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What You Can Learn From My Summer Vacation

‘Remember in our youth the standard return-to-school “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay? This summer has given me several lessons that have value for you today.

The story begins with a local police officer knocking on my door at 9:00 one night, asking me about my brother, Billy. Of course, you know what happens next–I find out that Billy died in a motorcycle accident a few hours earlier. He was 57, divorced, with no children. He was a floor layer, a regular ordinary guy. Like you and your team members.

First lesson: we are in a business of relationships. Don’t let corporate purchasing and hard bid tactics make you forget this. While price is part of the purchase consideration, the quality of your work and the relationships you foster with your clients, customers, and co-workers are paramount. I first realized this as word about Billy spread through the grapevine and I received numerous calls, emails, and cards of condolence from across the country. These were unexpected and much appreciated.

I saw it again at his wake. Having worked his trade in the New York area for over 30 years, my brother was well-known. On that Memorial Day weekend, we were visited by many of his associates. Not just tile guys, but the Foreman from the Laborers, and a superintendent from a General Contractor, to name a few. There were even guys who had worked with our father in the business-and some even remembered when I had helped out on a few jobs, way back when! Connections between people-that’s what it’s about.

Next lesson: how is your health? Construction is hard work, yeah. But it isn’t a substitute for quality exercise and eating. Billy wasn’t in bad shape, but he wasn’t in good shape, either. He loved to eat; cooking was his hobby. He didn’t exercise. And he had coronary artery disease. In fact, he may have had a health crisis that triggered the crash. We don’t know for sure. But we do know that he was not taking care of himself and now, he’s gone. Are you taking care of yourself? (If not for yourself, then for those who love you.)

“Divorced with no kids” sounds like an easy estate to deal with, right? Well, it would be if

  1. there had been a will (there wasn’t)
  2. there had been up-to-date beneficiaries on his life insurance policy (his ex-wife is still listed, although that wasn’t his wish; he just “never got around to” changing beneficiaries even though they’d been divorced for several years), and
  3. all his records had been kept in one place (not even close).

Looking through files and folders is never easy, but having to weed through pay stubs from 1986 makes the process even harder. I realized that my finances and directives are in a similar state of disorganization. I am currently creating what I call the Red Envelope, where all of that information is being placed to make the process easier for whoever needs to deal with it. We need to do this for the benefit of those around us. If you are a business owner or the head of a household, this becomes even more important.

By now, you may be fed up with my personal ramblings. But remember what my brother did for a living. He was a regular guy, he was just like you and the guys who work for you and with you. I am hoping you can learn from him so your team is better off.

Following the Money: Treasury Functions and Accountancy Functions in Large Companies

The finance sector may seem like some great monolithic edifice, but of course, like any industry, it is full of sub-divisions and specializations. Some of these functions are disconnected from one another. Others are in constant collaboration. Take for example the relationship between the accounts department and the treasury department. Some people think these functions are indistinguishable but in reality they are very different.

Accountancy and Finance

Any large company will have a treasury function and an accountancy function. The focus of these two departments is often categorized in terms of future and past actions. Accounting is closer to book-keeping in the sense that you manage and prepare financial statements and records. Accounting involves analysis and creation of financial documents whereas finance may involve the control and management of assets. Accountancy is more about compiling, tracking, assessing and presenting information. Ensuring paper trails, in a sense. Financial management involves making actual decisions about the future of an enterprise; establishing how best to invest money and secure liquidity etc.

Treasury management departments are usually overseen by a Chief Financial Officer (CF0). The role of the CFO encompasses aspects of strategic planning, capital management, investor relations, financial reporting etc. The more complex the organization, the greater likelihood that these responsibilities will be delegated. Across areas such as processing and cash control there will often be an overlap between the accounts department and treasury.

Differences and Overlaps

Treasury management is closer to overall financial management, with one or two omissions such as inventory. Treasury is highly dynamic. It requires good people-skills and fast decision making. The concerns of treasury are immanent whereas the concerns of accounting are often retrospective. Treasury involves the management of risk, the management of liabilities and assets, the management of cash, and the management of important relationships (suppliers, investors etc.). It involves ongoing collaboration with other managements.

The accounts department usually prepares information for the rest of the organization, for instance, entries necessary to process payments etc. Documents prepared in the accounts department will circulate throughout other departments. They will be utilized by managers, executives, taxation authorities and investors.

Accountancy and Treasury Management Jobs

Accountancy and treasury management positions are some of the most popular jobs in Canada at the moment. They are competitive and well paying sectors with good opportunities for career advancement and diversification. They also have comparatively low unemployment rates, less than half the Canadian average.

How to Get Hired for Better Petroleum Engineering Jobs

You want to know how to get hired for better petroleum engineering jobs. You may have already been working in the industry and that’s great. Everything that you have done up until this point should be on your resume – and if it’s not, it’s time to go back to the computer and update your resume. All of your education in all of your experience will help you to get better jobs – but it may not be enough.

Petroleum engineering jobs require a significant amount of skill. You cannot go directly from school into the better jobs. Companies want to see that you have experience and that you know all about the industry.

How do you show competency on the job?

Experience will show that you are competent within the different petroleum engineering jobs. If you don’t have experience, you will need to get it. This means starting at some lower-level engineering job and working your way up. Getting an internship or externship at different companies can help you dramatically as well.

Not sure where to set up an internship or externship?

If you work with a recruiter to help you obtain better petroleum engineering jobs, they are likely going to direct you to the better internships and externships to better your resume. They know that when you improve your resume, you will come back to them and that will help them fill open positions. So while they may have to do a little work to get you to where you need to be, it will pay off for them in the end as well.

Recruiters make money from the companies that they fill positions for. They are going to work with you as much is possible in order to get you into one of the companies so that they can fill a position and get paid. In a perfect world, you have a great resume and you are ready to get hired on by the better companies immediately. If this is the case, a recruiter will be thrilled with you and you can probably have an interview by the end of the week.

If your resume is not looking the greatest and you already know this, a recruiter is going to help you figure out what you need to do. If you want to get hired for one of the better petroleum engineering jobs, you have to ensure:

  • a solid education
  • a significant amount of experience
  • continuing education credits in engineering
  • you’re a team player
  • you are willing to relocate

The ability to relocate is not a necessity when it comes to finding petroleum engineering jobs, but it can certainly help. These kinds of jobs are not located all over the country and so you may be limited as to where you can work. If there are no open positions near you, it may be necessary for you to relocate if you want to work within your career field.

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