Six-Steps to Get Into Nuclear
The guide below is for anyone who knows they want to work in the nuclear industry but may not be sure of in which role or how to put themselves in a position to land a job.
If you are still unsure whether a career in nuclear is for you, find out more about why you might want to consider a career in nuclear.
If you are all in, have identified the roles you are interested in, have your CV in hand and are ready to apply, head over to our jobs board, set up a profile and start applying for live opportunities.
Know Who You Are
The first step is all about gaining an understanding of your interests, passions, skills and experience.
This step is all about you.
Before you embark on your job-seeking quest, it is important that you understand who you are in consideration of your back story, skills, qualifications likes and passions.
It would help if you considered your strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. The better understanding of this you have the more successful your job seeking endeavours will be.
Call to action
Grab something to take notes on (and a glass of wine if it helps) and take some time to consider the below:
Your culture and experiences
Hobbies and interests
Your qualifications and training
Skills an employer would be interested in
Building on the above list, include everything and anything. Have a 30m swimming badge from when you were 9? List it here.
Assess your Strengths
Assess your Weaknesses
Consider your Opportunities
Consider your Threats
As an example, you can see mine [here].
Know What You Want
The concept of ikigai (’a reason for being’) has long existed in Japanese culture and has become more popular in recent decades across global philosophy.
There are whole books written on the topic, but to find your ikigai, you need to identify the intersection of four areas:
What you are GOOD AT
What you LOVE
What the world NEEDS
What you can be PAID FOR
As part of the first step, we identified what you are GOOD AT and started to consider what you enjoy doing.
This second step is where you can put more focus on what you LOVE.
What do you want
Step one gave you a good understanding of yourself and what you are GOOD AT. You can now consider why you are looking for a career move.
It is essential to consider what you want from a new job. You can then clearly define what you are seeking and be confident in ad-hoc conversations that may provide the chance to discuss career opportunities.
Please don’t underestimate how important it is to have a clear "why" you are looking for a new challenge and that now is the right time to make a change.
You will certainty will come across strongly throughout the whole recruitment endeavour. Even though you may not recognise it, the language you will use and the way that you present yourself will be much more positive.
Call to Action
#1 - Now is an excellent opportunity to consider what you want from your new career. Start with the end in mind and write down what you are looking for - or wish to avoid in your working life.
#2 - In preparation for Step four, list the types of jobs you would be interested in. This could be “Project Manager” or “hands-on work”.
#3 - As a bonus action, you may want to take a personality / behavioural assessment such as DISC or the Myers-Briggs Type to gain an additional perspective on the type of work you would naturally enjoy.
These may look like three simple activities, but it is worth investing some time here as what you learn about yourself will pay dividends. Assessments such as Myers/Briggs help you understand yourself and appreciate the individuality of the others around you.
Know The Business
As part of this particular guide, we are obviously talking about the Nuclear Industry - however, you are welcome to substitute the below with other industries.
Call to Action
Like any industry, the nuclear industry incorporates many businesses across the globe working on all manner of projects. We will not be able to provide all that information here.
And, the good thing is that you don’t need to know everything.
It is good to get an overview of the industry within the country where you will be working and the demand for nuclear technology.
An excellent resource for this is the Country Profile provided by the World Nuclear Association. Click on your particular country to get an overview of the nuclear industry within that part of the world.
For a more general overview of the nuclear industry, the uses of the technology and how nuclear energy forms part of a clean, sustainable future, head on over to our ‘what is nuclear’ pages on GetIntoNuclear.com.
This should be all the information you need, but you can follow the links above to delve deeper into the rabbit hole if you wish.
Know The Skills
As you read this, you should be clear in what you are GOOD AT, what you LOVE and that the world NEEDS nuclear.
The final piece of the puzzle is, what you can be PAID to do within nuclear.
Call to action
Through our career conversations, Get Into Nuclear has been doing this for years, and we've tried many methods of skills mapping over that time. It so happens that the method that is the most effective is the method that is also the most simple.
If not, search “nuclear [insert your role] jobs” or “[insert skill/interest] jobs in nuclear”, into google and you should find several roles that would be of interest to you.
#2 Pick the 2-4 types of jobs you would be interested in. List, or highlight the key skill and experience outlined within the job specification ("e.g. APM or equivalent qualification").
#3 Undertake a skills mapping exercise by making an assessment of your skills and experience against those required for the role.
#4 Make a list of any gaps between the job requirements and your resume.
#5 Based on the above, if you feel that you are ready to apply for live nuclear jobs, continue below.
However, if you feel that you need to upskill yourself before you feel ready to apply for a role, get in touch with us (using the links below) to find out more about where you can find upskill courses relevant to you.
Plan for success
As with the other steps, feel free to add comments or ask questions in the Get Into Nuclear Reddit Group.
Before you move on to the final two steps, it is a good idea to tidy up any notes taken during steps 1-4 to make it easier for you to reference them as you start to action your job-seeking plan.
Know The People
The final two steps are the ones most often missed, but it is where the magic happens. It is curious that they are missed, as the comment that “it is not what you know but who you know” is often used when referring to finding a new job.
You have put a lot of effort into defining what you are GOOD AT, what you LOVE, and what the world NEEDS and is willing to PAY FOR.
As a result, we now have at least 2-4 live jobs that interest you, and you are confident you have the skills to deliver.
The key to landing a job is convincing someone that you have something valuable to offer. This does not mean filling out hundreds of application forms and sending out your CV to any open email address. You must know the key influencers within the nuclear industry, companies and functions you are looking to work in.
Call to Action
Identify the people that can influence and help you to find a job in the nuclear industry. These could be a CEO of a Small Modular Reactor startup, a recruiter who is hiring for a local project, or anyone who works in the industry that is happy to help - you will be surprised at how many people this is!
Hint - it may be useful to reach out to anyone who has previously told their career stories.
We have provided some prompts to give you started below:
Bloggers/Article writers in the press or LinkedIn
Social Media Accounts (Twitter and LinkedIn are the most active for the nuclear industry)
Choose individuals that currently work for, or serve your ideal employers, but don’t directly compete with you or what you offer. For example, reaching out to the Hiring Manager referenced the job application through LinkedIn.
We have seen some amazing success from people willing to put themselves in the frame of mind that they are now actively seeking work in the nuclear industry. During this step, there will be a need for massive action. And continued action.
Some of this may initially take you out of your comfort zone.
#1 Establish yourself as an expert;
At a minimum, update your LinkedIn profile but consider starting a blog or a podcast if applicable to the role you want.
#2 Engage with the people identified above;
Make a connection request, and like/comment on their posts.
#3 Start a conversation;
Provide value in the first exchanges, but be clear in what role you are looking for in nuclear and ask for the opportunity to catch up.
#4 Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from connections;
This was a barrier I found difficult to overcome, but quickly you will realise that people are happy to help.
You may find a post on creating job opportunities useful here.
Prepare for success
This is a great topic to discuss in the Get Into Nuclear forum. Asking for help, and sharing experiences. We have even had the odd employer on the forum in the past.
It is worth watching this YouTube video to learn how best to start establishing yourself as an expert online. [apologies for the bad language in the video, but it is by far the best we could find.]
Not everyone will need to start a blog to land a role, and often reaching out to someone using the contact details on a nuclear job ad can be enough. But for those looking for management, leadership, marketing or sales types roles will benefit from putting themselves out there.
Go for it...
So there you have it. It is time to take what you've learned and implement your career plan.
For most people, this means finding places to upskill and build career capital or apply directly for live nuclear jobs.
In both instances, get in touch below and arrange a time to talk to us.