusion, an oil and gas job loss is not the end of the world. It could actually be the start of a great and beautiful phase of your life. Stay positive, reach out to your friends, have a plan and be kind to others. These are some of the tips that will help you bounce back and win big in days ahead and post corona virus.
There you have it…7 potent tips or tactics that will help you get over your job loss in the oil and gas industry, or any other industry for that matter.
Tempted to start using all these tips and see those results for yourself?
I’d say it’s time to get your hands dirty and start creating that plan ASAP.
Have a comment or a question? Let me know in the comment section below…