8 Steps to Managing Your Career

In an industry caught up in a whirlwind of market forces, economic uncertainty, and regulatory and technological change it’s often easy to feel that there’s little you can do about your career prospects. We disagree, and we invited Ken McKellar, an expert on helping oil and gas executives manage their careers, to provide us with some advice on how to aim for career success even in the toughest of markets.

With decisions often being made far away in head offices, driven by factors beyond any individual’s control, it’s tempting to think the only thing to do is lie low and hope for the best, but in this latest WBC White Paper, Ken argues that there are 8 things you can do to position yourself for future opportunities, in a process he describes as “Active Career Managemenken-mckellart” .

These activities are split into two groups – four that are more reflective and analytical, and four that are more action-oriented: first, Ken suggests, you should be clear in your own mind about your strengths and weaknesses – and don’t rely on your own judgment: enlist friends and colleagues to give you their perspective too, through informal feedback. Then you should develop your own “elevator pitch” – identifying your own successes and deciding how you want to position yourself eg as a turnaround specialist, a team-leader, or technical expert – etc. The second group of activities is about building your networks, ensuring you have a plan, and of course, investing in continuing professional development.

Much of this may seem obvious, but as Ken states, the challenge is in putting in the effort to do this on a sustained basis: but for those who do, he says, the rewards will be there, regardless of market conditions.

You can download the full paper here.

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