"I made the move" Interview 1 - Anonymous
Age: 56 [D.O.B 01-11-60]
Job title: Electrical Engineering Supervisor/Technician [HV-AEP Isolating Authority]
Years of exp: 35
Sectors I have experience in: Offshore & Onshore Oil and Gas, Power Generation, Distribution and Commissioning, HV & Lv Switchgear, Protection and Safety Systems, QA/QC, CMMS Auditor and Super user, CompEx, CSCS, IOSH & NEBOSH Qualified, Various types of Electronic PTW Systems.
NVQ Level 3 in Electrical Maintenance, SQA Qualified Assessor E & I, SMTD Level 5, ECS Inspection & Testing SQA Level 7, Member of IET@ TMIET.
1. Can you tell me more about the challenges you have faced/are facing when attempting to transition to other energy sectors?
“The main challenge is phoning companies and seeing their adverts and thinking “fine- I have all of the qualifications on the ad, but there are some qualifications specific to onshore and these can be very expensive to obtain”. Roughly 20% of companies I’m applying for actually offer to provide you with these kinds of courses upon joining the company.”
2. Would you advise other professionals to do the same?
“They would need to study what is required in that sector (heavily) before making the move and making sure they do their research and have a better understanding. You could have all of the offshore qualifications, but you may need to invest in all of the required onshore qualifications to interview at certain companies.”
3. What do you think can hold a professional like yourself back from successfully transitioning?
“The financial impact of investing in (potentially) numerous sector qualifications to transition. You could apply for an oil and gas grant in Scotland if you have been made redundant in offshore oil and gas. It’s called Skills Development Scotland Ltd. It’s really quite beneficial, but you don’t get offered them for every single circumstance. It’s definitely something worth looking into.”
4. In your experience, what may give a professional a significant advantage when moving sectors?
“Being of young age. I have a huge amount of experience and a long list of qualifications but on some occasions, I have told the younger guys I work with about an opportunity and they receive the job offer, rather than me. I thought it was the other-way-round and that years of experience were an advantage, but seemingly, companies want younger minds. Maybe this was just a personal experience. But for me, I’m investing in a huge amount of money in these extra qualifications and sometimes not getting the job after doing this."
"Also, when I mention my years of experience in offshore jobs, employers will change the subject quite quickly. They don’t want to hear about your exposure to other energy sectors. If you do have experience in the sector you want to move into, it may be better to focus on that in the interview.
My last role was through a recruiter, where I was unsuccessful in the first role I was set up for because they had found somebody younger. However, the recruiter was quick to offer me another similar position that actually involved offshore and onshore work, which suited me anyway. So maybe that’s the best way to transition. The only downside was that this was significantly less money that what I was on before.”
5. Will you continue to try and make the move?
"Yes, for now I will continue to try and make the move. Having said that, the costs that are associated with these onshore courses are going to need to be paid for. I think if I was offered to go offshore full-time in the forthcoming weeks, I would of course have to accept for financial reasons."
6. Which sector is most appealing to you and why? i.e. Oil & Gas or Power Gen.
"Still oil and gas because I’ve been working in the industry for most of my life and it’s what I know. The power gen side of it due to the wind farms are different and a new education for me. I would like to get involved in it for the simple reason that I’m older and I’d like to pick up stuff that is beneficial to my brain and get it active and working."
7. Which region is most appealing to you and why? i.e. Europe or North America.
"Anything around UK rotational. I certainly wouldn’t go and stay abroad for long periods of time at my age. Onshore or offshore. I’m quite willing to rotate but not relocate."
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