Whether you are changing jobs or just starting out in drilling, welcome to the most interesting industry I have been involved with. As a newcomer to the industry, the most valuable tools for your career success are training and education. This is especially true the first few years.

While the fear of the unknown can be downright petrifying for some, it can be exhilarating for others. I know this first hand; within the past year, I moved from a position outside the drilling industry after 14 years in the industrial minerals business. Changing industries or positions within our industry often offers the most significant form of professional and personal growth. No matter if you are a driller, distributor or industry representative, growth is good and change is life.

While one never knows what the future will hold, you can count on your willingness to learn through training and education to pull you through. Lack of proper training can have significant costs and could leave you unemployed. What causes some people to flourish while others falter?

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Have you determined how much you don’t know?
  • How much productivity would you expect to gain?
  • What time frame is reasonable to show success?
  • What is the cost of not having that training?

So how do you proceed? First, join as many industry-affiliated organizations as you can, read their publications, take offered training and keep up to date on what is happening in your industry. At tradeshows, attend the classes, ask questions and “get involved.”

Vendor websites are loaded with technical data and case studies that can give you an advantage. Networking is also an invaluable tool to help you get to the next level. No matter which drilling industry you are involved in, it is undoubtedly filled with people who will be eager to help you achieve your greatest potential. Magazine and email subscriptions are another easy way to stay current.

Don’t forget your colleagues and customers; they are also important training and education partners. Drilling, like all industries, is constantly changing and evolving. The potential for growth is exponential.

Since your potential is unlimited, your ability to grow and develop within your industry depends on how much you are willing to devote to learning.

Asking questions to the right people, listening to their answers and utilizing the newfound knowledge are the best ways to retain a new skill. It’s all about training and education, so I look forward to seeing you in my next mud school!