Perspectives on Career Transitions: Life Stories From Six E&P Industry Professionals
- Rodrigo Rueda Terrazas (Total E&P) | Shawn Faurote (Edward Jones) | Samuel Ighalo (Halliburton) | Aman Gill (Nexen ULC) | Onyeka Ndefo (Total E&P) | Jane Norman (Santos)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- The Way Ahead
- Publication Date
- February 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 9 - 13
- 2016. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Finding and starting a new career can be a fairly straightforward process for some or a daunting task for others. The transition may start in the mind when one begins to first foster thoughts about it. A significant change in direction, particularly when it breaks free of the status quo imposed by a peer group, often comes with its share of self-doubt lurking in the corner. However, when one does go through with the career transition, there are often rewarding results, although sometimes not in ways initially envisaged.
In this issue, the TWA Forum section in collaboration with the TWA Soft Skills section present to you six different perspectives on career transitions from the point of view of exploration and production professionals. You will read about how the transitions improved the careers and lives of the individuals, the motivation behind the change, and what had to be sacrificed to see it through. Read on to see how previous experiences help with career transitions, what sorts of resources were invaluable in managing the transition, and the soft skills that were relevant in ensuring that the career transition was a success.
Directing a Career: From Filmmaking and Physics to Engineering
Rodrigo Rueda Terrazas, Total E&P
I believe that one of my biggest professional transitions, which set me onto my current path, was switching from film and physics studies to petroleum engineering. In 2004, I was attending university in Florida. At the time, my plan was to complete the general engineering core curriculum in order to transfer to another university, and major in engineering physics. On top of that, I had a great desire to take some film classes in parallel.
The Value of Engineering in the Financial Sector
Shawn Faurote, Edward Jones
As an expatriate engineer who had lived in India with my family for 3 years, I had already gone through a substantial and rewarding transition in my career. Not only did I learn a great deal about food, culture, and language, but the posting also provided a wonderful perspective on the United States - my home country.
Changing Continents and Careers at the Same Time
Samuel Ighalo, Halliburton
I have had several career and life transition experiences since I graduated from college but I would have to say that location transfer had made the most impact. Making the switch from one job to another within the same geographical region or country is sometimes as daunting as it is exciting; however, making a transition from one country to another without a job in hand is an entirely different proposition with far-reaching consequences.
The First Career Transition
Aman Gill, Nexen ULC
Having been hired as a new graduate employee for the same company where I had done a student term, I was looking forward to coming back and also wondering what new challenges awaited me. Looking back at my brief but busy full-time career, I realize that the road has been both challenging and rewarding. My career and life have already improved dramatically since I started working full time, as growing responsibility at work has strengthened many of my soft skills both in and out of work. As my responsibility has grown, I have been given more tasks which have bolstered my organizational skills such as learning to prioritize daily tasks. I have learned to be a team player who seeks continual feedback and support from both technical and nontechnical coworkers in solving operational problems and contributing positively to the key results of the company.
A Career That Takes You Places
Onyeka Ndefo, Total E&P
Moving from one location to another has been a major transition that has impacted my career. In the course of my employment, I have moved from field offices to head offices, changed locations within my home country of Nigeria, and then moved to countries outside of Nigeria before returning in 2014.
Striking a Balance Between Career and Family
Jane Norman, Santos
My career transition from full time to part-time work was triggered by starting a family and then taking on a new role at a different company. Prior to having children, I had worked full time for nearly 10 years.
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