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DrTron

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Getting in from a different country
« on: Jun 16, 2017, 12:06 »
Hi folks,

I just have a sort of general question: "What may I be doing wrong?"

I have been working in a NPP in Germany (where I currently live) for 8 years now, am a highly qualified and experienced expert and manager. I now want to continue my career in the US. I do have a Green Card, but still never got an interview from my applications. Several people in the industry told me my qualifications as well as my resume were outstanding, but they did not have a position at the time. I certainly have unescorted access here, and am told I can get that in the US, too (no criminal history of any kind). I have been applying for superintendent/manager level positions. A supervisor position would be losing too much.

So what are US plants afraid of?

Thanks for any advice you may be able to give.

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26, 2017, 02:21 »
Hmm - nobody?

Offline tolstoy

Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #2 on: Jun 27, 2017, 08:20 »
There are a handful of managers at each site for each department. In most cases these people have come up through the ranks and are familiar with process and protocol. In every case there is a cadre of trusted friends and colleagues who make recommendations. Why would a generating utility hire you over people they know or have been training to move up? That's your question to answer.

Not knowing any other details, I recommend applying for lower tier positions. As a supervisor or lead you can gain trust and begin moving up the ladder if you choose.

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #3 on: Jun 27, 2017, 08:54 »
Admittedly, that is a serious argument. That may be the result of the different work cultures. Here, a manager ususally does not come up from the ranks, but is a highly educated academic with a master's degree at least. I see that this is different in the US.

Thank you for the information. I will at least try to get my education and managerial experience to work in my favor.
« Last Edit: Jun 27, 2017, 08:55 by DrTron »

chuckdhuff

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #4 on: Jun 27, 2017, 09:03 »
I would agree with tolstoy.


Consider this scenario. What if a US commercial nuke qualified department manager decided he wanted to work in a European country doing the same thing? What is the likelihood that the theoretical utility owner in say France would pick an experienced American Ops or Maintenance Manager over a French one? On top of that, when you consider the number of experienced US Nuke workers now or soon to be looking for employment due to plant closures, its not that difficult to figure out.


If you really want to make the transition, you probably need to aim a little lower on the ladder and expect to be starting over. If you are as qualified and experienced as you say you are, it shouldn't take long to make your way up to where you want to be.

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #5 on: Jun 27, 2017, 09:54 »
Thanks for the advice, guys!

Well, I know of some German managers who switched to similar roles in Switzerland, but maybe that's not comparable. Several people well connected in the US industry told me about a lack of qualified and experienced managers due to several reasons. Of course I have no way to verify this, and I guess I didn't take plant closures into account. So far that has not happened on a large scale and hopefully won't ever.

Actually, to me a superintendent position is already "aiming low" and I don't suppose people are hired to jobs they are grossly overqualified for. At least it's not done here, for a variety of reasons.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #6 on: Jun 27, 2017, 10:01 »
probly won problem is the "why" a highly qualified and experienced expert and manager wood bee wanting too relocate to a different country two expand there career.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #7 on: Jun 27, 2017, 10:11 »
@SloGlo: Because Germany's phasing out nuclear altogether, that's why. In 2022 the last plants will close permanently, many others have already shut down.

Of course, I can do decommissioning or switch fields altogether, but I'm convinced of nuclear power and would prefer to contribute to it at an operating plant.

Offline ipregen

Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #8 on: Jun 27, 2017, 12:11 »


I have been working in a NPP in Germany (where I currently live) for 8 years now, am a highly qualified and experienced expert and manager.
So what are US plants afraid of?

Thanks for any advice you may be able to give.

Hi DrTron, your well connected insiders seems to be misleading you. You only have 8 years experience, most people in management positions have more than 8 years experience,  many have masters degrees or above. You appear to bring little to the table by not mentioning what your experience is. 

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #9 on: Jun 27, 2017, 12:52 »
@ipregen

since you asked, I might as well:
- PhD in Chemistry
- Head of EP Dept.
- Deputy Head of RP and Chemistry Depts.

And of course the experience that come with these. The 8 years are just the ones in nuclear power, I have RP and management experience from my days in research as well.

Offline Marlin

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #10 on: Jun 27, 2017, 01:17 »
@ipregen

since you asked, I might as well:
- PhD in Chemistry
- Head of EP Dept.
- Deputy Head of RP and Chemistry Depts.

And of course the experience that come with these. The 8 years are just the ones in nuclear power, I have RP and management experience from my days in research as well.

   You need to broaden your search beyond utilities and look at some of the larger companies that support the power plants or to the corporate offices. You will not find employment at most national labs which unfortunately is where your resume seems a good fit. One Indian PE I worked with was looking forward to returning to India as he wanted the very nepotism that you want to avoid. His reasoning was that he did not like the American practice of warehousing our old, meaning retirement homes.
   Your search may also be complicated by our flux in immigration and work permits policies. I don't know if you noticed but we have someone with a very large paddle stirring the pot in DC.


  [stir]


Good luck








DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #11 on: Jun 27, 2017, 01:42 »
I have noticed :-)

I do have a Green Card, but you are correct in that the National Labs won't take me even though it might be  a good fit. Most of the labs do research on nuclear weapons. I wouldn't mind, but they usually require citizenship due to the clearance requirements.

Offline Marlin

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #12 on: Jun 27, 2017, 02:26 »
I have noticed :-)

I do have a Green Card, but you are correct in that the National Labs won't take me even though it might be  a good fit. Most of the labs do research on nuclear weapons. I wouldn't mind, but they usually require citizenship due to the clearance requirements.

   The labs go far beyond nuclear weapons here in Oak Ridge. Y-12 is the DOE weapons facility but much more is done there, it is also the site of the highly enriched uranium storage from Russia and the US as a result of disarmament talks. Oak Ridge National Labs is a separate site here that does basic research in many areas outside of nuclear weapons in power distribution, nanotechnology, nuclear spallation facility for materials research, one of the fastest computers on earth and so on. The manufacturing labs at ORNL 3D printed several working cars. The National Nuclear Security Administration (Y-12) is a part of DOE pretty much in name only as it has a separate budget and mission.

   There are foreign nationals working at ORNL but I believe that most are involved in specific projects like the Japanese who have reserved a lot of time at the Neutron Spallation facility. I don't know what your chances are but if you want to look into it here is the ORNL job site link.

https://www.ornl.gov/careers
« Last Edit: Jun 27, 2017, 02:29 by Marlin »

Offline ipregen

Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #13 on: Jun 27, 2017, 02:54 »
So lets see where to begin, you have been living and working in Germany for the past 8 years, you have a green card that is typically good for 10 years so BUT, one of the requirements of the card is PERMANENT resident status. So, there may be questions about that. You may posses a card but it may not be valid now.  Your PhD is in Chem is good but most US stations favor Engineering over chemistry. Your experience would have a higher value if you had been an Operations manager and / or been a licensed Operator. You seem to think that a Superintendent position would be beneath you. You may want to consider that may your job titles are not the same as our job titles as far as authority and requirements. Our current number of operating stations is shrinking so there may be a surplus of candidates. A lot of people in the business here have a network of contacts and help each other relocate. These things may be hard to overcome. In addition the USNRC and INPO guidelines and regulations may be the familiarity that you are not showing on your resume. Where you were before Germany may be a point of interest also.

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #14 on: Jun 27, 2017, 03:05 »
The GC is valid. It was issued only recently and to avoid trouble I have applied for a so-called Re-Entry Permit, which lets me stay out of the country. Relocation to the US obviously doesn't make sense until I have a job there. Oh, and I forgot about the SRO management certificate. A German one, obviously. And I have taken part in a WANO/INPO mission. All of this is certainly in the resume.

True, I am not an engineer or in operations, so that isn't the department I'm aiming at, either.

Of course I realize that networking is a priority (kinda difficult if you need to rely on E-Mail mostly). But I keep trying :-)

Offline Marlin

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #15 on: Jun 28, 2017, 02:39 »
   The labs go far beyond nuclear weapons here in Oak Ridge. Y-12 is the DOE weapons facility but much more is done there, it is also the site of the highly enriched uranium storage from Russia and the US as a result of disarmament talks. Oak Ridge National Labs is a separate site here that does basic research in many areas outside of nuclear weapons in power distribution, nanotechnology, nuclear spallation facility for materials research, one of the fastest computers on earth and so on. The manufacturing labs at ORNL 3D printed several working cars. The National Nuclear Security Administration (Y-12) is a part of DOE pretty much in name only as it has a separate budget and mission.

   There are foreign nationals working at ORNL but I believe that most are involved in specific projects like the Japanese who have reserved a lot of time at the Neutron Spallation facility. I don't know what your chances are but if you want to look into it here is the ORNL job site link.

https://www.ornl.gov/careers

OK, never mind.

President’s budget request could lead to 1,600 layoffs at ORNL

http://oakridgetoday.com/2017/06/27/feinstein-presidents-budget-request-lead-1600-layoffs-ornl/

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #16 on: Jun 28, 2017, 03:16 »
You're right, that does not really sound promising :-(

Offline Red Gold

Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #17 on: Jun 29, 2017, 05:59 »
I'm going to keep this short and sweet: forget about being hired at a US nuclear plant until you actually live in North America. Green card holders who live and have made a home in the United States are able to get work in the industry. At a stretch someone from, say, Canada may be hired. But living in Germany? You have very little chance. There are multiple reasons for this, but they don't really matter. You're up against too much competition (including tons of people with postgraduate degrees and relevant experience) and hiring managers are unlikely to take a chance on you when you don't even live on the same continent. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
« Last Edit: Jun 29, 2017, 06:00 by Red Gold »

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #18 on: Jun 30, 2017, 02:21 »
@Red Gold:

Now exactly those reasons would be interesting. Of course I want to "live and make a home in the United States". But would it really make sense to move before having a job and before even knowing which region in the US it'll be? Sure, I could quit my job here, move someplace in the US, and start writing applications. But would that improve things? Now if you said "They are not going to hire you unless you already WORK in the US", I could understand that, but merely living there?

I do have an US address which I use for applications and state in those applications that I'm certainly expecting to relocate and that I would be available for an interview on a short notice. I wouldn't even expect for the company to pay for the trip. So why would I be worse off under these conditions compared to living in the US?

chuckdhuff

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #19 on: Jun 30, 2017, 09:26 »
@Red Gold:

Now exactly those reasons would be interesting. Of course I want to "live and make a home in the United States". But would it really make sense to move before having a job and before even knowing which region in the US it'll be? Sure, I could quit my job here, move someplace in the US, and start writing applications. But would that improve things? Now if you said "They are not going to hire you unless you already WORK in the US", I could understand that, but merely living there?

I do have an US address which I use for applications and state in those applications that I'm certainly expecting to relocate and that I would be available for an interview on a short notice. I wouldn't even expect for the company to pay for the trip. So why would I be worse off under these conditions compared to living in the US?


Supply vs. Demand


You're up against too much competition (including tons of people with postgraduate degrees and relevant experience) and hiring managers are unlikely to take a chance on you when you don't even live on the same continent.

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #20 on: Jun 30, 2017, 09:36 »
Supply vs. Demand
Sure, that's a general thing I can't do much about. It all depends on the supply of and demand for people with my qualifications. And I have no idea how that looks like currently. At least hereabouts, the supply is scarce, but the demand not high, either.

I just don't see how that would change if I were already living in the US.

Offline Red Gold

Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #21 on: Jun 30, 2017, 12:25 »
The supply is FAR higher here than in Germany. A comparatively huge civilian nuclear power sector (even with some plants closing, still about 100 units, and many are likely to operate for many more decades) plus a large nuclear navy (which Germany does not have) has resulted in a large number of highly qualified candidates available. There are probably literally dozens of people who'd apply for the same jobs you are who have the same qualifications as you but also, for example, have been a shift manager at a US plant, or have served honorably in the US Navy. I think there is a disconnect between your own idea of how competitive you are for these jobs (very) vs how competitive you actually are (not very, I'm afraid).

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #22 on: Jun 30, 2017, 02:29 »
probly best bet is two wait out current position demise, then move ware work may bee available. india could bee a prime candidate four yew. udder countries witch are ordering knew plants wood be worth looking into all sew.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

RockSalt

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #23 on: Jun 30, 2017, 11:44 »
So, you use a U.S. address ,even though you do not live here? You must know that any security investigation would reveal that you do not live here. I wonder if you are being truthful about your situation and intentions.
Enough already.....

DrTron

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Re: Getting in from a different country
« Reply #24 on: Jul 01, 2017, 05:58 »
So, you use a U.S. address ,even though you do not live here? You must know that any security investigation would reveal that you do not live here. I wonder if you are being truthful about your situation and intentions.

Oh, I certainly am truthful. I just use the US address to deal with automated career portal systems that might be weeding out any application not from the US. I clearly state in my cover letter that I currently don't live in the US, and that fact is quite obvious from my phone number, too. I'm certainly not hiding anything, not that it would do any good, now would it?

 


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