What Working in the Oil Sands Taught Me

Several months ago I got a job in the Alberta Oil Sands working in one of the camps as a hospitality professional. Reflecting back, there were lots of pros and cons to working there as well as some invaluable lessons that I learned during my time there.

Pros and Cons

Ideal on Paper
* great pay, working just 2 weeks every month – I got a taste of what it’s like to NOT live pay cheque to pay cheque
* free laundry and rooms cleaned for you
* accommodations and food provided
* meeting an endless number of people from all walks of life, which made me more open minded
* all you can eat meals everyday
* access to a 24 hour gym and fitness centre

The Reality
* being away from my fiancé and family and friends
* flying quite frequently – when I used to work Mon to Thurs and fly in and out every week
* long hours of work
* lack of sleep and being so tired that I would eat maybe 1 meal a day

I learned how to live in a world where the concept of time was hard to keep track of. Where sleeping 4 or 5 hours a night was considered a lot.

I knew that this job wouldn’t last forever. …especially in this economy.

Thankful that I was able to save as much as I did. The most important lesson that I learned was how to make financial sacrifices today so that I could have a better tomorrow and a bright future.

I became more independent and was able to save up more money in the 8 months I was there than I ever did in my life prior. It was amazing to see how people with so much money spent it and though I was tempted to splurge and spend, I didn’t.

Never Rely on a Job

 In my case, the whole company was laid off, about 300 employees, from top to bottom. I have some mixed emotions about everything and why it happened but I just have to accept it and move forward.

What’s Next?

That being said, the timing for making the big move back couldn’t have been better…This just pushes me to become my own boss even sooner.

So here I am counting my blessings for my final weeks up here and forever thankful for such a great opportunity.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me when I get back to Ontario.

Stay strong and beautiful!

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