Driving home from work, I picked up my son from school, then 6.5, now 7-y. We always ask each other about our day. He summed up his day with a detailed(!!)….”Good”. And then he told me it was my turn.
I told him that it was not the best day, as someone who worked with us decided to quit. He knew who I was talking about as he has come a couple of times and made coffee for all the team members!
He was quite upset about this and wanted to know the reason. I tried to make it simple and told him that the Oil industry was not doing that well and he got a better paying job elsewhere. He did not like this answer and asked me – why we could not pay him better. Talking about cash flow and all will be a bit much I thought and just blamed it on the downturn. (I had to explain what that meant as well but anyway…)
He thought for about 10 seconds and asked me why I continued to work in Oil? I told him that, that’s what Daddy has been working on for a long time and might not be that easy to just do something else. And even if I could what would I do?
Without any hesitation, he said – “Dad – let’s start the bakery we have been talking about. I will bake with mom’s help and you sell”
Well, he succeeded in taking away my somberness and made me smile. I am sure we went and had a cookie after that!
This downturn has been rough on all of us and we all have been trying to get through it. Some have left the industry. Some have tried their luck at real estate. Some have gotten certified in other trades.
We, at The FerVID Group, managed to diversify into another industry as well, hoping it would help us with our revenue and keep us going until the industry that we have expertise in, bounces back.
But we cannot just keep waiting for things to turn. We take it in our hands, do whatever it takes to keep things moving in our favor.
One of our team members – a Petrophysicist – has flipped a house and made some money on the side. He has now gotten some experience in Real Estate and might even do it again.
Another Drilling Engineer decided to get certified for roof inspections. Some software engineers, who can go across industries, have moved to Austin and California – they are not coming back.
The above stories have worked for some but for others it has been difficult. Because of the nature of our company business, we get a chance to talk to a lot of people. We discuss different ideas and we know that for some people, changing careers or doing something on the side has been difficult.
But there is hope. My previous blog discussed different calls coming in and the hope lives on, that projects are soon going to be kicked off and more people will be back on the saddle. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/companies-og-sector-ready-projects-still-maybe-abhijeet-narvekar)
We wanted to see if some of our O&G people have moved on to a different industry successfully. We took a few roles to see what options were out there:
- Geology and Geophysics – More on the Environmental Services side and Civil engineering side for Waste Water projects. The pay is low as compared to O&G but it will keep things moving. Also, Mining companies seem to be interested in these profiles. Unfortunately, if you change industries you will need to move, as most of those companies are not in Houston. But always consider a Temporary contract role. And then come back.
- Chemical Engineering – Get PE certification and work in compliance.
- Process Engineering – Some have gotten projects downstream
- Petroleum Engineering – Combine it with Data Management or IT skills and get into Consulting roles.
- Petroleum Engineering – Get a certification for Big Data and Analyze data. Being a domain expert – this combination can be a good one.
- Several others have retired for now. They had saved enough money during the good days and can wait for the industry to turn around.
- We have also seen some engineers have gone into Recruiting, and they have been successful because of their connections.
- Some Recruiters who were focused on O&G have gone into Sales. As they were natural sales people and are trying it out there.
- We also have friends who decided that they will take a break. One went off to see the world. One works on his sail boat and provides sailing training.
- Two of our friends decided to work on their House and Honey do’s. They enriched their life by installing Hardwood floors by themselves and scored major brownie points!
- One Electrical Engineer we know created his own Patented product which he will now try scaling and sell it to the rigs when things get better.
This shows the Tenacity and Resilience of people and their lives. By doing the above and keeping themselves engaged, it gives them and all of us hope to keep going. One person motivates the other. It gives them more experience/confidence and when the Industry comes back, they are positioning themselves to come back stronger. If they can survive and work hard during the downturn, imagine what they can do when things get better? They will give their best.
You might know of several others who have used some unique ways to keep themselves occupied in projects. If you know of a few please do share. If this blog provides some ideas to someone who is looking, it will be a good success!
Off to bake cupcakes with my 7-year-old!!