Career Changes

Your Career Pivot Just Got Easier

Are you an unemployed or underemployed worker in Canada’s oil and gas sector looking to redirect your career? Whether you are considering a new and emerging occupation, a different work arrangement, or interested in opportunities in the broader energy or related industries, we’ve got resources, insights, and tips that can help you plan a successful pivot—leveraging your industry experience into new and emerging sectors. You might just uncover a pathway to a new and exciting opportunity.


Did you know?

52% of oil and gas workers require less than six months to reskill for a digital workplace

Source: World Economic Forum

You’re not alone

Employment in Canada’s oil and gas industry has declined 26% since 2014 due to industry consolidation, declining activity, and most recently, declining demand due to COVID-19. There are others just like you looking at the broader energy ecosystem, or opportunities outside the industry, to put their skills to use.

Your career transition – defined

There are lots of ways to look at career transitions, but the way we talk about it here is changing your occupation or the sector you work in to change your career trajectory. The transition can either be planned, or unanticipated. An example might be an oil and gas services worker who moves from working on an oil drilling rig to a geothermal drilling rig (sector shift), or an environmental engineer who leverages her skill set to open her own consulting business helping organizations manage their methane emissions (occupational shift).

Having the courage to take a risk – even a small one – is necessary.

Jessica Shumlich

CEO and co-founder of Highwood Emissions Management, working with industry, government, and innovators around the world to leverage data, analytics, knowledge and experience to optimize emissions management. Jessica pursued her Master’s in Management (Economic Development) part-time while working full-time for a large oil and gas company, then left to gain experience in the sustainable development field, then started her own successful small business.

Hear her story
Reframe your skill sets and your vision of who you are to create your own personal narrative.

Eva Choi

Co-founder and CEO of The Chocolate Lab, a chocolate confections company located in Calgary, Alberta. A former engineer in the oil and gas sector, she and her husband partnered to create a company that produces artful chocolate and confections sourced from high quality ingredients. Merging art, science and engineering, The Chocolate Lab is the winner of 18 International Chocolate Awards and has won awards for their branding and packaging.

Seeking out mentors and tapping into your network is essential for any career pivot.

Greg Maidment

Project Manager at Carbon Management Canada. When looking for work, Greg reached out to a former professor at the University of Calgary who urged him to look at opportunities in the energy-adjacent carbon capture and storage sector – and then helped open the door for him.

Hear their stories

Ready to pivot? Here’s some more in-depth resources

Career Transitions Website

Packed with recommendations and resources designed to help unemployed or underemployed workers in oil and gas redirect their careers into emerging occupations, different work arrangements, the broader energy sector or different industries.

Visit Site

Career Pivot Stories

Highlighting a world of career possibilities through stories from people who’ve made a successful career pivot – how they did it, where they’re working, and how the skills from their previous energy industry experience are being put to work.

Hear their stories
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