U. S. Navy Nukes are highly trained and highly sought after. Most of us will never have a problem getting a job after our Naval Career. Here’s why you will dominate the work force when you enter the civilian world…
You have experience in handling crisis situations
What this means is when the rest of the office is crapping their pants you’ll be able to maintain a calm attitude. After sitting through several propulsion plant casualty drills and dealing with senior chief all day, nothing is going to be a big deal to you on the outside. When I was an engineer, this was about as hectic as it got (see video below).
2) LEADERSHIP ABILITY
Nobody wants to be in charge. Absolutely nobody wants to be responsible. Nobody wants to be the person who has to make the deadline, or lead the group meeting. Until a Nuke arrives…HERE I AM TO SAVE THE DAY!
“Hey Bob, What did you do in the Navy?”
“I operated nuclear reactors.”
“Well do you think you can handle the morning meeting?”
After 6 years or more as a Nuke, you will be good at getting people to follow you and at leading projects to their successful conclusion. I’m not sure where in the program we learned this skill, but I know they are not teaching it in college or highschool. And they especially are not teaching this skill at most companies. If you get hired on and people start to see that you have some leadership ability, you can pretty much write your own ticket, because NOBODY wants to be the person who is responsible for the success or failure of the project. They will not mind taking credit for your success, but eventually you will rise to that level and begin taking credit for other people’s success :).
3) THE ABILITY TO BUILD RAPPORT
THIS ONE IS HUGE. All that time spent shooting the bull with your watch team and kidding around with the rest of your buddies in berthing is probably the most underrated skill you will get from the program. The ability to make people like you, or the ability to be liked by people is FREAKING HUGE in the civilian work force. I have never worked at a place where everyone got along. Everyone is always afraid that someone else is trying to stab them in the back. The engineers feel like the technicians don’t want to do anything, the technicians hate the engineers, neither the engineers nor the technicians like the management, and middle management, can’t stand upper management. The guys from operations don’t think the the guys in maintenance are doing their job, and nobody knows why Human Resources people get paid as much as they do.
I always got along with EVERYBODY. But I have seen guys from night shift screw over the day crew just because they didn’t like someone on day shift. Having spent 6 years as an enlisted guy in the program, I could sympathize with all the technicians that hated their engineers. And having spent some time as an engineer, I now have much more respect for the officers I served under because managing techs can be a freaking nightmare…because NOBODY gets along.
If you didn’t learn to get along with people as a nuke, then I don’t know how you made it through your hitch. Chances are, as a nuke you are able to get along well with just about anyone and this will help you more than you can imagine in your engineering / technical career.
At my first engineering job, I could not for the life of me figure out how to use Pro-Engineering, a drafting/design software program. However, the technicians on my team liked me so much more than the other engineers that they usually designed all of my test setups for me. It took a huge load off of me and allowed me to focus on other things (like paperwork…the bane of every engineer’s existence). Anyway, I could list 1000 other ways that learning how to be like-able helped me get jobs and positions that I never should have been qualified for, but I think you get the point.