My Career: From Start to Finnish
Keanne moved here in 1999 with a short-term plan and stayed ever since
Keanne van de Kreeke, the Netherlands. Artist/illustrator
“What I find surprising about working in Finland is that there is more work flexibility here.”
1. The reason I ended up in Finland is… a drive for experience: as a couple, my husband and I studied in Norway (Erasmus), met lovely Finns there, and got interested in moving abroad to get life and work experience. We moved here in 1999 with a 2–5-year plan, this being 19 years ago now.
2. What I find surprising about working in Finland is… that there is more work flexibility here. In Central Europe, more responsibility is left to the worker. Here you can more easily combine different concepts of working.
3. If I could change one thing about Finnish working life it would be… communication. Because of a very supportive system, people expect more, communicate less, think less critically and have less sense of their own responsibility. I feel this is slowly changing.
4. My favourite things about Finland are… forests, seasons and endless space. Personally, we function better having space around us. Nature is feeding our ideas and drive, and keeps our feet on the ground.
5. My best tips for surviving winter in Finland are… store wood, keep your hands and feet warm, drink lots of ginger tea, and go out at least for a while to enjoy the clear, frosty air. Dark winters without snow and frost are the hardest.