Candidate Tips & Advice
Possibly the most visible representation of the Oil & Gas Industry are the offshore platforms that stand in oceans across the world. From the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, these platforms not only provide fuel for industry and households alike; they provide a myriad of jobs for those working in the Oil & Gas field.
However, working offshore is very different to working in a 9 to 5 job on land.
The main difference is that those that work on an offshore rig live there too. Obviously they don’t live there all the time; they live on the rig amongst their colleagues for the term of their contract. This can take some getting used to. Most people in 9 to 5 jobs are used to have their own life outside of work. If you work on a rig, you work for the period time you are contracted for before you are given leave for a few weeks or months.
These conditions don’t suit everyone and so it is worth thinking about whether they suit you before you apply to such a job. You don’t get days off when you are on the rig. You work every day of your contracted time on the platform and get your days off bunched together on your leave time. While this does allow you to concentrate on your work in a way that a 9 to 5 job doesn’t, it can also be difficult to get used to.
Although modern platforms have internet access and television, and thus ways to communicate with family, that hasn’t always been the case. In the past men, and women, would go months without seeing loved ones and only have the occasional letter from them when the supply helicopters came in. Technology has improved this contact between loved ones but it does not stop those working on the rig, and the families at home, missing each other.
Jobs on a platform can vary from engineering roles through to medical ones. There tends not to be ancillary roles like marketing, HR or administration on a rig. Space is limited and thus only those who are required to make the rig work are allowed on the platform. Roles like marketing tend to be a central office function. Although you may find a green around the gills MarComms expert on a rig trying to understand the uniqueness of the environment, if only to paint it to others in the right light!
Despite the differences, working offshore can be a rewarding experience both financially and in terms of work satisfaction. It may not be the average 9 to 5 role but that in itself is a draw for some people. It allows people to live their lives in a very different way, squeezing their work into one period and squeezing their “home life” into another.
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