The next upturn is on the way…
New discoveries are at the lowest for decades… We understand how fast tight oil/shale fields deplete… We know that there will likely be a supply crunch soon enough.
There will be plenty of new hires coming to the oil field soon. It was pointed out to me that one of the main things these young hands face is never even taught to them.
The most important lesson for new oilfield hands:
That most important thing is how to manage that new salary they begin to earn and how easy it is to have it all taken away. How many times in your career have you had the rug jerked out from under your feet due to a downturn in the market and then massive layoffs ensue?
How many young men have you seen go on a spending spree after receiving a few of those fat checks and then go on a selling spree soon as the downturn hits? Many lose it all and have no way to cope because they never struggled with a low paying job before much less owing people with no job at all. And to boot, no savings to fall back on.
The power of peer pressure is one reason they fall into this trap. It is no fun to watch your buddy driving around in their brand new, jacked-up super duty or playing in the mud in their brand new jacked-up, tricked out ATV. Trust me I know, my nephews are that age, young and impressionable. They want the same toys, they want to impress their friends and attract the girls. “Uncle Robert doesn’t know anything, we can save the next check”. I can hear them now when they are out of my sight.
Passing on the lesson
I for one have tried talking to many a roughneck and roustabout about these same topics. I have probably reached a few over the years, but the vast majority don’t listen even when you try to tell them. But they are impressionable. If the right person talks to them they will listen.
Me, I didn’t start out with one of these good paying jobs. I worked very hard for many years to keep my head above water, raising a family and saving a little when we could. I also had a father and mother who taught me from a young age to work hard and the value of every dollar. These guys are coming out of high school and going to work making twice or three times what most other people are making. It goes to their head rather quickly.
This is not a lost cause though. Many of you were those young guys before. You suffered and learned your lesson. You can still help them by trying to encourage them to save up an emergency fund, use the savings plan your company may offer, and enroll in a 401K and, at least, put whatever amount the company is matching in the account. If not, you are already losing money. Tell them your success story and how you got where you are. If you are actually one of the young guys or gals I am talking about, find someone you see as a successful person and ask them how they got there. You will be surprised, most will be glad to help you.
Many of you may disagree with me and say let them be, it’s their money and they can do what they want! They earned it! Yes you can do that, but I say you are doing them a big disservice. I say at least educate them on what can happen and yes, eventually, will happen again. Another down turn and reset in the market will happen. They will thank you one day and you might just save them from losing everything they have. If they don’t listen, it’s no sweat off your back.
Well that’s my two cents in a nut shell, if you have a different opinion or want to share your experience go ahead. If you found this article interesting and helpful, like and share with someone it might benefit.
Professional Mechanical Supervisor, Amateur writer, sharing experiences and knowledge from my 25+ years in multiple industries. Trying to survive in deepwater drilling to retirement.