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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Swearbox Offline
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Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2013
Post: #1791
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
In post #1779 I said the following...

"Between me and you and anyone else reading this I think I have a way in to ClearStream Energy...I'm 99% sure, let's put it that way...it's a labouring job at their Nexen project site at Cold Lake. I will post up more on here as and when I know more for the guys that are looking to get out to Alberta by sharing the steps I took to get me out there...if it works out it will be a very encouraging story especially for guys who aren't actually out in Alberta (like me)."

Here's the follow up. On Friday (4 days ago) I phoned up ClearStream, I'm a British expat living in Ontario, I have zero oil & gas experience, I'm 53 yrs old. Conversation went something like this, some words are thrown in to make it a less boring read...stand by it's gonna be long...

<ring ring - answered by HR>
Me: Hi, if I were to haul my arse (Brit spelling) out to Fort Mac with my CV and show up at your door what would the chances be of someone seeing me on the spot to discuss my chances of getting my foot in the door doing some entry level type job?

HR: Probably zero, but you're welcome to send us your CV and application online. We're currently looking to hire 6 more labourers for an upcoming project. It's a great opportunity to get into the company.

Me: I never saw any labouring positions available on your site.

HR: We didn't advertise them or else we'd be swamped with applications.

Me: OK, I'm not a kid, I'm 53, I have a pretty good CV. 15 yrs in the military as a weapons engineer, a degree in computing followed by several yrs as an IT guy in the UK. Since coming to Canada I've done a bit more IT stuff but for the last 4 years I've been doing landscaping so grunt work isn't going to be much of an issue. If I apply for one of these positions how can I make my CV stand out about the other applicants.

HR: You can't.

Me: Fucks sake...what does it take?

HR: We look at what tickets you have before anything else. What tickets do you have?

Me: None.

HR: You need CSTS, H2S, Fall Protection and Confined Space Entry. Having said that and after speaking with you for a while you sound like you know what you want and you come across as competent so here's what I'm going to do. I'm holding one of those 6 spots for you. If you send me your CV I will send you more details about the position. At the very minimum you need the first three tickets that I mentioned or you will not be allowed onsite. Oh, and you'll need a drivers abstract and be able to pass a piss test. You have until Monday (yesterday) to get back to me with a definite yes or no. The job starts on Monday 14th Oct.

Me: So I have to give up my job here, fly out to Fort Mac, do 3 safety courses, get a piss test done, get a drivers abstract and show up on your door before Monday the 14th and I'm in?

HR: You got it.

Me: Leave it with me. I'll get back to you by Monday. <click>

That was the start of the ball rolling. I forwarded my CV directly to the HR girl I spoke with and she returned my mail attaching the job spec, hourly wage, hours, some other info. The following day (Saturday) I emailed back with some questions which she answered promptly and sent me a link to take the online CSTS course.

I borrowed $1000 off my other half's sister to buy a flight out to Fort Mac and to pay for H2S & Fall Protect. We booked the flight on Sunday evening (last night) because there were only 4 spaces left on the aircraft. I then realised that there was only one Fall Protect course being run by HSE Integrated this week and I hadn't enrolled yet (or to HS2 but there are courses pretty much every day). I emailed the HR girl yesterday to ask what would happen if I couldn't get on the fall protect course. She advised to hold off booking a flight as I would not get onsite without it. LOL time...I now had a flight to Fort Mac but a possible show stopper if I couldn't get on the Fall Protect course.

This morning I called HSE Integrated at 7.30 am Alberta time. I must have been first to call as the girl who answered hadn't even booted her pc when she picked up the phone. I asked to be booked onto the courses I needed. No problem, I got booked in. I mailed the HR girl back to let her know that everything was in place.

I was mailed an Offer Of Employment and a Benefits Package this afternoon. I called back to clarify that I was in the door. I asked about an interview...she said she had pre screened me on our first call, no interview was necessary, just pass the piss test and get the tickets done and show up on Monday (14th) morning bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Guys, it CAN be done. You just have to take the bull by the horns and make it happen even if you aren't already out in Alberta...give it a crack, you never know until you try. Hopefully this post will be of some use to others who are on the fence about taking that leap of faith.
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2013 07:08 PM by Swearbox.)
10-07-2013 07:00 PM
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Messages In This Thread
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - Swearbox - 10-07-2013 07:00 PM