Jason Lavis

Marketing Director at Natural Resource Professionals ltd.
Last Updated: September 11, 2017
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Career Development

Same person, different hats

You’ve probably noticed a new employment dynamic in the upstream oil and gas industry… The line between employees, consultants, self-employed business contractors and business owners has become blurred…

This is likely to continue and even accelerate due to a number of macro factors:

  • Tenure rates and contracts are getting shorter, giving more employment breaks. This is when a status jump can be made more easily.
  • People with a ton of experience, and money in the bank find themselves unemployed and with little to lose. (In relation to starting something new).
  • The internet has empowered people to be easily able to create a new business, and/or work remotely.
  • The future of the oil and gas industry is uncertain, as is the case in most industries due to technology.
  • It’s more culturally acceptable to start a business, and fail a few times. Likewise, shifting from self-employed back to employed holds no shame.

There are other factors in play, ones that we’re all aware of. For example, we no longer need to choose. A side-gig, or multiple concurrent ventures can be launched, even while working full time. (If you can stomach that amount of stress!)

The point is that there is no set career path to follow anymore. The leaders of the future will be the ones who can pivot and solve problems in a creative way. It’s the creatives and visionaries that will blaze the way… In fact, when we think about it, hasn’t that always been the case?

Once you know the next steps in your career path, idea/market validation is crucial. You don’t want to be working on your new invention in the garden shed for 10 years, only to unveil it and find that no-one is interested.

So, the leaders of tomorrow will efficiently validate and market themselves, their products and ideas. You need efficient ways of getting the word out, to the people that you want it in front of.

Which brings me to the point of the post…

I’m a believer in creating not just an online presence, but an online omnipresence (I've written about that before). Demonstrate to the world that you’re committed, willing and able to continuously think about concepts and solutions.

You can be employed by 10 companies, and start 10 of your own. You can collaborate and be a lone wolf at different times.

While the economic activity that you undertake changes, there is something that doesn’t change… Your character, and your ability to create solutions.

These fundamental building blocks of a career can be chronicled, documented and stored online. Not on your hard drive, where they won’t help you, but online. For all of your peers, mentors, students, employers and business partners to see…

Your body of work, your career and life achievements.

Eventually, you might appear in all major news and media outlets, and in every industry association website. In the beginning though, in our path to online omnipresence and career security… We set up profiles and become known in as many places as possible.

Did you notice that I just wrote career security?

Job security is dead…

Long live career security!

Being a serial problem solver, who is willing to learn new concepts and put in the hard work, will likely mean career security. If you’re an amazing chef, it’s possible that you could move from French, to Japanese, to Chinese cuisine. If you use the same skills that you already know, applied to a new set of rules and tactics, you can succeed again and again.

A weak French Chef is unlikely to make the move to another kitchen art…

If you’re a serial achiever, chronicle it online. Create a track record that will allow you to stand out from all other candidates for future job applications. Set up series of online breadcrumbs that will increase the chances of finding your next business partner, supplier or customer.

Are you planning to create career security? Perhaps you already have a sideline or small business? Perhaps you’re set up as a consultant?

Apart form the obvious places that you need to be (Facebook, LinkedIn etc), here are a few places where you can set up a professional or business profile:

(All Oil and Gas/Energy related)

Rigzone directory
Natresco directory
Houston Energy Insider
drillers.com candidate profile
drillers.com employer profile

I’ve only listed five, and they’re all free to register on, search around and you’ll find dozens more. Gradually, you can capture more online real estate for yourself and your companies of the future.

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