Over the course of the past few months I have given my sea legs a rest, swapping the ocean for the beautiful countryside of Norfolk, England. I have recently been supervising a ground investigation being undertaken as part of the construction of the new Northern Distributor Road (NDR). The role of a supervisor is still very new to me, there is an increased amount of pressure on your shoulders to deliver. I am so used to working on the back deck of a vessel, getting my hands dirty, sampling and testing samples so it has been very strange taking a step back leaving the technicians and drillers to do all the dirty work. We have had some glorious sunshine in the UK over the past week, a little hard to enjoy it when your in head to toe PPE but none the less it's great working outside in the sunshine and the fresh air.
The concept and procedure of an onshore ground investigation is very similar to that of an offshore investigation. Fortunately my knowledge and previous field experience have come in very handy giving me immediate confidence. The basic principal of drilling applies along with the target of obtaining and delivering high integrity samples and data to the client. The offshore site investigation sector is still very unsettled but I am keeping busy transferring and adapting my offshore geotechnical skills to onshore civil engineering projects.
I am always conscious of the fact that I am usually a fair bit younger than the guys I work with and now being in a supervisor's position I felt more conscious of this fact than ever. I have experienced age discrimination during my time offshore on a couple of occasions which have always stuck in my mind. Fortunately the drilling crew I had operating with me were during this project were fantastic and after the first day I soon felt completely comfortable in a supervisory position.
Throughout this downturn I have stressed to my followers that you have to remain positive and proactive. Offshore skill sets are transferrable. I can now not only add onshore drilling experience to my CV but site supervision also. This downturn has taught me that you can't plan too far ahead in terms of your career as I for sure didn't see myself working onshore supervising a ground investigation this time last year.