Oil & Gas Talent Vision [Presentation]

Last week, I presented (using the brilliant Haiku Deck) in front of Senior HR leaders in the North sea oil & gas industry around a talent vision for the sector. The OGHR event was held in Aberdeen, UK.

The forum, hosted by Subsea 7 was focused on HR collaboration for the future of North sea oil & gas talent.


Career MAP: Motivations, Aspirations, Perceptions

I have been thinking about career maps, career paths, career trends and the psychology of work recently; looking at these from an individual perspective as well as from the context of an organisation.

The challenge became apparent whilst working on a project that involved researching and identifying why young UK engineers are less likely to pursue a career in the oil & gas industry, via my consultancy OGHR.

However, this led to my exploring other forms of career trends too:

  • Why female high school students who study STEM subjects gravitate to non-Engineering courses at University level
  • Why ex-military personnel (once heralded as the saviour to the oil & gas industry skills shortage) are not particularly excited about migrating that way
  • Why more Emirati nationals are interested in working for the UAE government than the private sector
  • Why some people excel at work, feel very engaged and empowered, whilst a lot more are not
  • Why certain individuals are bent on a lifetime of crime, thus labelled “career criminals”

The last one is a wildcard; but you get the gist. The list is endless.

Whilst doing this research, and looking at existing work around careers and the ‘whys’; I have come to the realization that people make choices and decisions regarding their career inclination by undergoing a humanly psychological experience, that relies mostly on internal inferences and external influences.

They chart their own career map using mental interactions with their minds and being.

I have labelled this new MAP: Motivations, Aspirations and Perceptions.

Of course, career inclinations are dependent on factors like the individual’s background, level of formal education, behavioural strengths, skills developed, competencies, passions in life etc.

But at the base of all of these is what happens in their minds, both conscious and subconscious.

Let me explain this Career Map Model in more details.

Career MAP: Motivations, Aspirations, Perceptions


I believe that at the core of people’s choices of what they do in life is that innate feeling of delving into what they feel is right. When you ask people why they do specific jobs instead of the other; you hear different reasons; all uniquely explaining how that person feels about their careers and why they do so.

Hence, you hear Doctors and Nurses talk about their care for life, and you see how they practically and often exhaustively do whatever they can to save a being. Yes they are handsomely rewarded for their jobs, but what we understand as to the driver and motivating factor for them is the utmost care for life, and contribution to the society.

This same logic and motivation may apply to Fire-fighters, first responders, rescue workers, and others involved in some form of careers in care giving. There is a plethora of examples in the ‘adding value to the society space’ that may come to mind.

That may also be why recent surveys show that certain nationals of countries are more interested to work for their governments because they are motivated by job security and the desire to contribute and add value to the “vision” of the state.


Whilst motivation develops ones inclination to pursue a career path; Aspiration is what keeps the desire alive. These two are intrinsically linked, although the later is what ensures an individual perform better at what they do, with their eyes set at a future prize.

People who aspire to be a medical professional will be motivated to take STEM subjects that will align them to that career path. Professionals in organisations who aspire to be managers or leaders will have demonstrated that they are motivated enough within their roles or skills; and the level of motivation will spur them to attain certain skills or acquire specific competences to achieve their aspiration.

Aspiration is a tricky one. It is like a reverie everyone basks in now and again. For example, I aspire to run a successful consultancy business. Ok try this one; I aspire to land in the moon – fat chance. Career aspirations must be realistic and humanly enough to fit into the Career MAP model presented in this post.


One may argue that what people perceive may influence their motivations. I agree with this assertion. But I also see this as a loop that links back to motivations, and go around in the circle. The idea is that when people are motivated enough and aspire to be or do something; their perceptions of that career choice may change overtime either for the better or worse.

Perceptions are in constant flux as people’s thoughts and feelings about certain career choices and disciplines evolve. When motivations meet aspirations, and then the reality of chasing a career sets in, ones perceptions may transform.

However, whilst perceptions are usually as a result of people’s influences, including but not limited to life experiences, personal expectations and external information, this could transition, as they continue to do that job or identify some innately latent motivation.

In the case of young UK engineers who are unlikely to consider the oil and gas industry as a career of choice – that perception may be borne from their experiences of environmental issues related to the industry, information presented in the media, what their parents or families think about the industry; or the idea that oil and gas is not a force for good.

It may also be based on not knowing about the industry that much or how it does affect their everyday life. It may be easier to relate to the auto or aviation industry as these sectors have a direct impact in people’s lives, and that young Engineer may want to make his or her mark in the history of the respective industries.

In any case, I think this new Career MAP framework will answer a lot of questions both individuals and organisations ask. And if people and businesses apply some of the basic principles therein, they may excel better at what they do.

A lot of this data or insighst could be achieved by extensive research, focus groups, one-on-one sessions and an evaluation of what people think of their Career MAPs.

I will be using this case at a presentation / project soon and will write more about it in the future. If you have any thoughts on this model, please drop me a note here.


Deloitte HR Trends 2014; UK Insights [Infographic]

OGHR, a global HR consultancy for the oil & gas industry designed an infogram that graphically illustrates some of the key UK data in the 2014 Deloitte HR trends. The original post can be found here.

Deloitte Global Human Capital 2014


Back from Houston after the OGHR Summit

Just returned from an OGHR Summit in Houston, Texas. Excellent speakers, great audience and quality interactions. Will write more on the summit and share some reviews about it later.

Managed to take a photo of Schlumberger’s facility while in a car around Sugarland, Tx.


2014 Workforce trends in oil and gas [Infographic]

Great OGHR infographic showing 2014 oil and gas workforce trends, originally posted here.

2014 Oil and gas workforce trends by OGHR

Related reading:

Oil and gas strategic recruitment forum

Workforce Analytics for the future of oil & gas talent

2013/2014 Oil and gas salary and hiring data


OGHR Summit London 2014 [Video]

OGHR Summit London 2014 short vdeo (1 min) with some participants comments. Watch video!


Oil & Gas Salary / Talent Trends 2013 [Slides]

I presented some insights on HR trends in the oil & gas industry (salary data, hiring etc) at an OGHR event this month. Here are the slides below: