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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Albertron Offline

Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2012
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Post: #2193
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-19-2014 11:18 PM)scotian Wrote:  Don't be too picky, it can be hard to land a camp gig, the majority of guys who've moved to Alberta since I started this thread are not working camp jobs, they're living in Edmonton or Calgary. A lot of them are working in the cities, mostly normal schedules, Monday to Friday type of deal, they're gaining the work experience and getting the training/tickets that they need in order to work up north. Some of the guys have no interest in working camp jobs and are happy with the in town gigs and having a "normal" work schedule.

I'm part of the working in the city group. Though my hours are not the conventional 9-5, as I work evenings and because of all the work, I'm pretty much working a 12-2 type rotation. However, I'm home every night and very, very seldom work out of town. This is my choice.

When I first started on the rigs, I was living the camp, nomadic lifestyle. Money was amazing, but at the sacrifice of balanced social lifestyle. I learned it wasn't for me.

What my plan is, instead, is to accumulate experience while keeping up with my studies so that I can climb the ranks at a quicker pace. I have sacrificed higher level pay in exchange for extra time to study for higher level tickets and investing time to make deep but meaningful connections with my current and potentially new networks.

An example: the boss in my department is a motorcycle enthusiast, and also races bikes. Though I'm not at his level of dedication to motorcycles, I do have my own and I enjoy riding. I have such little knowledge about bikes but I like to learn. That's what we talk about a lot, and he's always giving me tips about my bike.

There was also a motorcycle show at the Edmonton Expo, and he was manning one of the booths. Myself and a buddy went over there to check it out, and I also went to visit him, shoot the shit for about a half hour or so.

At the track he races at, I asked him if I could volunteer as a cornerman, because I'm thinking about getting into racing too, and volunteering would be good exposure for me. He talked to one of his buddies who heads the racing association, and got me into their circle.

The point of all this? He has the final say as to whether or not I am capable of getting my higher level tickets.

Although I really do enjoy bikes and riding, my ulterior motive is to ensure that he knows that I'm not only capable at doing my job, but that I won't conflict with him on a social level. Climbing ranks is not just showing the you are more than capable of performing your work tasks, but that your personality meshes well with the crew in general. My intent is to get my boss to like me a lot to the point where it is a no-brainer for him to recommend me to go to school to proceed to my next ticket.

In summary, what I'm trying to say is that this is the path that I'm currently taking: sticking with my company to build my reputation, such that to accelerate the process in getting better tickets. The pay rise for the next level is insane, which is why I'm taking the reduced pay now to enjoy the fruits of my labour in the very near future.

Of course there are other ways to do it, i.e. scotian jumped ship plenty of times, as I recall, as long as the next ship provided a better opportunity. Or getting that gig that pays in gold just for a starting position, but requires you to sacrifice your social, mental and physical well-being.

I feel that in my situation, if I play my cards right, I'll be able to get to the level I want: which is to work 6 months, and travel 6 months. I just have to practice some patience, sacrifice a little now but work smart for later.
01-20-2014 12:57 AM
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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! - Albertron - 01-20-2014 12:57 AM