The times are changing. The oil and gas industry is opening up to the digital revolution. With the transition in global dynamics, the relevance of employees consistently updating and redeveloping their skill sets is being widely appreciated across the industry. There is a recognition that there will be relentless changes in technologies, products, benchmarks, processes, and business strategies and thus, the knowledge and skills needed in the oil and gas professionals keep shifting. Further, the industry must support new skills strategy for digital oil and gas.
Adding to this, insecurity is a paramount concern in employment. Once being with a single employer or in a single industry over a lifetime was the rule. In modern times, it has become the exception.
It becomes important to recognize accurately and extensively the numerous ways in which the employees’ skills gradually develop to meet the challenges that arise with technological & managerial changes, and job security.
Automation in limelight
As the human imagination is catching up, automation no more remains on the horizon of the oil and gas industry. It has assumed the center stage in digital oil and gas. Virtually in every industry, we can observe a gradual shift to automated technologies. The time, the errors, and the risks involved in human labor, everything is being cut down by today’s sophisticated automation tools.
Particularly for the oil and gas industry, the shift to automation was a pre-requisite. Beginning in 2014, when oil prices crashed by 75% for over 20 months, this industry was pushed towards modernization.
Now, prices have recovered, sometimes even hitting record levels in the United States. With this new technology and more digital advancements ahead, the oil and gas sector is undoubtedly poised for unparalleled success. Digital oil and gas is an emerging reality.
With these developments in the background, it is also important to consider whether these machines may replace workers, and how employees need to up-skill their potential.
Next Generation of Employees in Oil & Gas
As the industry continues to experience transformation, the capabilities required to win in the digital oil and gas arena are also undergoing a profound change. Fundamentally, a different skill-set is required with advanced analytics, remote monitoring, and rapidly evolving digital solutions. The demand for many traditional roles will reduce or disappear. In the times to come, the digital oil and gas industry will require skills to navigate through these significant shifts.
In order to develop new skills, it is important to understand what the industry is looking for. Recent research reports have highlighted some capabilities are being appreciated across the industry.
Adapting to the New Reality
Dynamism is at the core of the world of energy. From geopolitics to US sanctions, amidst the digital revolution and climate change, it all adds up to the changing face of the industry. In such a framework, it is expected of the employees that they are agile and flexible.
Adaptability is one of the top requirements of many companies today in the digital oil and gas landscape. For instance, here’s what Schlumberger is looking for in its employees.
Harsh working conditions, challenging projects, tight deadlines, if you can adapt to these situations with readiness, you fit well in the group of next generation employees that the industry is seeking.
Managing Change for Better Performance
After adaptability, it is change management which is being observed as a highly critical differentiating skill across the industry. We have an important case in point to put this into perspective.
The layoff wave took place in the year 2016 due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry. According to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, U.S.-based energy companies announced plans to send 103,000 workers packing in the first 10 months of 2016, compared with 90,000 in the same period last year.
Crude Realities in 2019
Many of the employees who were laid off failed to react fast to this crude shock. It was difficult to believe in the beginning and some hoped that it would get better. Many of those who lost their jobs didn’t take the decision to move on, to learn new skills, to change their career path or even to work in other industries because they didn’t believe what was happening.
This is why it is important to learn how to manage change effectively. It is crucial to embrace change and then plan to change the things that are in your control and then implement the strategy in time.
Personal Branding to stand out
Academic qualifications are no more the cornerstone of your personality. Employers are interested in knowing what unique elements do you bring on the table.
Similar to product branding, a personal brand is defined by an ultimate goal and how well you can differentiate yourself in the market to achieve that goal. Developing a personal brand is similar to product branding. The process involves defining your brand and brand attributes, positioning your brand differently than your competitors and then managing all aspects of your personal brand. And do not miss out on research while creating your brand persona.
Further, branding is a consistent process as you learn and progress. This would require updating your profile with time and addition of skills and achievements.
Knowing the right skills is not enough. Learning new skills in the digital age arrives with the need to learn them via the right platform. Some new doors have opened up in the changing times. Time to explore.
Moreover, we cannot afford to ignore the relevance of soft skills in the workplace.
What are the New Ways of Skill Development in Digital Oil & Gas?
“The promotion of our industry as an exciting and dynamic workplace will be crucial in attracting the best and brightest talent on offer. The skills strategy is being created now so that the industry is prepared for the emerging roles in the years to come as some of this requires significant investment in changes to processes which won’t necessarily happen overnight.”
A recent article in Forbes has stressed the need to up-skill for the digital oil and gas industry. In order to succeed in a fast evolving competitive landscape, workers across the industry will need a new skills strategy. The idea is to prepare themselves for the emerging roles in data science, analytics, robotics, and automation. The existing gaps in training and education need to be bridged to help the employees take up new, challenging roles in the industry.
Here are a few ways to enhance your skill-set:
Power of the Internet
The Internet has changed the way we perceive the world. A vast pool of information has opened up and it is important to delve into insights that can broaden your perspective on the industry. Some of the platforms that can help you increase your knowledge on the energy landscape are Oil Price, Energy Dais, Rigzone. Apart from these, PwC, Deloitte, McKinsey, and Accenture publish reports and feature articles that have a depth of research and information. All you need is an hour off from your busy schedule for reading.
Networking is another gift of the internet. It has made it easier for oil and gas people to connect with professionals and employers across the globe. A dedicated online oil and gas jobs portal can also offer numerous opportunities.
Today, not only millennials but also experienced oil and gas professionals, take up online courses that can add value to their profile. It is important to keep up with the changing times and in an extremely busy schedule, online courses can help you learn new skills.
Energy Dais has launched an exclusive portal for online courses that can help you upscale your performance in the dynamic oil and gas industry.
Since the age of the internet is plagued by too much information and too less thought, identifying the right platform for skill development is a real challenge.
Energy Dais has simplified the entire process for the new age oil and gas professionals. From building a Digital Resume, updating the skill set, to finding the right employment opportunity, you have everything to look forward to with Energy Dais.
Most importantly, this rapidly growing online oil and gas platform believes that the industry needs to join hands for faster and better growth prospects. This stands true for all the industry stakeholders: buyers, manufacturers, service providers, professionals and millennials who wish to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry. Collaboration in oil and gas is the new normal and Energy Dais wishes to be a real changemaker in modern times.
John McDonald, the CEO of OPITO (Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization), recently re-emphasized the idea of coming together, “Industry needs to work together to ensure we are promoting the vibrant and long-term opportunities that are on offer.”
Exciting & Innovative Industry to work in
The global oil and gas industry with all its turmoil and complex dynamics offers an exciting and innovative arena to grow as a professional. It would be difficult to miss out on abundant opportunities to learn and develop as an individual. With the right skills and new skills, candidates can find the right opportunities for career growth in such a promising landscape.
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(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Dais.)