quotes They are more than hobbies — they are tools for enhancing professional excellence

21 December 2023
Short Url
Updated 21 December 2023

They are more than hobbies — they are tools for enhancing professional excellence

In the ever-evolving and challenging world of the oil and gas industry, where innovation, precision and efficiency are paramount, finding ways to stay sharp and inspired is crucial. As a petroleum systems analyst, I have discovered that my hobbies — photography, graphic design and theater — play a crucial role in enhancing my professional skills. Each has contributed significantly to various aspects of my career, offering a unique blend of creativity, problem-solving and communication skills.

The visual impact of photography and graphic design

Photography is an exercise in problem solving and attention to detail. In the field, I am constantly challenged to find the right angle, lighting and composition. These skills translate directly to my work, where I need to identify and resolve issues efficiently. The creative thinking fostered by photography helps me approach problems from different perspectives, a key advantage in application development and maintenance.

Graphic design, my second hobby, has sharpened my precision and visual communication skills. Choosing the right elements, like colors and fonts, and creating visually appealing designs are vital talents that are directly beneficial in my work. This is particularly true in tasks such as enhancing presentation slides or advising on user interface elements, ensuring excellence in our applications’ visual and functional aspects.

These two interests also aid in team collaboration and communication. Both require the clear conveying of ideas, invaluable when working in a team-oriented environment like ours. By being adept at expressing concepts visually I can communicate more effectively with my colleagues, especially when explaining complex technical ideas in a more accessible format.

The transformative power of theater

My relationship with theater began with a childhood paradox. In kindergarten I was known as the “naughty kid” — lively, outspoken and often too energetic for my own good. This label, however endearing it might have seemed at the time, had an unforeseen consequence. As I grew older, the fear of being perceived as “the naughty boy” led me to retreat into a shell of shyness. I became extremely aware of how others saw me, and this subdued my formerly energetic nature.

It was in the world of theater that I found my escape and, more importantly, my transformation. The stage became a place where I could express myself without fear of judgment or labels. Each role was a step away from my shy persona and I gradually rebuilt the confidence that had become overshadowed. Theater allowed me to redefine myself — neither as the naughty kid nor the shy boy, but as a self-assured individual. The initial fear of standing on stage in front of an audience gradually became thrilling excitement. It was in this world of scripts and characters that I discovered my voice and learned the power of self-expression. The journey from backstage to the spotlight mirrored my journey from silence to confidence.

Beyond self-expression, theater taught me the art of communication. I learned to articulate my thoughts clearly and engage with others effectively — skills that have become invaluable in my professional life, aiding me in negotiations, presentations and everyday interactions.

Theater also imparted a profound lesson: In the grand play of life, people remember the characters that made an impact, be they heroes or villains. This realization shaped my approach to my professional life. I strive to be a character who leaves a positive mark, one who contributes constructively and is remembered for good. It is about playing a role that goes beyond old labels and becomes part of a larger, meaningful narrative. In addition, theater taught me the power of perception and self-reinvention. Just as I had moved beyond being the naughty kid to rediscover myself on stage, I learned that in our professional lives we also have the power to redefine ourselves. This lesson has been crucial to my career, allowing me to approach challenges with a mindset unconfined by past labels or opinions.

The integration of hobbies like photography, graphic design and theater into my professional life has been instrumental in enhancing my work. They have not only provided creative channels but have also sharpened my skills in the tech-driven world of oil and gas. The attention to detail and visual communication abilities learned through photography, combined with the confidence and adaptability gained through theater, have translated seamlessly into my career environment.

From speaking confidently in meetings to collaborating effectively on complex projects, these hobbies have enriched my professional toolkit. They have taught me to communicate clearly, work with diverse teams and adapt quickly to unforeseen situations. These activities have been journeys of personal growth and professional development. They have enabled me to embrace change, communicate effectively and forge a professional identity that transcends the past.

For those seeking to enrich their professional skills, I cannot recommend enough the exploration of hobbies like photography, graphic design and theater. They are not just pastimes but pathways to unlocking greater potential in one’s career.

• Firas Abussaud is a petroleum engineering systems specialist with over 21 years of experience in the industry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and a Master of Science in construction engineering and management from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. Beyond his technical expertise, he is interested in photography, graphic design and artificial intelligence.