Over the weekend, BP announced plans to slash its worldwide oil and gas production by 40%. That’s approximately a million barrels of oil a day. They also plan to reduce upstream oil and gas by 35-40% and operations by 30-35%. All in the next decade. They plan to be a carbon-neutral outfit by the year 2050. As a former oilfield engineer who spent 20 years in the industry, this should be distressing news.
But I don’t work for BP anymore. I left in 2015 after being laid off. Although I wanted to stay in the O&G business, I made one of the toughest (and best) decisions of my life instead.
I bought a franchise and became my own boss. Five years later, my floor coverings business has grown to include several territories across the Houston area. I no longer have to deal with Houston traffic. I get to have amazing one-on-one customer interactions. I get to make my own decisions. And one other thing—I’ve never been happier.
My story isn’t exactly unique to the energy industry, but I’m hoping this testimonial of my experience might inspire others to consider an entrepreneurial future. I’ve been a part of the O&G boom and bust cycle many times over. I’ve seen people rebound and carry on after a market crash. And I’ve also watched others sit on the sidelines for years, as their savings dwindled.
I was fortunate that my story worked out. I now own my own business and have grown my operation after five years of hard work.
Don’t get me wrong. The 20 years I put into a career in the O&G world were wonderful. I met some of the best people I’ve ever known and they became like family. I was well paid and had a dependable income (most of the time). I lived in five different continents. But after my layoff in 2015, I knew the time had come to choose an alternate path my remaining career—and I chose entrepreneurship.
Through this testimonial, I hope others will see this story and take advantage of the same resources I did five years ago. I had access to outplacement services, and I took advantage of them. For me, contemplating a future that took me in a completely new direction wasn’t the easiest decision. But looking back, I’m glad I did.
It’s been my experience that almost everyone I’ve known in the O&G industry is capable of running a business of their own. But two things hold them back—lack of curiosity and low self-confidence.
This is my testimonial. I was once in your shoes. But it worked out for me. It can work out for you, too.