Thursday, June 16, 2016

A year after PETRONAS

Its Ramadhan and I almost hit the one year number. Things have changed quite drastically since I left. The oil price (which somehow dictate our career) has gone down and doesn't seems to show any sign of going up more than USD 100 plus per barrel at least in year or two. A lot of people affected, and there were not one but a few waves of restructuring. Alhamdulillah, I'm still here but you never know when your time might come and just be prepared. 

So lets do a little reflection after a year of leaving. 

1.  Being outside comfort zone allows you to be more productive.
PETRONAS is a HOME for me. Bosses and colleagues trusted me. I hit success one after another. Then my ego went bigger and bigger. I was in this driver seat, but complaining nearly about everything.  Hence, I ALWAYS not happy to things. I wasn't happy with my boss, I wasn't happy with what I'm doing, basically everyday I have sessions of expressing my irritations to stuff. Looking back, imagine how many months if not years I've lost just from complaining. 

Here, especially with this current environment, I know no one. I don't have friends. I eat lunch when pumping, etc etc. So I need to start from ground zero, but since I am an experienced hire, the expectation is level 41. So yes, that allows me to think peacefully "how could I make things better!" every day. Looking back at my learning curve this year, I'm surprised how much I've gained in terms of learning in a year. A few times I felt "I wish I know this things then, I can do a lot of things to the stuff I have then...". 

2. Selling and visibility is tougher here.
This company hires the best from the WORLD, basically you have to compete to get heard. And with the current market, its crazy to see how people actually polarized to extrovert and you have to be VISIBLE and let people know your capability etc etc. I would say I'm still a bit lucky that my boss is an introvert and he knows how to look at people potential differently. But he will not forever be my boss. So yes, welcome to the crazy world.

3. Technical capability is endless here.
After I passed TPCP in PETRONAS, I don't know how to develop my skill. But here, I can see the path. The technically competence people are recognize here and you can have your career in this line. 

4. Appreciation is not just a pat on the back.
I believe that everybody in the whole organisation should play the role in recognizing talent and keep them happy. The top management together with HR can come out with "fancy program" (like the retention bonus I received). And the direct managers can challenge and praise whenever necessary the staff. But the whole system should be geared towards appreciating every effort of the staff and these includes some rare species. i.e There are people here, who are very good and love to be in research, those efforts are recognized, and they were tasked to do really difficult stuff. And when they come out with workable solutions, they are recognized by the whole group and people are asked to learn from them. etc etc.

5. Integration is the KEY
I am blessed to sit in a team of "true exploration". My boss has STRONG QI and processing background and he still does it. Beside me is a brilliant processing guy, and in the interpreters sits on the same floor. we work towards common goal. No clashing KPIs! one's success is the teams success. I observed this is not always happen in other parts of the company and other companies. Though I can see what makes this work is that everyone puts an effort TO INTEGRATE and TO SPEAK the same language. It is not easy! And it is a continuous conscious effort.

6. Company RESEARCH should bring workable solutions to the group.
With the advancement of computing technology, geophysical research cannot take more than a year now. Research has to be relevant to what the group wants and not academically correct, and only literature reviews. Well it is not rocket science but sometimes, we need to sit down and think what is it that we want to achieve!

7. Respect each other
Each individual has their own passion and strength and ways they can contribute. Respect that, and allow them to do it. But provide constructive feedback. Lets face it some of the stuff that you produce is useless, and move on.

8. Open to feedback and be happy to give them. 
Only a few people take LBVF as constructive feedback. Feedback is very important, you need to know what they are, and from whom does it come from. Be open to receive them, eventough sometimes it means sakit hati ya amat. But it is for your own good. And be prepared to provide constructive and meaningful feedback to person. Think that if it was you and keep doing the same mistake over and over again, how awful it is after 5 -10 years down the line, no own ever tell you that and at that time you've already turn into a monster. So, changes starts with ME. Be open to feedback, and start giving one. Sometimes after presentation, you can directly channel the feedback to that person. do it routinely and you'll create a culture.

Maybe that's all for now. take care!