2003-04 AAPG President
The outlook for students in the petroleum
industry is excellent.
That's right. Due to the average age of both AAPG
and SEG members and the prospects of this group retiring in the
next 10-15 years, opportunities should be good for students.
At many of the AAPG Section meetings I have had an
opportunity to talk to student groups about their future. I generally
give them some ideas l have compiled that might help them in their
(Some of my comments are derived from Robert E. Megill's
book, How To Be a More Productive Employee.)
The following is a "top ten" list of suggestions
for students. Remember, we are all still students, so these pieces
of advice are intended for
all of us.
School is never out, and life-long learning is important in
our profession. The geoscientist who doesn't stay up with the
latest ideas or technology is soon left far behind.
The adage "learn something new every
day" is important. It only has to be one thing each day!
An important part of learning is to
"read the books." A great one to start with is the AAPG/DPA
book Guiding Your Career as a Professional Geologist. Also read
the top selling business and professional development books.
If you don't know where you are going, where do you think you
will end up? Develop a road map for the future. Be your own
boss and control your career (regardless of where you are working).
Establish long-term and short-term goals and write them down.
Review your goals at least weekly and stay focused on the action
steps (or tasks) needed to accomplish the goals.
Have you ever heard the saying "your attitude makes your attitude?"
There are several attitudes that will help make you a productive
employee. Have a service attitude. What can you do to make your
boss' job easier? Get all your assignments done on time and
done well. Go the "extra mile." Do more than is expected from
your superiors! Do what needs to be done. Even if something
is not in your job description, help out in other areas if it
improves the efficiencies of the group. If you are ever a consultant
you will find out that everything is in your job description.
Pride In Your Work.
Take pride in the work you do. Do the best job you are capable
of every time. If you tell your boss or colleagues you will
do something, then follow through. This is the essence of integrity.
Have the satisfaction of doing a good job. Do the tasks without
expecting any rewards (bonuses, accolades, etc.).
Believe in Yourself.
Your education and work experience are important factors to
give you confidence. This confidence enables you to take on
tasks others will not. You will also inspire confidence in others
about your abilities. Be careful not to go beyond confidence
into the arrogance category.
The Golden Rule is the foundation of ethical behavior. Treat
others as you want to be treated. AAPG has one of the best code
of ethics amongst professional organizations. Read it, frame
it and practice it. The general principles of the code are printed
at the end of this column. If a situation doesn't have the right
feel to it, don't do it. Don't be tempted by riches or greed.
Learn Teamwork Skills.
Just about every company has teams that accomplish the goals
and objectives of the company. It is critical that you learn
how to work well within a team. You don't have to like everyone
but you do need to get along. Show respect and patience for
Build Your Net.
Networking is critical for your successful career. Building
a network of contacts (both business and social) is an important
part of your development. Your business network will help you
in future employment needs, information trades, etc. When you
go to a luncheon or conference, make sure you meet new people.
Sitting with your friends may not be the best way to build your
net. A simple way to get to know new people is to take them
Learn Leadership Skills.
Leaders basically direct, train, inspire, motivate and evaluate.
These skills are not natural to everyone, so take the time to
study them and practice them. Learning how to train, inspire
and motivate people is critical. You don't have to be the boss
to be a good leader.
Enjoy What You Do!
You will spend the majority of your waking hours on the job.
Make sure you enjoy what you do. If you don't enjoy it, perhaps
a change is necessary. Enjoying what you do at work will carry
over into your home life.
An easy way to learn and practice these ideals is
to get involved in AAPG. AAPG can assist you in staying up with
technology and science. By joining committees you can build your
network, develop leadership skills and develop teamwork skills.
AAPG offers many forums on ethics, etc.
Make sure AAPG is a part of your professional career.
The general principles of the AAPG Code of Ethics
(AAPG Constitution) are as follows:
- Geology is a profession, and the privilege of professional
practice requires professional morality and professional responsibility.
- Honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, impartiality, candor,
fidelity to trust and inviolability of confidence are incumbent
upon every member as professional obligations.
- Each member shall be guided by high standards of business ethics,
personal honor and professional conduct.
It is important that every member review
the entire Code of Ethics on a regular basis. Remember that
your reputation is your most important asset.