What Is Your Driving Force?
PATTERSON-UTI DRILLING COMPANY LLC
Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC is the second-largest land-based drilling company in the United States; it serves major and independent oil and gas companies. The company and its subsidiaries have more than 275 marketable rigs operating primarily in the continental United States, Alaska, and western and northern Canada. Patterson-UTI Drilling has about 5,500 employees in the continental United States.
Opportunities at the company include all rig-based positions, plus jobs in operations management, trucking, maintenance, health-safety-environmental, and human resources. The company actively recruits servicemembers and veterans. Its recruiters visit from four to six military installations per month, and frequently interview and hire on the spot. In 2013, 47 percent of all new hires had military experience.
Hiring veterans provides the company with diverse, skilled, talented, and dependable leaders who are willing to learn, follow standard operating procedures, and adhere to the company’s culture of safety. The recruiters look for individuals who are team-oriented and performance-focused, and have excellent leadership experience and an ability to be trained. Patterson-UTI Drilling offers an opportunity to make great pay and only work half of the year due to its schedule of 7 days on, 7 days off or 14 days on and 14 days off.
Learning is one of the company’s core values. Whether the veteran is new to the industry or just new to the company, its Competency Development and Learning Programs give him the tools for success.
TIPS FROM A RECRUITER
Methella Green, the company’s recruiter, military and diversity, offered this advice to job-seeking veterans:
- Prepare: Start thinking about transitioning out well before the process actually begins.
- Equip: Every branch of the military provides programs and workshops to help servicemembers transition in the civilian work force. Use them.
- Define: One of the biggest problems veterans face is translating military jargon to corporate-speak. Learn to define the former in terms of the latter.
- Utilize: Take advantage of the many financial benefits offered by the military.
- Network: Your transition is the perfect time to reach into the military network and start making connections with others.
- Contact: Get in touch with veteran-specific staffing agencies and other job-search organizations to gain access to professionals who know how the system works
- Examine: Check your social media pages and revise as appropriate. You may want to maintain a modest profile and lower public access, or simply scrub your accounts of compromising behavior.
- Mobilize: The military provides another advantage for veteran job seekers – help with relocation.
- Select: If you have planned appropriately and are not in financial trouble, be selective about your job options.
- Strategize: The entire process of searching for a civilian job can be overwhelming, but if you treat it like just another mission, you will be fine.
Green also advises veteran job-seekers to prioritize their motives. “Position, location, and money,” she said, “you will have to figure which one of these is the driving force and put it to the front.
“If money is driving your transition, then, no matter what the title, position, or location of the job, you will take it. However, you should have a conversation about that with your family. You more than likely will have to relocate to somewhere that is not ideal – and you will more than likely be working long hours.
“If you are location-specific, just remember that you will be limiting your chances of getting a position/title that you are looking for – and the money to support your family might be less than ideal. But again, this has to be a family decision.
“If you put position/title up front, you have to remember that most companies will ask for industry-specific experience. They may well bring you in with that title you want, but pay you less than you are worth, and you might be setting yourself up for failure.”
“Figure out the three things above, and start your search based on these,” she said. “You have served your country, and it is now time for us to serve you.”
A VETERAN SUCCESS | OKECHUKWU IWUNDU
Okechukwu Iwundu spent nine years in the United States Army, separating at a sergeant. He focused on field artillery as a fire direction control chief. He honed his human-relations and leadership skills by working with six subordinates on extended operations.
He is now an assistant pad foreman for Patterson-UTI. A pad is an area if about five acres that is cleared, leveled, and surfaced over for siting one or more rigs, plus trucks and other equipment. Iwundu is responsible for performing activities associated with the rig-up and rig-down of newly commissioned rigs. His work includes:
- pulling levers or turning handles to extend hydraulic or screw-type jacks to support and level the rig, including the rig derrick and/or other machinery
- picking up and/or laying down steel production rods, tubing, and casing
- assembling and disassembling various types of production equipment
- maintaining and repairing tools
- operating hand and power tools to maintain and repair rigs and related equipment.
Iwundu said that his military background has contributed strongly to his civilian success. “My overall military experience played a huge role in my transition to the civilian job sector,” he said, “with particular emphasis on my leadership and maintenance experience.”
He said that active-duty servicemembers need to keep an open mind. “I advise them to culture a habit of completing each mission started and following up on delegated tasks. Also, foster a broad mind capable of multitasking, and expand their technical and tactical knowledge beyond operator-level maintenance on vehicles or equipment assigned to them. Most of all, think ‘safety first’ at all times.”
Iwundu said that certain qualities he picked up in the military will help on any job. “Teamwork, anticipating and adjusting rapidly to changes, and good listening and communication skills play a huge role on the job,” he said. “Patience, dedication to duty, attention to detail, and compliance with rules and regulations have become second nature to me. These attributes help keep me in line and focused on the job’s overall mission.”
He believes that Patterson-UTI will be a great fit for veterans. “Their transition from the military to the civilian job sector will be swift,” he said, “they will have the opportunity to put their leadership training into practice, and they will perform tasks with a sense of urgency.”