‒ Oil and gas has experienced a downturn, but now we see a shortage of qualified personnel. Not only for specialists, but also those who can manage assets and processes, such as field development and exploration. On the renewable side, there is also a consistent growth in the job market, says Lereim.
He has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, both as an academic and as a manager in several larger energy companies. The energy industry is changing quickly, leading to a need for candidates who are able to think dynamically.
According to Lereim, this is good news for both newly qualified personnel with the right skills, or experienced industry professionals looking for a career boost.
The skills you need
Here is Lereim’s five advice for job seekers:
1. Think globally. This has many benefits, whether you are already employed or not, such as the opportunity to work wherever you want to in the world
‒ Energy is international ‒ and for job seekers this means being able to think global. In order to see the big picture, candidates with a solid understanding of the entire global context is essential, specifically people who truly comprehend everything from political conditions to economic trends.
2. Upgrade your digital skills
‒ Today, you can basically work in the city while remotely operating an oil rig out in the North Sea. We can measure and collect data about the condition of a platform, offshore windmills or a solar power plant. As a leader, it becomes more important than ever to leave the analysis to the experts, but digitalisation has created a demand for a new leadership skill set. A digital leader makes high-quality decisions.
Prepare yourself for the most attractive management positions in the energy industry with a truly international degree.
3. See the bigger picture - and do not fear the unknown
‒ The energy markets can change in an instant quite dramatically, and on top of that there can be new regulations to consider. In the energy business you need to be ready to change your course and adapt quickly, while still maintaining your confidence and not panicking.
4. Don’t choose between business or technology - choose both!
‒ Business is more than just leadership, it is also value creation ‒ and in order to succeed you need to be able to take both the commercial and technological value creation into account. You are well-suited for several leadership roles if you can manage to effectively connect new business models with digitalisation.
5. Don’t underestimate soft skills. Research has shown that managers value a candidate’s soft skills as much, or more, than their technical skills
‒ The industry is heavily dependent on specialists with technical skills, but that does not make soft skills less useful to you as a job seeker, actually quite the opposite. These employers have a pressing need for people with communication and cooperation skills, as well experience with managing processes.
Today, Lereim is responsible for the Executive Master of Management in Energy, a joint part-time programme between BI Norwegian Business School and IFP School in Paris, where global professionals meet to learn more about the leadership of tomorrow’s energy sector. Their alumni count people working for Halliburton, Tesla, Siemens and Statoil, as well as people from all over the world with leading positions in various public authorities.
In the programme, they focus on teaching students the tools and management instruments leaders need to succeed, regardless of the sector they want to work in.
‒ The unprecedented scale of changes taking place in the business right now, whether it is adapting to digital, uncertainty in the markets or new business models, there is a high demand for managers who want to shape the future. This programme provides you with everything you need to lead people into an uncertain, yet exciting, tomorrow, says Lereim.
He thinks the explanation behind the large number of international students in the French-Norwegian programme, is due to a combination of the diversity of energy sources found in Norway, and France’s global position within energy and technology.
‒ Our candidates become qualified for leading positions in whatever sector they desire to work in, and as international as they want.