Rotational Working – better for your career success?

Field Engineers may need to work on a rotational basis in many industries, and especially in the oil and gas, and mining sectors. How can you decide if rotational working is going to be better for your career. This article focuses on the positives and negatives of working under this system.

Rotational working – what are the positives and negatives?

offshore workers getting onto a helicopter

Do you work on a rotational basis?
Do you work on an oil rig or in the field on a major project?
Perhaps you are considering and haven’t decided yet?
The patterns of rotational work vary and will depend on the industry, the specific job, and the location.
E.G.: 7 days on/7 days off, 2 weeks on/3 weeks off, 28 days on/28 days off, 8 weeks on/8 weeks off.
How do you know if this is the type of job for you?
This article goes through some of the pros and cons of rotational working.

oil platform in sea

The Upside to working on a rotational basis

What is the upside?
You can earn more than doing the same job at home
It can be exciting and different
You get large blocks of free time when you are Off Shift where you could:
Set up another business/ ‘Side hustle’
Study and get new qualifications
No daily commute means, you get more choice to live where you want to live
You could learn new skills, as teams are often smaller and need to be multi-skilled
Chance to have the opportunity to work in multicultural/multilingual environment – learn a language and new ideas
You will improve your self-reliance
Your CV/Resume will be enriched by the experiences you gain

cabin on oil rig for rotational working

The Downside to working on a rotational basis

What is the downside?
No chance to see family and friends for the time of the rotation
The working environment is not ideal – Often hardship posting:
Safety and security
You will have limited privacy and freedom
Your shifts are often long and tiring
You are likely to get very dirty
Your health may suffer from: lack of exercise, unusual and possibly unhealthy eating, alternating sleep patterns in On and Off Shift/time zones changes
You must fit all your home related tasks into your Off Shift time e.g. medical appointments, house maintenance etc.

If you are a rotational worker, or have been in the past, or have managed a team who work on a rotational basis; I hope you will add your thoughts on the pluses and minuses of this style of working.

Further reading

Life of a Field Service Engineer in the mountains

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