Millennials in Oil & Gas, I FOUND you...

(Kind of…)

About a month ago I published an article, “Millennials in Oil & Gas — WHERE ARE YOU!?” With this follow up post, I want to answer the four questions I asked to my network, but also give more insight to where the “millennials” are hiding in the oil and gas industry.

Below are the (4) questions I asked. Pretty simple.

1. Where are you working? (Location) Houston, Midland, DFW, NYC? Where do you go to work every day?

2. Why did you choose the company you’re currently working for?

3. What company is the best company to work for, in the oil and gas industry, as a millennial?

4. What’s your role in the company?

Let’s start with this, a common theme I received from the responses was that we are TIRED of being called millennials. We are YOUNG PROFESSIONALS. The term millennials was derived by some media outlet as a way to classify a generation, I get it, BUT the majority of the time when published, they use the term millennial loosely & it usually comes in a negative context.

So, lets quit with the millennial speak, cool? Great.

Answers to the questions:

1. Locations — We are all over, but we have started to concentrate in hub cities in an attempt to keep our jobs or find other opportunities.

2. Why did you choose the company you currently work for? I’m sure most of you can answer this question yourself, it’s pretty common sense.

The majority of the responses I received were, “because they were the only one that gave me a job.” or “ it was the only thing available.” Note, those who spent time to give me a long response talked about the benefits, PTO, etc. but when it came down to it, they are working for the company they are currently with because it’s paying the bills.

3. What’s the best company to work for in the oil & gas space?

Well, like the answer to #2. Right now the best company to work for is the one who is hiring. Millennials have been burned over the last couple of years. Think about it, the downturn started in 2014, so we might have 3–4 years of exp. and unfortunately thats not enough for companies to keep us on board, so they let us go.

From a perception standpoint the top companies seemed to be:

GE, Shell, Halliburton, Ulterra, Apache……to name a few.

4. What’s your role in the company? — I found this to be the most interesting. (But also is reflective of my linkedin network) so it should be taken with a grain of salt.

The majority of those who responded to this question, work in roles such as Sales, Marketing/Communications, Landman.

I only had a few engineers respond, and whats even more disturbing only TWO women responded. I didn’t have an overwhelming amount of responses but I had enough to really see that the oil and gas industry is facing a huge challenge right now, both with women in the oil and gas industry, and with GAINING & RETAINING engineer talent.

To end, ill try to answer the original question, “Where are the millennials in oil & gas?” Well those who are still working are in the office, grinding it out and hoping that they aren’t next on the chopping block. Those who have been laid off have gone to another industry, real estate, medical, or anywhere that can offer security for a little bit.

I don’t think that the talent that has been let go over the last 24 months will ever come back to the oil and gas industry, so with the generational gap growing even further apart, companies need to shift their focus to GEN X, and fast.

Focus on GAINING and RETAINING talent, it doesn’t mean anything if you are able to hire that recent grad, or top STEM student if you’re not able to retain them and give them a work environment that fuels their growth.

Questions? Opinions? Let me know!