Same person, different hats
You’ve probably noticed an employment dynamic in the upstream oil and gas industry. The line between employees, consultants, self-employed business contractors and business owners can be blurred.
This trend is likely to continue and even accelerate due to several macro factors:
- Tenure rates and contracts are getting shorter, giving more employment breaks. At these times, a status jump can get made more quickly.
- People with plenty of experience and money in the bank find themselves unemployed and with little to lose. (In a good position for starting something new).
- The internet has empowered people to be easily able to create a new business 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. For example, we no longer need to choose. A side-gig or multiple concurrent ventures can get 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. 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 ten 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 to hear it.
Which brings me to the point of the post
I’m a believer in creating not just an online presence, but an online omnipresence. Demonstrate to the world that you’re committed, willing and able to think about concepts and solutions continuously.
During your lifetime, you can get employed by ten companies, and start ten 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 get 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.
You can publish your body of work, including your career and life achievements.
Eventually, you might appear in all major news and media outlets, and 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 a fantastic 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 a 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 a 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? Maybe you’re set up as a consultant?
Apart from the prominent places that you need to be (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), search for places where you can set up a professional or business profile. Gradually, you can capture more online real estate for yourself and your companies of the future.