Remote working is becoming more common in all industries, and the O&G industry is now waking up to the benefits that outsourcing scopes of work to remote engineering specialists can bring to their oil and gas projects in terms of time and cost savings. Studies indicate that up to 50% of workers in the US are expected to be remote by 2020, with this trend forecast to continue in the future. However communication is key for oil and gas projects and we need to make sure that our communication methods adapt to ensure project success.
This is part 3 of our 4 part oil and gas job search discussion, helping oil and gas industry professionals connect with the best oil and gas projects.
Part 3 – Online Communication
Performing oil and gas consulting or engineering jobs remotely does not mean that you can stop working on your relationships with clients. Any remote worker should have strategies in place to ensure they are building relationships with their remote customer base both during and after projects. When working through an online market place there are a number of interaction points which are key in relationship building with new clients:
- Project Proposal – The first time you make contact with someone will probably be through a proposal for a piece of work. Your proposal should answer any questions that are asked, show your skillset and experience, and prove that you are capable of performing this work. At TalEngthe winning proposals often give something additional to the standard answers, and go on to prove that you are not only able to perform the piece of work, but that you are an oil & gas consultant who can be considered a subject matter expert who will add value to any oil and gas projects. Examples of this include writing a brief technical paper about East Mediterranean geology for a subsurface project in Egypt, or attaching previous deliverables and a CAD user methodology for a project requiring technical drawings. Proving you can deliver is the best way to ensure you win the work.
- Interviews – Approaching a remote interview is very similar to the face-to-face equivalents which we are all familiar with (if you need an interview preparation reminder then you can find some good advice here). However, there are some small changes to consider:
- Connection – Too many times we are left failing to connect via skype or other online tools. So have a telephone at hand as a backup.
- Expertise – Hiring a remote worker is done to fill a specific skills gap, and for an oil & gas consultant your value is the skills and knowledge you possess. This means the interviewer is sure to quiz you on your technical experience and ability to perform the task required. Make sure to brush up on any technical points that might come up related to your engineering specialism.
- Your work method – Make sure you know how you will work, when you will be online and available, and how you will communicate with the rest of the project team. Even if these questions aren’t asked, you should have a plan in place and bring it up in an interview to prove that you are able to work remotely effectively.
- Communication During a Project – Now you are remote there is no one able to verify that you are working as you say you are, and you need to build trust with a new client before they will consider you as part of their team. The easiest way to do this is to communicate regularly and to make sure your schedule is known to the client.
- Project Close Out – A proper de-brief where both parties can learn how to work better in the future helps everyone in the remote working world. This is also where you sign off a project and part ways with a client, so is your last chance to impress them to make sure they come back to you for the next study. As an oil and gas consultant remote working will increasingly become the norm, so these close-out discussions are key to realising how you need to improve.
- Follow Up – It’s not much to ask to keep relationships going, and repeat work is the easiest form of business development you have in the remote working world. Maintain regular contact with people you have worked with previously, and don’t be scared to reach out to say “I might have some spare time coming up”, you never know when it might lead to a future project.