I started this website circa 2010 as a way to give back to the Navy Nuke Community. At the time I saw a need for an increased ability for Nukes to network with eachother vis a vis the acquisition of gainful employment. The idea came to me when I was in law school because my 2.9 GPA meant that networking was the ONLY way I was ever going to get a job in the legal profession.
The good thing about building a network is that you are able to bypass all the BS that goes hand and hand with the job search process that we know today. If you network properly, the entire application process becomes little more than a formality. This is how people in the 6 figure world do it. The last 2 jobs I was hired for didn’t involve filling out any online application, no resume submission, and no interview process (other than this is how we do things here…when can you start).
That’s kind of what I was going for when I built this website and with that in mind, I have been contemplating a few changes that could mean the end of Navy Nuke Job Finder…as we currently know it. The goal was always to help as many Nukes as possible find their dream job, in the easiest / most hassle free way possible. In the last 4 years I have seen two things happen.
- Navy Nuke Job Finder has helped a ton of Nukes find gainful employment.
- navynukejobfinder.com has not helped many people find gainful employment.
Sounds like a paradox, but it’s really not. You see, in building the website, I also built an accompanying Facebook Group, Facebook Page, and LinkedIn Group. It is really these social networking sites that are affiliated with navynukejobfinder.com, which provide all the value to Navy Nukes.
The website really serves as little more than a hub, which gets people to these social networking sites and also directs Nukes and Nuke Recruiters to sign up to the Navy Nuke Job Finder Newsletter.
The best thing about this whole process is that it all happens with almost zero input from me. People find the website or the social networking sites and then commence to networking. They find a recruiter or company, get hooked up with a job, and go on making money, all without ever getting me involved. It’s an awesome process and I’m proud to be a part of it, but really, you guys make it all happen (Nukes, Recruiters, and Employers).
I get several emails from Nukes going into the program, leaving the program, and also from various Recruiters and Employers, but other than answering those emails and moderating the various social networking pages, the process is mostly hands off for me.
However, I am always looking for ways to improve the process. I think there is some kind of pride genetic mutation in every Nuke that says, “I want to be the best,” and I don’t just want to be “a” site for Navy Nukes, I want to be THE site for Navy Nukes.
That is the reason for this post, and I hope you can help me, or give me some of your input, as to how you think I can go about improving what has become Navy Nuke Job Finder.
Basically, me writing this post is really just me thinking out loud and hoping a few nukes out there will join in the process and apply their brilliant mind to some of the questions I pose here. Let’s get started…
Issues That Arise on the Facebook Page
I have been looking at the Facebook Group and just examining the posts to try and determine how to make the process better. The Nukes who visit the page basically have 4 different type of posts.
Have any leads on a Job in ___________(state)?
Looking for Job Opportunities in the ________ area of the country.
Do you have connections at _________ power plant / company?
I get out in __________ months, what should I be doing as far as a job search?
The post above is from an MM with a BioChem BS, looking for a job around Birmingham. I see a post like this and I can’t help but think, “where is the bottleneck? what could be made better?”
One the ideas I’m constantly toying with is building an ap for Navy Nukes that allows you guys to register your name and area of the country where you work. Or the ap might keep track of where you have worked (employer and location). If the biggest question we get on the Facebook page is, “Do you have any connections in _______ part of the country because I want to work there?” then I think an ap that lists thousands of Navy Nukes and what part of the country they work in / have worked in / have connections in, would be beneficial for any nuke looking to work in a specific part of the country?
What do you think about such an ap? Good idea? Bad idea? What ideas do you have regarding same?
Recruiters / Employers Need Help Too
The Recruiters have two basic issues that are commonly posted on the Facebook page.
Any leads on Ex Navy Nukes looking for work in ________ location / industry?
- Looking for Field Service Techs / Engineers.
There are a lot of recruiters who post for a specific industry, and there are a lot who post for a specific location. The post above is regarding a specific industry (the steel industry). I’ve spoken to this recruiter personally and know that he has tons of steel industry positions all over the country, which is why he never limits his post to any specific location.
Again I look at this and I have to think that there is a more efficient way than just posting to a social networking site. I just can’t quite put my finger on what that more efficient process is.
A lot of what I’m doing on NNJF is already being done on LinkedIn, but as helpful as LinkedIn is, it can be a very cumbersome platform to use. I know that several recruiters have had tons of success using the various NNJF platforms. Many of these recruiters see the success that NNJF brings them, and have gone on to build their own personal platforms (blogs, Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles).
What’s Wrong With the Current System
The first problem is that I don’t own Facebook. I don’t own LinkedIn. Mark Zuckerburg (sp?) could decide to kill the Navy Nuke Job Finder Facebook Page tomorrow and I can’t do anything about it. The LinkedIn people could do the same. The only thing I have full control over is NavyNukeJobFinder.com and the Navy Nuke Job Finder Newsletter. I don’t know what Facebook and LinkedIn will look like in 20 years, but I know that I’ll still have complete control over my own web property.
The second problem is that the social networking pages are too inefficient.
What’s the Solution for Navy Nukes Looking For Employment
I guess what I’m really after is more connection and easier connection. What I don’t want this to become is just another job board, or monster.com for Nukes. Job boards suck because they are nameless and faceless and you might as well be throwing your resume into the job lottery and hope it gets seen by someone who can actually get you a job.
At one time I had a forum on this website, but it never really caught on. NukeWorker.com has a great forum, but I wanted this website to fill a niche that isn’t quite being served by nukeworker. One, I wanted this website to be friendlier, two, I wanted this website to be less Nuky (think “Senior Chief”), and three, I wanted this website to also serve Nukes who had no interest in working in the nuclear or electrical energy field.
At this point I don’t think a forum is the best solution because the internet is trending mobile (cell phones, Ipads, watches, google glass) and forums do not adapt well to mobile yet (and may never). Additonally, Facebook and LinkedIn do not adapt well to mobile. You can only fit so many of those posts on your tiny cell phone screen. Which is why I continue to toy with the idea of building an ap to help Navy Nukes get jobs.
But what exactly would that ap do? That’s the question I’m trying to answer. What would the ap do that is not already being accomplished by Facebook and LinkedIn? How can I make it better?
I figure I can outsource the design and have the ap built for about $5,000 or less, I’m just trying to decide what kind of functionality would convince you guys to actually use it. Any ideas?
Trying to Kill The Fear
In the Spring of 2001 I sat in my apartment wondering what in the heck I was going to do to make money. I was leaving the Navy in a month or two and didn’t have any job lined up. That was a terrible feeling. Especially after spending the last 6 years knowing exactly where my next paycheck was coming from. I should have been super excited about getting out of the Navy and instead I had this looming fear and doubt about what I was going to do once I left.
I don’t want any Nuke to ever feel that way. We shouldn’t have to.
Back when I was getting out (2001) you had to use a recruiter to find a job, there was no Facebook or LinkedIn. You either had to use Orion, Bradly Morris, Lucas Group or some other recruiter. And they were the gatekeepers, you took what ever job interviews they put in front of you because for all you knew those were the only jobs available. Sometimes those jobs really weren’t in YOUR best interest, which might be why I got fired from my first job after the Navy.
I know some great recruiters, but the reason I built NNJF and the NNJF Facebook page is because I wanted to be able to connect Nukes with the absolute BEST recruiters, while at the same time decreasing our reliance on gatekeepers. I wanted us, guys and girls who spent six years or more scrubbing blue mats, getting shafted with maintenance items on our day off, and operating nuclear reactors, to help each other get really freaking awesome jobs.
Is there some way that I can accomplish this better? Can I add a functionality to this website or build an app that kills the fear Nukes experience when they find themselves in need of another job?
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below or maybe via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a really long thought that you don’t want to share in the comment section.
DON’T FORGET TO SHARE THIS POST AFTER READING IT, ONE OF YOUR NUKE FRIENDS PROBABLY NEEDS TO SEE IT.