Over the last few months I’ve gotten so many phone calls and emails from great people in the land business who are looking for work. One of the first things I always ask them is “What have you done lately?” The answer I usually get is some variation of “well I was working for so and so and doing this and that and then the plug got pulled on the project.” Then I have to re-phrase my question, and ask them what they’ve done for their own professional development lately. More often than not I get a bit of silence on the line, followed up with a explanation of how busy they have been with work. Professional development is just like networking, you can’t wait until you need it to start doing it.
I understand that many people intend to take care of professional development, but then get bogged down with the minutia of life. Sometimes they simply don’t know where to start. I thought I would put together a list of options for those in the land business that give online, in person, and self-study options. So I’m going to issue everyone a challenge:
Pick a challenge from the list below and make a commitment to complete it, give yourself a deadline. Tell us in the comments below what your commitment and deadline is, and then update us when you complete it!
- Attend an AAPL Education Event: Check out the AAPL Education Calendar and pick an event. Depending on your location you might find a JOA Seminar, WI & NRI Calculation Class, Field Landman Seminar, or an event designed to learn more about due diligence or pooling.
- Join a local association AND commit to attending a minimum of at least one function every 3 months. After all, local associations don’t help you unless you involve yourself.
- Take an online class through one of the PLM certificate programs available through places like the University of Houston Downtown.
- Participate in the AAPL Landman 411 Onsite/Webinar series. They have a class every month through the end of the year, and you can participate in the classes from anywhere since they are online (or go to the classes at the AAPL headquarters in Fort Worth!). You can find the dates for Landman 411 in the AAPL Education Calendar.
- Apply and sign up to test for a certification! If you don’t have any certifications it is easy to start with the Registered Landman (RL) Certification. The only sponsor requirement for this designation is an RPL/CPL sponsor (1 only). It is an ‘open book’ test that they mail out to you with a study guide. For more info read my article on AAPL certifications.
- Learn how to use a new software product. There are so many useful tools for landmen — flow charting programs, deed plotting programs, the DrillingInfo platform, Adobe Acrobat Pro and of course the MS Office suite of applications.
- If you already have an RL/RPL/CPL certification, you probably know that you can always use extra CE credits. You might consider completing one or more of the AAPL Home Study Courses. You can learn something new (or brush up your knowledge) and knock out some credit requirements on your certification.
Finally, I know that many of you are thinking “I don’t have a job and I can’t afford to take any classes or go to any events right now.” What some of you might not know is the AAPL has a “Tuition Assistance” program for members who can’t afford to pay for classes due to unemployment or under-employment. The biggest requirement is that you have been an AAPL member for at least two years. The program is confidential, and the money has already been set aside for the program — so if you quality you should avail yourself of it.
As I said earlier, leave a comment with what you are planning to do in order to develop yourself professionally. Set a deadline and report back to us that you’ve completed it!