My Career: From Start to Finnish
Finnish and Australian work cultures are fairly similar, says Adam
Get to know more about Adam via LinkedIn.Adam Franklin
Adam Franklin, Australia. Head of Nordic Business Development
Adam Franklin has always enjoyed working overseas. After stints in the US and the Middle East, Adam returned to work in quality assurance in his native Australia. Still, there was one more continent he wanted to experience: Europe. Finland was an easy pick as Adam’s wife is Finnish and a move to the Nordics had always been in the cards.
Fast forward four years, and Adam has settled in Espoo and works as the head of Nordic business development at a major insurance company. He still gets surprised by how early Finns like to eat lunch, but otherwise he sees Finnish and Australian work cultures as quite similar. What Adam would like to see, though, is businesses hiring more international talent.
Adam enjoys exploring new places.Adam Franklin
How I landed my current job is… I studied science at university and ended up working in the manufacturing sector in different quality assurance roles. I was really interested in working overseas and ended up working out of the Middle East and then the US, which was an excellent career opportunity. After some time, I moved back to Australia and transitioned my skills into Lean Six Sigma, where I have worked ever since.
When I moved to Finland, I was keen to move out of manufacturing and into the service sector. I was interested to see if I could use my knowledge and skills in a new sector and was lucky enough to find a job here. I say lucky because it really is hard to land roles here outside of IT and software development.
What I enjoy most about my work is… solving problems and learning about how a business works. Every project I work on is different and has new challenges, so it doesn’t get repetitive or boring.
I’m also fortunate to have a Nordic role, so I can travel for work and see other countries. I also get to work with different teams, which is interesting. Lastly, I have a great team, and I really enjoy working with the management team I’m a part of.
“International employees bring new knowledge and experience into a company.”
My typical day starts with… coffee and breakfast, and then I walk my son to daycare. After that, I start work at 9 am and work through until 5 pm. I’m lucky enough to work for a company with a flexible work environment. So some days I’ll work in the office, others at home.
The main differences in working life in Finland compared to other countries where I have worked are… there’s not a lot of difference, to be honest, except for lunch. I’m always surprised when I walk past our company restaurant and there are people eating lunch at 11 am. This is really early compared to Australia, where people would have lunch between 12 and 1 pm. Many offices also don’t have their own restaurants, and we usually don’t eat a large, cooked lunch like here.
Downhill skiing is a sport Adam has picked up since moving to Finland.Adam Franklin
If I could change one thing about Finnish working life, it would be… I’d liked to see businesses be more open to hiring international people. However, I haven’t seen any fundamental cultural differences between Finns and Australians, and the work environment and expectations are the same.
Language can be tricky sometimes, but international employees can more than make up for it by bringing new knowledge and experience into a company. Language seems to be a bigger issue here than in Sweden or Norway.
My favourite thing about Finland is… being able to live in an area with good services and facilities yet still being close to nature. We have a lot of forests and beaches in Australia, but depending on where you live, some can require a lot of driving to get to them. Here it’s easy to access nice areas.
The work-life balance here is also much better than in Australia and a lot better than in the US, at least when I worked there. Finns can work hard but also appreciate that spending time with their family and enjoying life is important.
Adam and his wife thought living in Finland would be a good experience for their kids.Adam Franklin
I like living in Espoo because… it has great services. It’s a quiet place to live but still close enough to Helsinki if you want a little more excitement. Also, we are lucky to be close to the metro and still have easy access to the Espoo central forest.
The hobbies that I have really enjoyed practising in Finland are… I really love mountain biking. The hills here are a little small, but it’s still fun. I also enjoy kayaking around the various islands. One new sport I’ve picked up since moving here is downhill skiing. It wasn’t really a skill I needed in Australia.