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Job hunting in Finnish style

News | 5.2.2016

 Photo: Jonathan Loaiza Estrada, Raul Perian, Daria Iurko and Céline Charpentron

On 2 February, as a part of Polku project, The Career Services of University of Turku and Åbo Akademi (Rekry) organised together with The Student Unions TYY, TUO and ÅAS a seminar called “Working in Finland for Foreign Students and Graduates”. Speakers told how international students can apply for jobs or start their own business. There were around 50 students present at the whole event and dozens of students joined the event in the afternoon. The students participated actively in the discussion.

First speaker, Miia Kaerala, Event coordinator from The Regional Organisation of Enterprises in Turku area told about Perspectives on the situation in South West Finland. The times are hard but yet many start they own business. Kaerala also underlined the importance of small businesses in our economy. Labor lawyer Maria Jauhiainen from AKAVA (Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals in Finland) clarified many important labor law themes. She explained how agreements with employer and Finnish labor law affect to worker’s rights. Finnish labor law is complicated and unique. Jauhiainen recommended to study at least the basics to know what you are signing when making the contract.

The most concrete part of the seminar was when four international students arrived to tell about their own experiences how they have applied or managed to get a job after or during their studies. Looking for job is demanding for Finnish people during recession as well so it is especially challenging for international students. All the students shared their stories and gave hints for applying jobs. Looking for jobs and applying takes time but it is worth of it. You need to be persistent, creative and never give up. Skills in Finnish or in Swedish are a big advantage because there are not many career possibilities in Finland where you can use only English. Working culture in Finland has also its specialties. Employers expect that employees are serious and do their job as well as possible. On the other hand, the employees are trusted and there is no spying behind the backs.

Before Rekry’s Leena Juurikas summed up the seminar and welcomed all the students to join Rekry’s events, there was an inspirational speech given by Pirkka Hyssälä, expert from Southwest Finland Employment and Economic Development Office. According to Hyssälä, the world is changing fast and most of the future jobs do not even exist yet. In order to have the best change to get or create job, you need to be creative, enthusiastic and willing to learn new things. The most important thing in order to start business, is of course a good idea that can be sold. He summed up elegantly the main point behind the entrepreneurship: “The best way to predict the future is to create it”

We wish you all the best in job hunting!

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