Job hunting in Finland
News regarding jobs can be seen quite often in Finland. The employment rate is 71.7% as of Nov 2019 according to Trading Economics.
(*The employment rate measured in Finland = The number of people who have a job as a percentage of the working age population).
I believe that finding a job can be one of the ways to create positive cycle in your life. In this blog post, I’d like to examine how people find a job (mainly in Finland) and what we can learn from their experience.
Finding a job is one challenging part especially among younger generations or new graduates who don’t have working experience. As long as I learned from my own experiences, I could mention the following points that feature job hunting in Finland.
- Many jobs are not advertised publicly
- Even many of trainee or internship positions require previous experience
- There are other hidden job opportunities
- Many jobs require fluent Finnish or Swedish (Of course)
2. How do people find a job?
Someone once told me that nearly 70 – 80% of jobs are not advertised publicly in Finland. Also, many Finns say that having connections helps you a lot to find a job in Finland since many job positions are filled through the own network of the company or the employees before it is advertised publicly.
In order to find out how people actually find a job in Finland, I asked on Twitter as below.
Finnish government continues to search for ways to achieve its employment rate target. Let me ask two questions so that I can share tips with those who are searching for jobs in Finland.
Question 1 :
How did you get your latest job?
— Daiki Yoshikawa🇯🇵🇫🇮 (@Okonomiyakiguy) January 24, 2020
The result is interesting. Based on 345 answers here, over more people found a latest job through their own connections or network rather than from job posts that are publicly advertised, such as LinkedIn, companies’ webpages, or other recruiting websites.
I remember a case of my friend who quit her job to move abroad. When she told the company that she would be resigning, her boss asked her if she knew someone who could take over her position. Then she introduced one suitable candidate from her network and finally that person was hired from the company after some interviews. It means that the position was filled without going public.
One could say that the fact that having connections or knowing right people means a lot to find a job is not fair. However, if you see it from the perspective of employers, it’s obvious that hiring someone from their own network can be an effective and low-cost way.
Anyway, we need to get a grip on this reality. So we definitely shouldn’t ignore the power of connections to find a job. However, not everyone has wide connections from the beginning of career but let’s focus on what one can do.
Based on these facts, how can we get higher possibilities and create opportunities to get a job?
3.1. Telling people
So based on this fact, it seems logical to try to find a job through connections or your own network. In other words, one could try to be known by people in the market.
It can be your friends, acquaintance, someone you get to know through events or project work at school. The problem is that not everyone is good at getting connections by being super sociable in the situations surrounded by people.
Then what can you do? I think it would still be worth starting by telling your own network, such as posting on LinkedIn or Twitter, that you are looking for a job as you never know to whom your info reach the ear of.
3.2. Create and maximise an opportunity
Getting a job through connections can be like a good trick to the game. Even if you are not the one who has the coolest CV nor who is the best speaker in the interview, you get higher chances by utilising this trick.
Therefore, you should try to create and maximise an opportunity, which includes project work with a local company, exhibitions, events, job fair, and so on.
For instance, my friend was involved in a project with a Finnish company as a part of her school curriculum. She enjoyed and did her Best regards, as a group leader and after the project was over, the company hired her as they were impressed with her hard-working, responsible attitude.
3.3. Be action-oriented
Also, we can’t ignore the fact that nearly 40% got a job from public job posts. One vital point here would be taking action-oriented approach, which is effective both for creating connections as well as getting a job without using connections.
Let’s see a couple of comments kindly given by some people.
Make information interviews, join associations to network, learn an elevator speech you can give e.g. on a job fair, take even the shortes short term jobs you’re offered to give an example of what you can do.
— Liisa Ikonen (@LiisaIkonen1) January 25, 2020
I kept calling companies around my area and asking if they needed an operator, who is inexperienced but willing to learn. That was almost 6years ago, still working in the same job 😉
— Sturmi (@Sturmi20) January 26, 2020
These people didn’t have connections to get their latest jobs but they managed to move a step ahead from others by taking action-oriented approaches. This attitude would help you get to know key persons or expand your network as well.
One common way among people who succeed in getting a job is contacting the companies by calling, not emailing, even if the companies didn’t have recruitment going. That was a one effective way that differentiated themselves from others.
Besides, it would be also important to try whatever it is. Having experience should be seen as a plus even if that job is not very related to what you have studied. When I was looking for a job, there were some companies who asked me if I have working experience ‘IN FINLAND’ when I told them that I have full-time working experience in Japan, so this is especially good for international talents to know.
3.4. Gather information
The more information you have, higher opportunities you have. Valuable information usually come from primary information source such as ‘connections’ but I believe that you can also get information you need from public places such as LinkedIn.
In addition to that, I want to share these platforms where you can find a job listing.
- The Hub (Startup jobs)
- Jobs In
- Duunitori (Finnish)
- Oikotie (Finnish)
One thing you have to go through to get a job is interview. I want to share how I usually prepare for a job interview with the hope of giving you some tips or learnings that can be used for up-coming interviews.
This is mainly intended for people in their 20’s or young 30’s who are applying for entry or lower middle level positions, not for the manager/director positions.
Two points I usually put emphasis for a job interview is advance preparation.
I at least try to find out or prepare these points before the interview.
– Market situations (Trend, opportunities, threats, future view, etc…)
– Who are the main competitors
– The company’s financial performance (revenue and profit)
– How the job description suits your skills and previous experience
– How I could contribute and influence to the team and company
– Recent news related to the job or company
Then, after knowing these points, you could use these points when asking questions.
Usually at the end of the interview, you have time to ask questions to the interviewee. That’s one good timing when you can differentiate yourself with other candidates. You may want to show your interest, understanding and competence by asking good questions.
The questions shouldn’t be something you can find out from webpage. It should be something unique that combines your opinion or insights and these points above you prepare for.
4. My thoughts and value
After coming to Finland, I met quite many people taking a lot of time to think if the job fits their skills, interests and value. It’s important to take your interests into consideration but I recommend you to TRY FIRST for various reasons.
One job could lead to another job or opportunity. You might like the job or even if you don’t, you might find something new that interests you or meet someone that gives you good info.
As Steve Jobs said one dot could connect to other dots but you can only connects the dots looking backwards, you never know until you actually try. Any actions, including the ones I mentioned above, mean a lot.
Therefore, I personally believe the idea of making effort and working hard for your current job/project/work while having a wide vision rather than focusing on making detailed career plans too much.