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Blog

How to build a successful career in the energy sector

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The oil, gas and energy sector presents unique opportunities for professionals at every stage of their career. It’s a rewarding industry with huge growth potential and with the rise of renewable energy, there’s a range of devising ways to succeed in this exciting industry. Petroleum engineers, for example, are high in demand and oil and gas companies are always searching for new contractors. However, preparing for the interview and securing the role are just the first steps. Throughout your career, you need to keep honing your skills and continue to prove that you’re an indispensable employee. But what sets the best professionals apart? A strong desire to perform and a positive mindset are what enables people to excel. With the right attitude and expertise, there’s no reason why you can’t climb the ladder. Read on to learn more about how you can enjoy a successful career in the energy sector.

 

Improve your soft skills

The oil, gas and energy sector has faced many challenges in recent years. When it comes to professional development and growth in this industry, learning ‘hard skills’ such as forecasting and project management, are often the main focus. However, to have a successful career in the long term, professionals must build on their soft skills. The oil downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated trends in the market, such as digital transformation, which means it’s all the more important that energy professionals develop their soft skills to enable them to embrace change and handle new challenges. 

 

For example, as technology has begun to dominate the industry, there is a greater need for professionals with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With many companies trying to capitalise on the rise of electric power and new technologies, it’s become all the more important that energy professionals have a global mindset and understand the importance of clean energy transitions. Soft skills will always be highly regarded because of how diverse the workplace can be – so they should be a priority for every professional.

 

Learn to specialise

Becoming a specialist or a generalist in your career is an age-old debate, present in every industry. In the energy sector, however, it’s important to become an expert in a particular area, but have a well-rounded point of view. This means understanding the “big picture”, how the processes flow and connect to your role. For example, the main responsibility of a geologist is to investigate the Earth’s natural resources, collect data and advise on site selection – but they need to understand the engineering process to ensure their examinations are valid. Specialisation allows professionals to have more of a focus and hone their expertise over time. Petroleum engineers, for example, are divided into several different types, including exploitation engineers and drilling engineers. Becoming an expert means you will build more depth of understanding and even position yourself as a thought leader.

 

Network

Success in any industry is largely dependent on the pool of information or ideas you have learnt from other people in the past. That’s why networking is incredibly important for career growth. It’s vital to build a professional network of trusted and valuable individuals, including colleagues and influential people in the industry. One of the best ways to grow your network is by attending conferences and events, and joining professional trade organisations where you will gain access to an exhaustive network of contacts. Alternatively, you could develop your energy network online, which can be a much more efficient way of building your reputation. For example, LinkedIn has become the ideal platform for building professional networks. It enables continuous growth and the opportunity to join groups. Beyond LinkedIn, however, there are plenty of ways to expand your network. Consider creating a personal website that showcases your achievements and provide details about how people in the energy sector can connect with you. Networking provides an avenue for new opportunities, meeting high-profile professionals from the same career path can serve and support your career growth. Always tap into your network at each stage of your career journey.

 

Set achievable goals

One of the key elements of career management is planning and goal setting. To make real progress in the energy sector, professionals should set relevant goals that are meaningful and achievable. When you’re busy at work and focused on the details, it can be easy to lose track of your wider objectives and career ambitions. There are hundreds of challenging positions in the oil, gas and energy sector, so make sure your goals are clear, detailed and measurable. For example, if you want to switch from a drilling engineer to an energy driller, you could set milestones along the way that address the key skills you’ve gained that help toward your goal. When professionals have goals, it’s much easier to stay motivated and reach the next level.

 

Petroplan can help grow your career in the energy sector

The energy sector remains an important and relevant industry in the 21st century and is an excellent career choice for the right kind of professional. At Petroplan, we’ve had years of success recruiting and consulting into the energy and oil and gas sectors for both permanent and contract hire roles. We’ve invested heavily in the renewable sector, recruiting professionals into a wide range of roles. We’re also specialists in the commercial and technology sectors. As a talent and workforce solutions agency, we provide high-quality recruitment consultancy and we take a personalised approach. Our consultants are always up-to-date on the latest trends in the market. Take a further look at our client services here or contact us to find out more about the energy sector and how we can help you develop your career.

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