Oil and gas companies have taken some major hits recently, which, in turn, has caused for some massive layoffs in the field. Lower oil prices cut into the profits of big and small energy companies, so even more job movement is expected in the oil industry in the near future.
Traditional energy companies cannot stop the falling prices of oil, so they must deal with depleting revenue in ways they know how: adapting internally. Chairman and CEO of Chevron John Watson said the company was "focused on improving results by changing outcomes within our control.” This control came in the form of a 7,000 person layoff, with more layoffs anticipated.
Changing the industry’s structure is another step leaders are taking. With roughly 50% of industry’s members being baby boomers, many workers are facing imminent retirement which will cause further shifting. The next generation entering the workforce, millennials, will be running the industry within 15 years. Current industry leaders are beginning to switch from traditional forms of energy like oil and gas to more sustainable methods, falling in line with the beliefs of their incoming younger workforce.
With all of this job movement, the logical question is: What is next for these laid-off employees? This is not a one company issue, rather it is a field-wide problem, so many workers are choosing to leave the industry altogether. How can former employees transition into new jobs, within the energy field or in unfamiliar areas?
Outplacement can be an advantageous solution for both company owners and transitioning workers. These services provide help to industry leaders in successfully conducting transitions and they also provide guidance and support to employees as the move from their former jobs through their unemployment and back into the workforce. Outplacement firms ease transition tensions and struggles, especially for those who have been in one line of work for a long time. Outplacement helps to relieve the stress of exiting employees while still sending a positive message to remaining workers and the community. Attention is paid to each individual person being laid off with outplacement’s accessible, simple, and personalized path to the next opportunity.
A common thread among many current and recently laid-off oil and gas employees is that they fear leaving the industry because it’s all they’ve ever known. Outplacement services are designed to make the job hunt less scary. An outplacement firm can provide the needed support through career counseling, teaching through webinars and other learning tools, and assistance in reentering a modern job force through resume building and virtual networking resources. Outplacement services help participants identify transferrable skills. These skills are then used to create a new self brand, allowing participants to expand their options for a new line of work. An engineer from an oil or gas company may be a great fit for an alternative energy company or an energy management software firm; a little bit of assistance from an outplacement service can help job-seekers figure out where their skills and background can best lead.
As the energy field takes major hits to its workforce, it might be time to consider the role outplacement can play in affecting positive rather than negative change.