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    Red face ExtraSlow's next career? Need suggestions and assistance

    Firstly, a preamble: I know this has an opportunity to turn into a text version of that ďroast meĒ game. I expect nothing less when I open myself up and show my vulnerability. However, Iím hoping that in addition to the haters and chirping, there can be some honest advice. I know beyond is full of smart and helpful people.

    My situation: I didnít get a big severance when I was laid off, and I havenít drawn a regular salary in two years. My wife works, and I have savings from before, so Iím not in danger of starving or having to send my kids to school barefoot, but yeah, money is tighter every month, and some expenditures are getting deferred longer than Iíd like. However, far beyond financial concerns, Iíve learned that unemployment is really hard on me mentally. Iím working a short-term contract in what is objectively a pretty terrible job, and itís been awesome for my mental health. I really need a job to be healthy, even if itís at 1/3 of my old oil and gas salary.
    I am running a small business, and weíve seen some success, but itís not enough work to keep me busy, and on a net basis, Iíve been losing money. I would love that to grow into something real, but I need a backup plan.

    The real thread:
    I believe that every personal attribute has a positive and negative connotation depending on the situation you find yourself in. I also believe that when you are in a job that fits you well, your innate attributes will mostly be positives for that position without you having to work against your instincts. Not to say that in the ďrightĒ job everything comes easy, but that when you work hard you will see good results. Iíve had this experience in my career, and some of the ďhardestĒ jobs Iíve had were the best for me, and honestly werenít ďhardestĒ for me.
    What Iím looking for is ideas for careers that make good use of the talents that I have. I donít think any one of these is particularly unique, but I believe that the combination is something valuable in the right situation.

    - Love teamwork and truly motivated by team success. If my actions help the team, Iím probably going to pour my heart into it. If itís just working towards an individual goal or personal recognition, Iím likely to become uninterested in it much sooner
    - Excellent delegator. I donít find it cumbersome to keep track of tasks being performed by other members of the team and seeing how they will integrate with my own work towards the larger goals.
    - Iím an above average public speaker. Iím comfortable doing presentations to management or putting on training courses for 20+ students. I wouldnít say I LOVE this, but as long as I know the material and I have a plan, I can do a pretty decent job of presenting to pretty much anyone.
    - Clear and effective business writing. I really get a kick out of summarizing complex situations into concise status reports, emails or reports.
    - I truly enjoy understanding and improving business processes. Have frequently been asked to deliver process documentation for informal business tasks that has resulted in improved efficiency and clarified expectations for team members.
    - Engineering degree and enjoy understanding the underlying physics or mechanical workings of a problem. Often have used this perspective to work with field staff to design workable solutions to complex problems. Also helps when explaining situations to more junior or less technical staff.
    - Friendly, approachable and likeable. I know everyone would say this, but Iím at least a little above average in this regard. Rarely have problems with co-workers disliking me, or trying to work against me.
    - Iím a pretty good manager. I donít have tons of experience as a manager, but I have managed teams up to five people and projects of more than $50 million. One of my direct reports who has been in the business for 35 years told me I was the best boss he ever had. I love discovering how a group of people fit together to make something more valuable than the sum of the parts.
    - I like to have contact with the ďfront lineĒ people making the business happen. Weather thatís truck drivers, drill rig crew, or guys washing cars, I love that connection to the real activity. Iím not one who can be happy hiding in spreadsheets for months on end.
    - Iím also comfortable with large volumes of data, interpreting complex datasets, and giving a reality check to computer generated trends or averages.

    So, as I said, Iíd like idea for careers that make use of these attributes. Maybe that involves going back to school or starting out at the bottom in a new industry. Iím open to that.
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    There is a strong demand in the internet marketing world for Google analytics... analysts. Being able to interpret data and form conclusions is something most business owners - even ones with sizable budgets - lack.

    As the world continues to shift to digitial, this is a demand that will likely continue to grow.

    Pays decent, too- especially if you can master copy, SEO, CRO, in addition.

    Were I you I'd consider moving into a UX/analytics role. Not a bad way to earn an easy $80k/yr.

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    I'm not sure if I missed it in your post or not, but do you have no interest in returning to O&G?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lasimmon View Post
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    I'm not sure if I missed it in your post or not, but do you have no interest in returning to O&G?
    This.
    Would you be willing to relocate within Alberta?

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    Sounds like you are a Business Analyst. Getting a CBAP should be easy enough to start out.

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    I guesss some crucial information was missing in my first post.
    I'm totally willing to return to oil and gas. Until my layoff it treated me very well, paid me very well, and was always interesting to me. I also always got positive performance reviews and above average performance based raises as well, so I think I was pretty good at it. Returning to Oil and Gas is my first choice, but I have had no success doing this.
    My previous experience has been as a Production Engineer, Drilling Engineer, Drilling Team lead, Well Construction Manager, and now President (owner) of a training consulting firm. I suspect part of my problem is that I have become a bit of a generalist, and the flavour of the week currently is to hire technical specialists. Funny, seven years ago, I was told I needed broader experience if I wanted my career to progress, so that's what I went out and got . . .

    I have no experience as a business analyst, and i don't know what CBAP is, but as I said, I'm interested in learning my options.

    Because of some family obligations, relocating away from Calgary would be difficult, however I would absolutely consider it.
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    What are your goals for work/life balance? Are you willing to be based in Calgary, but travel to client sites/offices (up to 4 days per week, i.e. only sleep at home Fri/Sat/Sun)?

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    I'd be willing to learn more about this to see if it's a good for for me and the company. Grab a coffee to discuss?
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    ...
    Last edited by Sugarphreak; 08-18-2019 at 12:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phreezee View Post
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    Sounds like you are a Business Analyst. Getting a CBAP should be easy enough to start out.
    Good idea here...I am seeing lots of postings for BAs lately, and you come across as someone that is reasonably familiar with IT/technology.

    CBAP (Professional Designation for BAs) does help, but requires experience. If you can find a Jr. BA type of role in a domain you're familiar with, i think you would have a decent chance of getting your foot in the door.

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    What about looking into part time lecturer at SAIT or something of the liking? I am not sure what is involved but talking to some of the students we get working for us they get guest lecturers often in the diploma courses. Friends of mine taking trades often also have industry professionals teach the course or at the very least modules within the course without any requirement for an education degree. It would satisfy your ability to delegate, public speak, and to take a leadership roll. You might be able to either combine that into, or leverage your current mentoring project with that. If I were in your shoes I'd reach out to SAIT, MRU, U of C as well as APEGA to see if they could provide some guidance for this route.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schurchill39 View Post
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    What about looking into part time lecturer at SAIT or something of the liking? I am not sure what is involved but talking to some of the students we get working for us they get guest lecturers often in the diploma courses. Friends of mine taking trades often also have industry professionals teach the course or at the very least modules within the course without any requirement for an education degree. It would satisfy your ability to delegate, public speak, and to take a leadership roll. You might be able to either combine that into, or leverage your current mentoring project with that. If I were in your shoes I'd reach out to SAIT, MRU, U of C as well as APEGA to see if they could provide some guidance for this route.

    This is great advice.

    As a SAIT grad (and current guest lecturer) I can attest to the benefits of having industry professionals as either an instructor or lecturer.

    I am not too certain how the drilling program is currently at SAIT, but when I was an attendee there was significant shortcomings in that course specifically.
    I would look into becoming a prof, great work/life balance and decent pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    I'd be willing to learn more about this to see if it's a good for for me and the company. Grab a coffee to discuss?
    Sent you a pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schurchill39 View Post
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    What about looking into part time lecturer at SAIT or something of the liking? I am not sure what is involved but talking to some of the students we get working for us they get guest lecturers often in the diploma courses. Friends of mine taking trades often also have industry professionals teach the course or at the very least modules within the course without any requirement for an education degree. It would satisfy your ability to delegate, public speak, and to take a leadership roll. You might be able to either combine that into, or leverage your current mentoring project with that. If I were in your shoes I'd reach out to SAIT, MRU, U of C as well as APEGA to see if they could provide some guidance for this route.
    Have been in contact with SAIT and NAIT, but have been brushed off by both places. Maybe they have enough staff? Could be a pretty interesting gig. I did have a good long chat with a guy who was involved with the drilling program at sait for several years, and it does interest me.
    UofC requires you to be a PHD candidate at a bare minimum to be a sessional instructor, and a full PHD to be on a tenure track. I have done guest lectures there, and have a friend who is a professor there, but I don't think I'm down for six more years of schooling for that job. No idea about MRU, anyone have someone there I could chat with to learn more?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabad66 View Post
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    Good idea here...I am seeing lots of postings for BAs lately, and you come across as someone that is reasonably familiar with IT/technology.

    CBAP (Professional Designation for BAs) does help, but requires experience. If you can find a Jr. BA type of role in a domain you're familiar with, i think you would have a decent chance of getting your foot in the door.
    So, hate to expose my ignorance, but what actually is a BA? like, what does the job entail? Is this some kind of IT thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarphreak View Post
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    Have you looked into what kinds of other jobs would utilize your degree?

    With the kind of skill set and activities you like to do, it almost seems like you might be a good fit for a hands on project engineer. It doesn't necessarily need to be O&G, any larger scale construction would probably satisfy your list of wants.


    I am actually in a similar boat, I really enjoyed the work I was doing before, but it is pretty specific to Alberta. I made some changes, and now I am doing the kind of work now that I thought I wanted to get into doing. However, without the money of big oil to be thrown around, it has been like a sweat shop and not really enjoyable at all. I really need to figure out a better line of work to get into as well.
    Yeah, I'm open to other industries, but my degree is in Oil and Gas Engineering specifically, which isn't great of other industries. A more generic Civil, Mechanical or Chemical engineering degree would appear more transferable to the HR departments at those construction companies. Also, pretty much my entire experience has been focused on some aspect of the wellbore, which is a little unique to the petroleum industry. I was never involved in large scale facilities or civil/mechanical projects.


    Well, off to work the night shift, thanks for the responses so far, I truly do appreciate them!
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    BA's basically match your strengths:
    - Love teamwork and truly motivated by team success. If my actions help the team, Iím probably going to pour my heart into it. If itís just working towards an individual goal or personal recognition, Iím likely to become uninterested in it much sooner

    Usually work on a project team.

    - Excellent delegator. I donít find it cumbersome to keep track of tasks being performed by other members of the team and seeing how they will integrate with my own work towards the larger goals.

    Produce the requirements that lead to the project plan.

    - Iím an above average public speaker. Iím comfortable doing presentations to management or putting on training courses for 20+ students. I wouldnít say I LOVE this, but as long as I know the material and I have a plan, I can do a pretty decent job of presenting to pretty much anyone.

    Lots of meetings.

    - Clear and effective business writing. I really get a kick out of summarizing complex situations into concise status reports, emails or reports.

    Documenting findings from the meetings.

    - I truly enjoy understanding and improving business processes. Have frequently been asked to deliver process documentation for informal business tasks that has resulted in improved efficiency and clarified expectations for team members.

    Business process mapping with present and future states.

    - Engineering degree and enjoy understanding the underlying physics or mechanical workings of a problem. Often have used this perspective to work with field staff to design workable solutions to complex problems. Also helps when explaining situations to more junior or less technical staff.

    Business acumen is a strength of good BA's.

    - Friendly, approachable and likeable. I know everyone would say this, but Iím at least a little above average in this regard. Rarely have problems with co-workers disliking me, or trying to work against me.

    Work with potentially any and all departments within a company.

    - Iím a pretty good manager. I donít have tons of experience as a manager, but I have managed teams up to five people and projects of more than $50 million. One of my direct reports who has been in the business for 35 years told me I was the best boss he ever had. I love discovering how a group of people fit together to make something more valuable than the sum of the parts.

    Work well with the project manager.

    - I like to have contact with the ďfront lineĒ people making the business happen. Weather thatís truck drivers, drill rig crew, or guys washing cars, I love that connection to the real activity. Iím not one who can be happy hiding in spreadsheets for months on end.

    Not so much.

    - Iím also comfortable with large volumes of data, interpreting complex datasets, and giving a reality check to computer generated trends or averages.

    Analysis of current data assets.

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    BA (Business Analyst)???

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    Quote Originally Posted by trickyone View Post
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    BA (Business Analyst)???
    Yeah, can someone school me on what the hell this is? A sample job posting would clear it up nicely.
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    Here is a sample posting from an active job ad for suncor:

    DATE: SEP 1, 2017
    LOCATION: Calgary, Alberta (CA-AB)
    JOB NUMBER: 17285


    Job Overview

    Reporting to the manager, market intelligence and stewardship, you will be responsible for supporting the category directors and their teams to develop effective stewardship for all categories within category management by collecting, reviewing, analyzing and presenting data relevant to category management activities, such as current spend, historical spend, trends and marketplace supply.

    Key Accountabilities

    Effectively execute category management strategies and initiatives through strong analytics and the development of cost modelling in support of alternate operating models
    Provide analytics that can be utilized to influence supply chain management and business units leaders making decisions that support efficiency gains and cost reduction while maintaining the continued lifecycle integration across all business units
    Collect and analyze relevant data and information
    Conduct category marketplace analysis evaluating topics such as improvement opportunities and risks occurring within the category
    Support category management leaders in conducting market research to identify potential suitable suppliers capable of addressing business requirements
    Interface with market intelligence deliverables function to leverage applicable information during the category sourcing activities
    Assist with developing (or enhancing) the underlying category total cost of ownership model to be used during the sourcing event
    Develop supplier analyses, using standard tools, to present potential suppliers to the cross-functional sourcing team
    Collect and manage supplier data in accordance with data management policies and procedures
    Required Qualifications

    Experience and Education

    Five or more years of experience in supply chain, performance analysis preferable in the oil and gas industry
    Experience in supporting service level improvements and/or cost reduction projects and initiatives
    In-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis and planning experience within oil and gas industry preferred
    Post-secondary education would be considered an asset
    High School Diploma or General Education Diploma (GED)
    Skills and Knowledge

    Strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, SAP, SAP-Business Warehouse/Business Explorer; SAM/Lumira knowledge
    Strong communication, presentation, inter-personal skills and ability to present to senior leaders
    Ability to interpret data and connect to strategy and opportunities for cost reduction
    Ability to engage effectively with peers and internal stakeholders

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    Bodyguard for Nenshi

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    Nenshi turned me down, still looking.

    Have had discussions with two very helpful beyonders about some opportunities, which has been excellent. I've also been educated a little on what a BA actually is and does. Sounds like the sort of thing that would be a stretch for my experience, but not that much of a stretch for my skills. As always, that means that if there's a public posting, my resume would probably be weeded out quite fast, but if I could meet someone face to face and make a real personal connection, my odds would be downright decent.

    Anyone want a coffee one morning next week?
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