How to Advance Your Energy Career With a Contract Position

Want a career boost, but aren’t sure how to go about it – especially if you’re currently between long-term employers?

Regular ups and downs in the energy industry leave many professionals wondering which “next step” to take. If you’re one of them, a contract position might be a great way to advance your career. Here’s how:

Use contract positions to find the right “fit.”

Maybe you love your work, but you’ve never quite gotten along with any of your bosses or felt like you really “fit in” with your fellow employees. Or maybe you’ve found employers that you loved, but you didn’t quite feel like the job captured your attention and enthusiasm.

Contract positions are a great way to try out new projects, skills, and employers as you try to determine what makes a job and a workplace a good “fit” for you. The more you learn, the closer you get to finding your dream job.

Learn new skills or sharpen existing ones.

Because many contract positions are project-specific, they give you the chance to learn a new skill or to sharpen an existing skill in a focused environment. Unlike long-term positions that come with a list of day-to-day demands in addition to the occasional project work, contract positions focus on the project, leaving the daily tasks to the everyday staff. This gives you the chance to get better at a particular process or skill – and set yourself apart as an expert.

Expand your professional network.

Every contract position gives you the chance to meet new professional contacts, any of whom may hear of a job opening that meets your long-term goals. Your co-workers and supervisors on each new job see your skills and approach to work firsthand, making them ideal current references when it’s time to apply for another job.

Get paid to be “between jobs.”

Contract work helps you bridge the gap between more long-term positions, keeping your career moving forward and earning income while you seek your long-term dream job. You’re learning new skills and demonstrating your passion for and commitment to the energy industry and both qualities are highly prized by hiring managers.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our experienced recruiters specialize in placing qualified professionals with great employers in the oil and gas industries. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Tips for Conducting Energy Sector Performance Reviews

Many energy sector companies and departments schedule annual performance reviews for the beginning of the calendar year. If performance reviews are on the schedule for your team, keep these five tips in mind for conducting more constructive and productive reviews:

  1. Before you sit down with each employee, take the time to look at the employee’s previous reviews and their track record: Their accomplishments, successes, and failures in the previous year. When you do this “homework,” you are more prepared to give focused specific feedback both on items the employee handles well and places they can improve.
  2. Lead with the positive. Begin by discussing the employee’s positive accomplishments and strengths over the past year. Most employees experience some degree of anxiety when facing a performance review. You can allay this anxiety and help the employee listen more readily when you lead with their strengths.
  3. Focus on the important things. A performance review that attempts to address every item on the list in a mechanistic fashion can cause both the supervisor and the employee to forget the most important items on the list. Instead of covering every detail, focus on two or three strengths for which you want to praise the employee and two or three major weaknesses on which you want the employee to focus in the coming year.
  4. Stick to the issues. Every time you give praise or correction, make sure you are discussing how the employee handled a particular task or issue – not the employee as a person. Particularly when you are giving feedback on improving a weakness, focusing on specific ways the employee can change his or her behavior will help reduce the employee’s potential defensiveness and make it easier for him or her to accept the steps that should be taken. A written list of these steps can help the employee implement them as well.
  5. Give specific feedback. Whether giving praise or correction be specific. “We were all impressed by your ability to finish the project on time, despite the failures from our suppliers” is preferable to “You’re doing a great job.” Likewise, “We need to ensure your reports are filed by 5 p.m. every Friday” is preferable to “You could do better with deadlines.” Specific feedback is more likely to be remembered and is easier to implement.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our experienced recruiters can help you find and keep the talent you need to meet your goals in 2016 and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.