Guest: Marlena Compston & Advice for Your Job Search

Guest: Marlena Compston & Advice for Your Job Search

My guest on today’s episode of The Causey Consulting Podcast is Marlena Compston of Harlow Recruiting. Marlena recruits nationwide and is both a representative to candidates seeking a position, as well as partnering with clients across the nation. Marlena is also involved with Oilfield Connections International. If you are currently on the job market, this is the episode for you!

Key topics we cover:

✔️ What’s happening with oil & gas and the energy sector right now?
✔️ If you’re caught in a layoff: now what? What’s the first thing you need to do after your job goes away?
✔️ Have you taken the time to explore your passions? Do you know what other industries or options make sense with your transferable skills?
✔️ What goes down also rebounds and goes back up again. True with the oil market as with individual careers; you will get through it.
✔️ What are some of the most common mistakes that job seekers and interviewees make.

You can find Marlena online at:
And on LinkedIn at:


Transcription provided by

Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting Podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Causey My guest today is Marlena Compston. She’s the founder and managing partner of Harlow recruiting there Tulsa, Oklahoma. Marlena is a senior talent acquisition strategist and is taking this time during the pandemic to assist professionals in the inner energy industry by reviewing their resumes, offering revisions as they are needed and continuing to connect them to opportunities both within the energy industry and outside of the industry. Marlena recruits nationwide and is both a representative to candidates seeking a position as well as partnering with clients across the nation. Marlena is involved with oilfield connections international and recently added to the board of the Tulsa oilfield connections chapter as their talent acquisition strategist and media specialist. Marlena holds a bachelor’s degree from OSU in organizational leadership and is excited to join us today on the podcast. So Marlena, welcome and thank you for being here. Thank you, Sara. I appreciate the invitation. You bet. Well, I would love to know more about your own entrepreneurial journey. So tell us about how you got started. Certainly in 2014, I had a friend of mine present an opportunity to me and he said I have a company that is looking for an office manager and they would like to be able to, you know, see if you could help them and I said, Oh, absolutely I’m, I’m always connecting people. Anyway, long story short is Harlow Recruiting was born. Once I had found them an office manager, they were absolutely thrilled with who I had found for them. And it just started from there. And over the next six months, it just grew. And then the industry, as we know, started to take a slump and sold my home of Oklahoma City for a period of time, and then move back to Tulsa, which is home, the surrounding area. And, you know, it’s been a blessing and it’s been, and sometimes it’s crazy. And other times, it’s just better than I could ever imagine. That’s very well said. Yes. How would you describe the process of working for yourself in recruitment? Well, I’ll tell you, first of all in recruitment, there is so much competition. Yes. And I think that you have to decide what your niche is. And for me, I work out of my home. You know, I, I’m that person that’s in the sun dress and flip flops and drinking a cup of coffee on the front porch and go back in and get started with my emails and contact my clients and, you know, I’m always having professionals contact me, especially during this time. So, you know, it’s just finding out where your places Mmmm, that’s very well said and I love that, too. There’s nothing quite like that freedom of being able to go out on the front porch and enjoy the sunrise with a cup of hot tea or hot coffee and not be rushing off somewhere in the morning commute. It’s true. And, you know, I just, I get to decide who I want to work with. You know, I get to decide, you know, if I want to go and do a bunch of networking, if I want to go knock on doors, and just being your own boss is so much freedom and you know, you have to learn the, you have to learn discipline within our time management, and really decide just how big do we want to go, you know? How do we monetize it? And then we reach out to different people to help us and the stepping stones along the way. Amen. Well, you and I are both in northeast Oklahoma, which is most certainly oil and gas country. The energy sector is a certainly a part of a backbone of industry here in this part of the world. What are you seeing in the energy sector right now? Well, the good news is and you know, as soon as it’s slumps, it does start to come back up. I know my husband works for a large company. He’s been there consistently 24 years and hydraulics engineering has never experienced a layoff and I tell him all the time, like honey, you don’t even know what the real world is like. I know this. One of the most fabulous reservoir engineers that I know in this area, he had four jobs within five and a half years, you know, just top notch, you know, guy, he didn’t want that, that it’s like join one company and they have a layoff and he joined another one and they couldn’t afford him anymore after a while, and it’s just, it’s just not fun. So I know my husband’s in a different place than most people. But what I’m seeing is, especially of course, with the pandemic, there are so many companies that have closed their doors. But the good news is, is that I am here to help guide them and consult with them to help them think outside of the box. For one thing, one of the first questions I asked them is outside of our industry, what is your passion? Yeah, you know, and that’s something that okay, we know Sara, that those of us have worked in the industry had been very spoiled, actually had, you know, wonderful salaries are way beyond what other industries are. And all of the bonuses and you know, just all of the perks. And we have to think about the fact that this is no longer what it’s going to be. Yeah, at least for a time. So what is your passion? I know one man that started I spoke about this in a post yesterday on LinkedIn. When he was laid off in 2014, he thought outside of his box, and he started a construction company. Oh, cool. Here we are. Yeah, six years later, fantastic petroleum engineer, and probably in the 35 to 40 range at the time. I think he’s probably 40 now actually, and he has all the business he can handle. So he did exactly that. He stepped outside of himself for a moment. thought about what his skills were thought about what he’d like to do. Married has three or four children. And he started his own thing. Another man started his own landscaping business. And even if it’s a bridge job, I talk to professionals about a bridge job. I know of one man that internationally, he has gone to work for a grocery store chain, and it certainly doesn’t pay what he was used to making, but he’s got money coming in. Right and he’s actually enjoying it. And then he knows at some point he’ll be able to return you know, I have this was an interesting thing. I had a professional asked me recently, like, what’s that going to look like on my resume? If I’ve gone to work for, for instance, a grocery store chain? Well, here’s the deal hiring managers and we recruiters, we know what’s going on. Like we should completely understand for one, you and I both know that hiring came to almost a halt. I think just now Sara, we’re starting to see that turn up. You know there is still hiring going on. There are companies nationwide that never stopped, that it’s a professional needs to every single day, be on LinkedIn, job openings, go out there even to Indeed, go out there to Zip Recruiter. We’re out there to the websites of companies that they want to work for. And then with that, I will say one of the top things in the past year I’ve learned– one company in particular tell me that they rarely go into their database of resumes. In your area, by the way, close to you that what they were big on was employee referrals. So what I’m also telling professionals is you make sure once I have reviewed your resume and done a revision for you, and we check out your LinkedIn profile and get that top notch to, then you’d be sure to be sending your resumes around to your different peers and companies and asking them to send them to their HR department. It can be a win win win. Usually they’ll get a bonus for that. Whether it’s 500, or thousand dollars or something, the candidate will get a job, at least possibly, and then the company would get a great employee. So everybody wins. Yes. Yeah, I think it’s also speaks to transferable skills, thinking about things that you’ve done in the energy sector that you could apply somewhere else. And then, you know, also deliberate creation. I’m a big fan of this idea of sitting down with pen and paper and thinking about if I could create anything I wanted, whether it’s a job in a company, whether I’m an intrapreneur and entrepreneur, I’m working for myself, you know what would that look like? If I took all the limits off? I didn’t worry about the money I didn’t worry about was it possible and start immediately talking myself out of it. So I think it’s cool. Like the example you’re using of the person that started his own construction firm. I mean, I’m sure he’s probably extremely happy and might be a bit more excited now doing that than he was when he was plugged in at a firm. You know what, he’s not getting laid off anywhere. In fact, he’s got more business than he can handle last time I talked to him. That’s awesome. So if someone has been laid off, and they’re scared, and that is a definitely a very scary and frightening thing for someone to have to go through. What is the first thing that you recommend that they do? Well, I’ve certainly spoken to many. I don’t know if the word for some of them was scared other than I think they felt kind of hopeless. Like, you know, they been, let’s say, for instance, working as an engineer or making X amount of dollars, and they’re used to that money coming in. And all of a sudden, sure, they may have gotten a severance package, which is a good thing. Some people have it. Yeah. So I know that, of course, unemployment is out there, which many have done many, many, many have done that. And that’s one thing to go ahead and start on, if that is happening, that you know, is there for you. And then I think it’s that moment, to get quiet. And to realize what you were just speaking of what value do I have? One, what do I want to do if I can’t work within the industry right now? What do I have in transferable skills that I can do one petroleum engineer in Houston. She is now working in data management. No, it wasn’t exactly what she wanted to do, but she is earning an income in a consulting position, you know, like a contract position. And then she is continuing to look for a full time position. And I recently was able to help her and she, she would probably be able to share that she has felt scared, like, Is there ever going to be a place for me? That I think one just as a human being, we have to realize that we have value. And that we haven’t been forgotten, though it sometimes feels like the entire universe forgot us and then just begin to take steps towards and what I will offer, you know, is what I have been offering that I’m here to help review that resume and you know, we’ll look at it and decide, and what are your transferable skills, you know, what are you interested in moving towards, and then also we’ll do a full search on if there’s anything out there nationwide available to us. So many people are having to reconsider. And like relocation here, people get very accustomed to being where they are. Yes. You know, they’re in Houston, they love it. That’s where family is. And then they’re having to think outside of that box again and think Denver, and my client right now that I’m looking for a senior environmental scientist and engineer, it’s a Montana, and not everyone wants to move to Montana. I might! Right, there are people that do. And let me tell you, it’s a fantastic job with a wonderful client of mine. And, and there are people that are willing to but there are certainly people that are like, Oh, my goodness, Montana, and that feel the same way if it were in Denver, you know, so, again, just continuing to realize that life is different than it was two months ago or four months ago. You know, that And quite a few people that have been laid off and been out of work for a year. And they are ready. You know, they’re ready. And I’d have to say if it’s been a year, it’s time and I’ve been saying no stone unturned. It is time to think outside of your comfort zone. Mmhmm. Well, most definitely, yes. If it’s been a significant length of time, it’s definitely I’ve heard a quote, and I think it’s based on a scripture that is you must do what the crisis demands. There’s a time when you just sort of have to put aside maybe what you envisioned life was going to be like, or if I could, if I could cherry pick everything from a wish list. This is exactly how I would imagine that it was going to be there’s times when you have to put the wish list aside and say it got to do what the crisis demands. And if that means that I drive for Uber or I consider relocation whatever it is I need to do to have the financial freedom that I want or just the ability to pay my bills and to not ruin my credit or declare bankruptcy. I mean, there’s there’s times when we have to just pull it put on the put on the work boots and do what the crisis demands. Yes. And you know, Sara, something that I’ve seen over even my own life is, and I’ve shared this with with several is: the fact that for some reason, whenever we’re struggling, whenever we’re going through a valley, that’s really and truly where we learned the most. Yes, you know, when when we’ve been at the top of our game, I feel like I’ve said that several times that when we’ve been at the top of our game, making the most money we’ve ever made, having the most never been given, guess what? Not really thinking that anything’s gonna go wrong. I spoke to a young engineer from Houston that had been working internationally. And he said, Marlena I’ll tell you this, the next job I get, he said I was making crazy money in the oil and gas, and now it ended. And he goes, You know what? I didn’t plan for my future in the future. He said, let me tell you the next job I get. I will be stashing some cash. Where if I’m ever in this situation again, I will have some comfortability and knowing I can take care of my family. So you know, there’s scripture about that too, about, you know, the ants they prepare. You know, they’re stashing their food for the winter. And I think that’s a really good thing for us to remember that so that we’ll never be in that situation again. That’s a great point. And and I think it was maybe two or three weeks ago, I published a blog post and I quoted Simon Cowell– feel free to laugh But yeah, Simon talking about his own failure when he went bankrupt. And he was talking about buying into his own hype, he got into this mentality of thinking the money train is always going to be rolling in. I’m never going to make a bad pick, every every musician, every artist, every band that I say is going to make it, they’re going to make it, they’re gonna go platinum and I’m just gonna, the money is just gonna rain down forever. And it was when he bought into his own hype, and assumed that the easy money was just gonna flow in forever and ever. That was really when he hit rock bottom. Yes. And then that’s when we look up. You know, yeah, we’re on the mountaintop. Pretty much we just are looking straight ahead. We’re not necessarily looking down or looking up. We’re just happy to be on the mountaintop. And when it’s time and we’re at the bottom of it, we’re looking at thinking how do I get back up there? Well, speaking of which, what are some of the top mistakes that you see? When someone is out there looking for a job, what are some of the top mistakes that you see people making? I would say the first one is don’t become bitter. I interviewed a lady about six months ago that had lost her job, you know, in the Tulsa area, and she walked in and she was just bitter. It was all over her. She said, you know, I’ll never make that money again. I was probably making more than I should have. And I had to share with her, I said, You know, I have to tell you, I could not possibly put you in front of a hiring manager, because they’re going to pick up the same thing I am. Yeah. So you know, just here’s the deal. This is life. Sometimes it’s tough. In fact, a lot of times it’s tough. And don’t allow betterness to swallow you up. Because that will completely block you from any blessing coming your way. So get rid of that and I’ve talked to some that are and I’ve talked to others, like I said, they feel hopeless, that to you know what, if you’re still breathing, there’s still hope. And then, you know, give some paper out and start writing and talking to yourself if you have to and deciding what you want to do so. I think that’s very well said. And you’re right that we if we go into, it’s amazing how much communication is actually nonverbal. And when we go into an interview, or a business meeting of some kind, and we’re upset, we’re carrying that bitterness with us. It’s like it hangs all over. It’s like a cloak that we’re wearing. And you know that I’m glad you brought that up that that too. Just speaking of interviewing, you know, those of just say, those of you out there that that have been laid off, you know, when you have your first interview, don’t go in just chomping at the bit and be so anxious because I’m telling you, hiring managers and recruiters, we pick up on that. And even if we’ve never been trained to pick up on that we do we pick up that anxiety we, and again, you just have to understand and know the value that you can bring a company. Because if you are nervous, you’re anxious, you’re desperate, and what kind of value are you gonna bring in that mode? So just chill out. Know your value. And when you walk into that interview with your wonderful resume, have all of your career Be assured and be confident. You know, I’ve said before, confidence is one of the most beautiful things that you can have. Yes, and, and it is you can see it when people walk into a room you can see if they happen or not. Wise, wise words. I love it. Wise words from a wise lady in the industry. I think I absolutely appreciate it and if somebody is listening to this podcast episode, and they want they want some Marlena in their life. They what you’re saying is resonating with them and they want to find you. Where should they go online to do that? Sure. They can reach me and they can go to my website at They certainly can find me on LinkedIn, I accept all invites internationally. And I certainly do some, you know, building up with confidence with international candidates. I don’t actually place them right now. I just don’t have that right now in in my wheelhouse, that some of them that are in college and going towards Petroleum Engineering, and I’m helping them to think outside of their own box. Also, my email is Marlena at Harlow Recruiting dot com. Excellent. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to be with me today at full disclosure for anybody listening that’s not in the Northeast Oklahoma area, it’s summer so we have had pollen thick in the air and then now we’ve gone into this dry spell where it looks like we’re in another dust bowl. So Marlena and I have been drinking water and coughing and clearing our sinuses. So if you hear this outside of Green Country and you’re like why, why do they keep coughing? What’s going on with them? That’s why. Welcome to Oklahoma. You got it. Well, thank you again, Marlena. I do appreciate you being here. Thanks, Sara, so much. You bet. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Once again, my guest today was Marlena Compston. She’s the founder and managing partner of Harlow Recruiting. If you’d like to visit her online, you can do so at If you enjoyed the episode and you know somebody else who could benefit from it, please share it. If you haven’t already, subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

No Comments

Leave a Reply