Never before have we had a bigger change agent than the pandemic. It tested scenarios that had never been tested before. It connected people across the world on very similar problems. And it launched the workforce into finding both balance and impact in their careers.
The path we were on before in energy was largely unsustainable. While this information sounds so final, it isn’t really news. Even before life-changing events had an impact on the world we know, we were already mentally tired. From challenging one another’s beliefs to questioning everything we thought we knew, we're not taking care of ourselves as we should – which is why realigning our purpose is key to shaping our future.
But what does that look like?
4 Life-Changing Lessons The Workforce Needs To Move Forward
Aligning one’s professional passions with a career in energy is pushing the narrative that work is life. But what happens when you have a life outside of work, too?
These professional women discuss the 4 keys to driving change and exploring their interests more comprehensively, thoroughly, and…passionately!
1. Be Resilient In Every Situation
The pandemic first and foremost taught us resiliency. Monica Krishnan, Technology & Development Manager at Chevron, transitioned from traveling in the field to working from home or in the office. This transition pushed her team to explore their options. Her team began utilizing technology that already existed but was not frequently used. It became essential to the operation and allowed them to continue their work.
In addition to the technology bridge, everyone was experiencing the same work-from-home issues at the same time. Monica recalls a call with a woman in Singapore whose young child was dancing in the background. The challenges of motherhood transcend continents, and everyone working from home could understand that we were all doing our best. We showed up, not perfectly, and did our jobs under enormous pressure.
2. Start With Your Passion First
A profitable workforce is one that is passionate about what they do. The boundaries between work and life are often blurred. Jamie Elrod, Emissions Management Leader at Baker Hughes, mentions that your passion may or may not lie within your work. Her passion lies in finding out how to make oil and gas cleaner. This passion extended beyond the four walls of the office and resulted in the creation of Flipping the Barrel, an energy podcast.
When people would question how she had enough time in the day to get it done, she responded with: you’d be surprised how much time you have in a day when you’re going after what you’re passionate about.
Lean into your passion with confidence knowing that change is happening. Be on the front lines either as a candidate or a company. Sign up today to get started.
3. Find A New Balance
When the circumstances change, you cannot return to normal or rely on the same balance you had before. Jamie noted that when you have the passion, you learn how to find a balance that works for you. Some professionals may want to leave work at work and do what they want out of office hours. Others, like Jamie, allow their passion to ooze into all areas of their life.
Using her background in debate, Jennifer Emerson, Enterprise Recovery Manager at Shell, determines that balance is also found in seeing both sides of the argument. In addition to that perspective, she learned that balance is found in advocating for yourself.
Other people’s opinions in the grand scheme of things do not matter. If you’re not happy, change it. You don’t have to continue down the path if the balance isn’t there.
4. Own Your Own Biases
Even though it’s easy to think of ‘Break the Bias’ at a macro level, it’s even more critical and essential for us to look in the mirror and see what biases we have. Jamie vulnerably spoke up about her own bias – especially when it came to working mothers.
Before she had her daughter, she couldn’t wrap her head around why these moms were running late or why their children were screaming in the background of Zoom calls. It took her being in the exact same situation to have a level of understanding and solidarity with these women.
So what does that mean for us? It means we need to identify what biases we are currently holding. Are we judging others for something out of their control? Are we not pushing back on something that feels comfortable (or at least protecting ourselves from the uncomfortable)?
Own your own biases and work towards breaking those.
On the ALLY site, we release countless resources for you to help break through those biases, build a culture worth being proud of, and help bridge the gap in the energy transition. Read more here.
Want Incredible Talent & Insights On Culture?
Professional women in the energy industry have made more than one thing clear. There is room for attentive parents in the workforce, passion drives motivation, and women can drive impact.
The empathy and understanding around being a parent and energy professional shouldn’t take another working mother to comprehend. ALLY is driving diversity, equity, and inclusion across the board.
For new ideas to bring new change, the transformation needs to start from the top. When companies have the data and insights to evaluate their hiring processes, there is no more brushing reality under the rug. Whether a company chooses to improve its hiring data is what will set them apart in the eyes of qualified candidates that want to drive impact.
Sign up with ALLY Energy today as a candidate or a company to join the mission of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. The change starts with you. Get started today.