Igor Soroka, Russia. Software engineer
“Be optimistic and don't be afraid of Finland.”
Igor came to Finland to complete a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Once here, however, the peaceful and technologically advanced environment helped him to cultivate a passion for programming.
These days he is working as a software engineer. Igor landed his current job after a recruiter found him on LinkedIn and called him to offered a great opportunity. “It is very important to have a great CV and a profile on LinkedIn to be seen,” Igor feels. Now he is helping others to find their dream job with a project called Geek Export.
What he finds surprising about working in Finland is the implementation of work-life balance in the culture. “It has surprised me a lot. I think that this is the secret of great results in the IT field in Finland.”
My initial expectations of Finland were… that I would end up in a very cold and dark country, but it turned out that there are great possibilities to develop myself and have a great work-life balance, a harmony between family life, career, personal projects and long-distance running.
If I could change one thing about Finnish working life it would be… that sometimes it seems that decisions are made slowly. However, this is a benefit because it gives more time to plan and prioritise issues.
The piece of advice I would give to someone contemplating coming to work in Finland is… be optimistic and don’t be afraid of Finland. It is a very heartfelt country with great people! Every situation is different. However, I recommend visiting Finland first as a participant in some events. A good example of such an event is a hackathon called Junction. It is a great way to meet the international community of curious and bold people.
Working in Finland’s IT industry has taught me… multiple things:
– Work-life balance. What I like most about Finnish IT is that people stick to schedules and prefer to work 7.5–8 hours per day. This means that they really spend time on optimising and automating work processes.
– Low hierarchy. I would like to mention that having complex organisations is not popular in many companies. Finns are creating workplaces based on trust and respect where managers trust their employees.
– Inclusive environment. It means that here in Finland all people are welcome no matter their native language, race, sexual orientation or gender. Most of the jobs for software professionals are posted with English as the main language, which makes the industry very attractive for those who don’t speak the local languages.
Why I enjoy most living in the city of Espoo is… because of its forests and endless seashore with beautiful scenery. It is amazing to switch off from the office and work by walking or running close to nature.