November 5, 2018

My career: From start to Finnish

1. The reason I ended up in Finland is… a thirst for a new perspective, I wanted to see the world from another country after years of working in France. My wife being Finnish, I thought it would be easier to convince her to return after 15 years abroad. It was not that easy.

2. How I got my current job is… by hard work and persistence. Do not hesitate to ask for help, sometimes all you need is a regular reminder for action and you will find your slot.

3. What I find surprising about working in Finland is… how focused people are. In France, it is usual to discuss plenty of things during the work day, to digress during a meeting, to be unsure about when to finish the day and go home… not here! This attitude allows for much more quality time at home with the family. This is a strength.

4. The piece of advice I would give to someone contemplating coming to work in Finland is… to start learning Finnish immediately. It is not necessary to land a job, but you are likely to have less time and motivation after living here a few years. When you speak Finnish (I do not), it is like having a superpower.

5. My best tips for surviving winter in Finland are… to buy a pair of cross-country skis and use them every day when there is enough snow; make a plan to witness the Northern Lights; when it’s dark, wet and cold, stay inside, read a book and have a warm cup of whatever; if everything fails to raise your spirits, go to sauna and whip your back with frozen tree branches then jump in the freezing water outside. Works for me every time.

In this new series, we are getting to know what people born abroad think about working life in Finland.

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