Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nowhere and Everywhere

This last week was one of those, what day is it and where are we, kinds of weeks. I traveled with the Western Admissions team recruiting students, meeting with industry and alumni all over the state of New Mexico spreading the good PLRM word.

5 days, 1,131.7 miles, 20 hours of driving, 6 high schools, 2 junior colleges, hundreds of potential Mountaineers and my fair share of red and green chili.

I had plenty of wide open space to contemplate some lessons learned.

Say Yes

In an challenging industry environment, I have two words for you, SAY YES. This is a great time to figure out who you are and to take risks. In my career I have said yes to as many projects and opportunities as possible and so far it has paid off every time. The next time you're waffling about accepting a new challenge, getting off the couch to try a new activity, or taking a professional leap,
remember to put a thumb on the scales in favor of yes. It's instantly a richer life full of more possibilities. I have not only survived, but thrived in multiple industry downturns, because I was willing to see opportunities in areas that were not on my prescribed career track.

Make The Most Of Your Time

Should you find yourself on a work trip, use it as an opportunity to not only accomplish what you were sent there for, but to establish new relationships and reinforce already existing connections. Ask  those you know if they would be willing to make some introductions. Share with other friends and colleagues where you are headed. You never know who they might know. Remember, while this industry is tremendously large and impactful on a global scale, it is a very close-knit community.

During this trip, friends of Western and PLRM introduced me to a state senator, a mayor, a director of a chamber of commerce, military officers, and so many more. Schedule coffee and meals into your work day to connect with those outside of your prescribed objectives, it is exhausting but well worth your while.

Get Uncomfortable, Embrace, Appreciate And Have A Sense of Humor.

"Menon, Western enticed you to take on this role with exotic travel as a bonus I am sure this is what you expected, we are glad you are now living the dream." -PLRM Advisory Board Member

People love Colorado, we love the Gunnison Valley and are lucky to call it home. I have to remind myself that the beautiful little snow globe we live in, is located and operates far from the "real
world". When traveling for work in the oil and gas industry we often find ourselves far from home, and well outside of the idyllic setting of the Rocky Mountains. I have found that work travel has presented me with a an opportunity for professional and personal growth. More often than not, I find myself in meetings, at conferences, and in towns that place me well out of my norm.

What does this mean? It means that I have been exposed to and learned to appreciate differing political and religious perspectives, socioeconomic circumstances, and geographies of communities in the oil patch. I have also found that if you are open to growth and competing perspectives you will find rich history and charm everywhere you go. You don't have to be a natural fit everywhere, but you do have to have an openness and sense of adventure to accomplish work objectives and to grow as professionals and human beings.

Sometimes I wonder how I landed in higher education and in the oil and gas industry. Has this girl from California been abducted and dropped into an alternate universe?!?

The answer is no, I have simply said YES my whole career. I have always seen challenging times as an opportunity to stretch and grow. I love my work in higher education, oil and gas, and all the people and communities that have invited me in along the way.

In times like these, uncomfortable is the new comfortable.

Keep it weird and Western up!

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