My career: From start to Finnish
TL Viswanathan, India
Head of products at a telecommunications company
TL used to work for a Finnish company when he was based in India. Due to his management role, he had to travel quite frequently to Finland and Europe and got to know the way of life here. In his words, he loved Finland. Thus, when he was offered a management role based in Helsinki, he jumped at the opportunity. His young family was open to a new journey and knowing a little about how his Finnish colleagues lived made the decision even easier.
1. What I find surprising about working in Finland is… the respect for personal and family time. It’s quite normal and okay to leave work early and pick up your kids or tell your boss that you’re in the gym at 3 pm and can’t make a meeting.
2. The piece of advice I would give to someone contemplating coming to work in Finland is… do it! Finland has impressed me with the level of professionalism at the workplace, facilities for families, a great outdoor culture and emphasis on education at all levels.
3. The best way to enjoy the weekend after a working week is… well, my daughter’s hobby classes take up most of Saturdays, which is good way to meet like-minded young parents. But after that, I run along the sea in Kaivopuisto or hit the gym and unwind in the sauna. There are some great Lebanese restaurants in the city, where we enjoy the occasional weekend brunch.
4. The biggest difference between my initial expectations of Finland and what I experienced has been… our interaction with the locals. Finns have been really warm, welcoming and social. In fact, we currently have more Finnish than Indian families as friends.
5. The most influential Finn in my life is… the ‘Iceman’ – Kimi Räikkonen. I have followed him and the sport for nearly a decade, and he has been a perfect example of ‘work hard and party harder’.
We are getting to know what people born abroad think about working life in Finland.
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