2/02/2016

Tough Times

I remember my first desk job as a credit analyst. There was a novel feeling to getting dressed, having my own workstation, and even the very idea of working for an honest wage. Fast forward a dozen years later and I'm facing an uncertainty that I never expected to experience in my career: economic crisis and possibly retrenchment. 
Working for a consultancy firm in the O&G industry was a "glamorous" job back then; we may not get the big bucks as our counterparts do in client companies (the industrial term is "operating companies"), but we get to dip our fingers in a variety of fascinating projects, each with its own set of challenges and new knowledge to savor. I love financial independence: who wouldn't? You need dough to pay the bills, to fuel the car (and fix it), to fill the tummy...I am lucky I found a job that I love and can satisfy my financial needs. 

It didn't seem possible that the oil price will dip so low but then again, geopolitics has to have its way and the thousands of workers affected will have to deal with it. Companies have employed various methods to stay alive: downsizing/rightsizing, cutting costs left & right, reducing working hours & corresponding salaries etc. The current slump will continue for at least 2 more years before the oil price will rise again; even now the slump is not exclusive to the O&G industry. 
Source: The Malaysian Insider

During times like this, I ponder what I would do if I were retrenched *knocks wood*:

Maybe teach English or music? 
Perform for wedding gigs? 
Proofreading or freelance journalism? 

I can't think of a start-up coz there's nothing else I know: I realize my life has been so narrow and focused on my career that I never really invested in developing other skills or a "backup plan". In any case, this is a time for self-reflection and perhaps a fresh start in a new direction. Everything happens for a reason and hopefully I'll survive this crisis. In the meantime I'll crack my brain for ways to stay alive and to the other O&G workers out there, you're not alone and this is truly not the end. 

I know this is a rambling post but hey, that's what a blog is for, right? :p

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