Getting “digital” can help oil and gas professionals become indispensable to their companies, according to Vicki Hyland, BP plc’s global head of talent attraction for graduate and experienced hires.
“The digital revolution has given birth to a need for a whole new skillset within the oil and gas industry,” Hyland told Rigzone.
“We need to ensure that we find the right people and nurture the right skills to help keep up with the rise of digital,” Hyland added.
Maintaining and improving technical expertise, and making all previous work experience count, could also help oil and gas professionals earn the moniker of being indispensable, the BP representative revealed.
“In order to help companies remain at the forefront of cutting edge technology, oil and gas professionals should look to maintain their technical expertise and improve this where possible,” Hyland said.
“We hire individuals with all kinds of practical experiences and backgrounds; not necessarily direct experience of our industry. Make sure that, whatever your background and experience, you look to apply it to your work,” Hyland added.
For those looking for help to develop the tips listed above, Hyland advised professionals to have a development plan “and commit to it”.
“Carve out time to focus on it regularly, in bite size bits if needed, and make development part of your day to day,” Hyland said.
“Tailor your personal learning to your style to maximize your chance of maintaining it,” Hyland added.
Timo Arokyla, head of HR at Ineos Oil & Gas, agreed that oil and gas workers looking to become indispensable should focus on technical skills.
“Have solid technical skills, whatever your function, and use them fully to support your company’s strategy, whatever it is,” Arokyla told Rigzone.
The Ineos representative also advised workers wanting to increase their importance to their employers to develop an in-depth understanding of the whole value chain, and communicate effectively with everyone within it, and to learn every day from everyone around them and adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
“By doing these … things, your company has the best possible chance of meeting all stakeholders’ expectations; whether governments, communities, shareholders or lenders,” Arokyla said.
And how can workers develop these particular skills?
“The best way is by listening and learning and gathering feedback [on] how people see you performing and developing. Courses will take you only so far, putting things into practise will make the difference,” Arokyla said.
Gonzalo Velasco Perez, international communications manager at Repsol S.A, echoed the value Arokyla placed on adaptation, stating that flexibility and the ability to easily adapt to new situations was required in cementing your role.
Perez added oil and gas workers need to be innovative and always looking for new, non-explored ways to reach a company’s goals, along with possessing ‘deep’ industry knowledge.
“If you have these … tips well developed, you will be in a good position to manage the appropriate information and ready to face industry and company challenges,” Perez told Rigzone.
Houston-based consulting firm Graves & Co revealed last year that more than 440,000 oil and gas workers had been laid off since the beginning of the most recent downturn. Of these 440,000+ job losses, Graves estimated that 178,466 were in the United States and 124,000 were in the North Sea.