My Career: From Start to Finnish
Speaking Finnish is like a superpower for Frenchman Mathieu
Mathieu Nicodeme, France. International sales director
“I got my current job by hard work and persistence.”
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.