Welcome to 2016. I challenge you to make a change this year – whether you are a new graduate finding your foothold, a long-standing member opting for retirement or somewhere in the middle clinging on until the ride is over, there is something that you can do today to make a difference to the CSEG, to your fellow members, and to your own career. And that is not simply to pay your 2016 dues, vote for the Executive prior to January 15th, to participate in the Ski Spree or Doodlespiel, or even to attend a reduced ticket price luncheon at the Petroleum Club. To make a difference I challenge you to look at three aspects of your interaction with the CSEG and within the petroleum industry in general.
Be an Advocate
a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.
“they were an untiring advocate of the CSEG”
publicly recommend or support.
“they advocated both CSEG individual and corporate membership”
The CSEG needs us all to be more than simply supporters of the CSEG through membership and participation, and to also to be advocates of the CSEG. That means to recommend the CSEG to others, to actively encourage our fellow geoscientists and engineers to join or participate in technical training, to advise our companies to join the CSEG as a partner, to be a champion of the CSEG Foundation, to be a spokesperson for geophysics and to generally promote the CSEG and its activities to others. Watch for information on how to be an advocate in upcoming RECORDER issues.
Be a Professional
1a. the competence or skill expected of a professional.
1b. the methods, character, status, etc, of a professional “the key to quality and efficiency within the petroleum industry is professionalism”
But what does it actually mean to be a professional? Both APEGA and a general internet search give similar messages as to what it means to be a professional – be an expert, give more than expected, stay true to your word, communicate well, have exceptional guiding principles, praise your peers rather than yourself, share your knowledge, say thank you, have a good attitude, speak up if there is a problem, accept feedback, write clearly and precisely, be flexible, be reliable, be helpful, pay attention to the cultural norms, be accountable to multiple stakeholders, be ethical, be involved in professional and technical societies, give back to professional, technical and public communities both financially and through volunteering, mentor, encourage professionalism, conduct skilled and ethical practise.
As professionals, we are responsible for our technical and career development. We decide how to grow within our career, what path to take, what training to participate in and what industry interaction we require. And if required, we take the personal time to train on our own time, our own dime. We should invest in ourselves and attend a seminar or a luncheon that will benefit us through both technical development and networking opportunities. We are worth it. Our career is worth it. Our professionalism is worth it.
Lose the Entitlement
1. the fact of having a right to something. “geophysics professionals often have entitlement to company funded training”
2. the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
“oil industry professionals often have a sense of entitlement”
There is a long-standing expectation of entitlement within the industry that hasn’t simply appeared with the so-called ‘gimme’ generation. In a nutshell, someone else pays. Pays for lunch, pays for the conference, pays for the hockey game, pays for the squash tournament, pays for the golf game, pays for the door prizes, pays for the luncheon tickets, pays for the DoodleSpiel, pays for the iPads, pays for the field trip, etc. But really, we all pay. If we are processing seismic data with a company and have an expectation of wining, dining and concert tickets, then that price is likely factored into the cost of the processing. Our company may also pay in diminished imaging quality because the best technical option was not chosen. We pay, because potentially our reputation suffers. The economy is suffering so budgets have been cut. Now we miss technical luncheons because our company won’t pay. So we pay, one way or another. We shouldn’t let a sense of entitlement keep us from self-funding development and technical opportunities. In cases of hardship the CSEG can help. If we attend a social event at which everyone receives lavish door prizes, then sponsors will ultimately have to raise service costs or rationalise which events to fund. Would we attend Doodlebug, T-wave and WiSE golf tournaments with limited prizes and give-aways? Would we enjoy the Ski Spree and DoodleSpiel just as much if we only go home with some new contacts, a small memento, great memories and photos capturing the camaraderie? Would we offer support to events that fund our own Foundation as a chosen charity? Would we sit through a GeoConvention marketing presentation for the knowledge rather than the freebies? I believe we would. Let’s be more altruistic and continue to support the CSEG, its activities and its Foundation.
So, I encourage us all to work on losing the entitlement, continue to improve our professionalism, and start to really advocate for both our profession and our society.