Help me find work overseas
May 9, 2015 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm an older oilfield worker who'd like to change jobs and change locations, from the U.S. to, well, almost anywhere.

The oilfield is tanking once again. I've survived one round of layoffs, but might not survive the next one.

In any case, I'm kind of ready to move on. The job I have now is demanding and high pressure (a part of drilling for oil) but I'm never home. With two young kids, it's wearying.

I'm 47, and have done several things in life, including the Army and the oilfield. I grew up overseas and would love to live overseas again. I applied for a different oilfield job in Ghana, but it feels like a longshot.

I know this is vague, but I appreciate any hints or tips you have.
posted by atchafalaya to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pick up a copy of "Wishcraft." It has some great info on getting things done generally, in spite of being human, and, at least in the original version, one of the examples was of someone who decided to move to another country and just began making that happen.

I will also suggest you use the Internet to start making connections to other countries. Maybe follow news for a particular area or add foreign Mefites to your contact list and see what they talk about and read links they post and what not in order to start getting your ear to the ground for relevant information you have no idea you even need to look for.

Sit down with your SO (assuming you have one) and start mapping out some parameters of where you would like to go (someplace hot? someplace cold? someplace where they speak French?) and some parameters for things that need to happen to make this feasible (work on getting visas now?).

As someone who is former military, you may still qualify for hiring preference for federal jobs. Some of them are overseas. You can search to see if there is anything of interest and start getting an idea of the process involved in applying for a federal job.
posted by Michele in California at 1:57 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by flink at 2:12 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

You're probably not still a hand or roustabout, so you likely have a broad set of energy-related "industrial" skills. Try looking at energy midstream applications--things like refineries, tank farms, and chemical plants. You may need some process operator training, etc., but there are also maintenance jobs at all those places. You'll likely find something you're qualified for, still within the same industry, but that might get you better hours or at least home more. Best wishes. (You didn't say if you were offshore, but if so you may be able to look into seaman jobs in shipping.)
posted by resurrexit at 2:22 PM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Wait I just saw in your profile that you're in MWD offshore. Those skills have to translate somewhere. Think about labs--all plants and most other industrial facilities have those, either to test raw materials, process materials, or product. There may be something comparable to a mudlogger--you just want to be a [somethin'-else] logger! And forget about shipping if you're offshore--I see now you want to be home more often.
posted by resurrexit at 2:30 PM on May 9, 2015

Have you considered a career change ?

Honestly, the oil industry won't pick up before 2016 and most oilfield companies across the globe (North Sea, West Africa, Angola, Caspian, Middle East etc) are more busy laying off staff that recruiting these days.

If you have some very specific skills such as DD for example, maybe, maybe, you might find some opportunities. Try the main oil & gas recruiting websites.

Also, the only places I can think of these days would be the risky areas (Libya, Iran, Iraq) and perhaps Equatorial Guinea and Angola where, due to the dire shortage of local skills, there's always a need for hired guns especially in Cabinda.

You should realize that those places usually offer rotation positions only, so I don't think you'll be able to spend much time with your kids on a 6x2 job.
posted by Kwadeng at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2015

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