We're getting close to the holidays and I wanted to take some time to reflect on what this business is for me and what it has done for me and my family. I've done a few things over the years... bought leases, negotiated rights-of-way, researched title, lease data entry, built division order decks, and a host of other things in between.
It isn't always great... Commodity pricing goes up and down, public sentiment varies widely depending on where you are and who you represent, and the ever-present specter of trying to keep your network intact and staying relevant in a changing industry is enough to make you lose your hair.
I'll never forget the time I got out of my pickup and found myself staring into a loaded double-barreled shotgun. It was not my fault, nothing I had done -- past grievances had made me the enemy. There was a lot of quiet talking that had to happen before I left that day, and a few tense moments. On the way home that day I had a long talk with myself about if this business was worth it. It's the only time something like that has happened, and I'm glad for it -- but I also know there are plenty of men and women all over the world who do very dangerous jobs to help build and supply our energy infrastructure.
I'll also never forget the fact that I've been given more opportunity in this business that I would ever have in any other line of work. I came to this industry under-educated and with little training or background. I now enjoy a wage that is easily in the top 10% of the United States, I get to be involved in an business which is leading the world in innovation and technology, and I get to learn from some of the smartest individuals and best leaders in the world. My story is similar to many others in this industry.
One thing that I ask myself occasionally is WHY do I deserve the opportunities I've been given. The conclusion I've come to is that I don't deserve anything -- opportunity is given to all of us in some way or shape. It's what we do with the opportunity that matters. What that also means is that I have to constantly strive to maintain the right to be in the business I have the privilege of working in.
How can I "strive to maintain that right"?
Here's a few things I want to work on in the coming year:
- Always be respectful of where others are in their career.
- Never be too busy to answer a question.
- Give back not only to our industry, but to society as a whole.
- Attend continuing education so I will represent the industry in an educated fashion.
- Be inclusive in my networking to provide those newer to the industry with opportunities to meet mentors.