August 26, 2019

My career: From start to Finnish

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GNF

Polina Zyaparova, Russia
Marketing and communications specialist

Polina came to Finland five years ago to pursue a master’s degree in advocacy and conflict studies. Such was the rarity of this programme that she did not find any similar alternatives from other universities, so Finland was at the top of her list. During her studies, Polina realised that communications and content creation could be something she could see a future career in. She started actively building her CV with local work experience, and networking by volunteering at various companies as a social media communications support worker, participating in projects and taking additional certification trainings. All of this eventually led her to her current place of work.

1.What I find surprising about working in Finland is… that my first working experience, career wise, is from Finland, so I do not really have anything to compare it to. I can say that I really like and appreciate the feedback system here. I would assume that in Russia feedback can sometimes be perceived as an attack or criticism, while in Finland it is encouraged so that a company can improve its operations.

2. My favourite thing about Finland is… the pace and style of life. I like how people are active and mobile here. I think the reason for it is convenient proximity to all main services, places and facilities. So, you never fall victim to exhausting commuting.

3. The piece of advice I would give to someone contemplating coming to work in Finland is… to think about what could be your competitive advantage in this already competitive enough environment. But if you are a tech guy or girl, the whole process of job hunting will be much easier! Another tip would be to get some research done, before coming to Finland, on potential companies, events, Facebook groups and gatherings in your industry. There are plenty of meet-ups organised in English for UX designers, coders, marketers, entrepreneurs… the list goes on. Just come and mingle. It is a very important part!

4. The words that best describes working here are… casual and direct. Hierarchy is not prevalent in the Finnish work environment, but the sense of team work and peer support is strong.

5. The best way to enjoy the weekend after a working week is… by exploring the islands nearby, or making a budget-friendly day trip by bus to Porvoo, Turku, Fiskars or one of the other cities and historic villages. It is a good way to change focus and just unwind.

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