This morning, Abhi   coached an oil and gas centric Project Manager. During the session we determined her skills were very versatile. The way she needed to differentiate herself was to try in the area of Change Management. This is because she had a great background in training and development, and this combined with Project Management,   will enable her to convince users to adopt new technology and also ensure that they are trained for success. 

The above is just one example. We all need to dive deeper into our skillset and list the skills at a functional level rather than at the ‘domain’ level. 

For example: 

“Reviewed an ambiguous process around seismic data collection and recreated 10 streamlined processes to find data, quality check the seismic data and deliver it to the end user.” 

The above is a process improvement function. The word seismic makes it specific to the oil and gas industry. You take the word seismic out and now it reads: 

“Reviewed an ambiguous process around data collection and recreated 10 streamlined processes to find data, quality check  and deliver it to the end user.” 

The second one can be applicable to any industry. You need not understand or know the nuances of seismic data or healthcare data. You are paying attention to how the data flows to create streamlined processes. 

We fall into the trap and convince ourselves that we are domain experts and are stuck in a particular industry. Unless you are drilling a well or an expert geoscientist, all other functions could be applicable for other industries. 

And even if you are a driller, there are jobs in the communications industry, construction industry to keep you occupied till your dream job comes back. 

If you are a geoscientist, it is trickier but not impossible. Keep looking at the functions and roles you worked on. If you just worked on looking at log curves or seismic data, you still can go out of oil and gas. According to BLS – there are jobs for Geologists in: 

  • Environmental Projects 
  • Minerals 
  • Planet rocks 
  • Oceanography 
  • Teaching 
  • Museums 
  • Coal Mine Museums 

It might not pay the same, but we can keep the ship sailing, until the industry comes back, or we acquire some new skills to make us more versatile. 

Another example is of my friend in the O&G industry having a business development function who was let go. We spoke a few times, shared some ideas. Today he gave me a call stating that he has an offer from the insurance industry to grow their existing accounts. 

In this case, they did not hire the person for his contacts but they hired him for his functional knowledge on how to grow accounts and various strategies to help the company grow. 

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. , We create our own mind blocks. Be creative and look for options rather than giving up on yourself and reading news which keeps talking about doom and gloom.