Finding a job as an international student

I have been living in Finland for the past three years and started the job seeking adventure about a year ago. Despite the fact that I haven’t yet got a profession, being able to work part-time could help me with securing income and getting practical work experience. I haven’t yet learned a lot from my own experience but here are some thoughts on how to find a job in Finland as a foreigner.

To begin with the job seeking topic, it should be noticed that most Finns are able to use English pretty well. A majority of them are able to use English as good as a native English speaker. Therefore, foreign students can communicate with local people easily which bring them better opportunities to approach different job sources in Finland. However, Finnish actually plays a huge part in every local business so it is advisable that foreigners should be able to use Finnish at least at basic level in communication. From my own experience, if a foreign student can say some phrases in Finnish, it leaves a very good impression on local people. As you may have heard, Finnish is among the toughest languages to learn in Europe. It takes time to learn but it’s worth trying.

When starting to look for a job, you should think about the field of work and the common required skills needed. If you take a look at job ads online, you can easily notice some key criteria necessary for a certain job. One interesting fact about Finland and especially the city of Tampere is that this is the place where innovation and digitalization is like a DNA of the whole society. Therefore, this region is very strong in the field of information technology and other related fields. Some of my Finnish friends used to make a joke that in this era, if you don’t know how to code, you pretty much look like an illiterate. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s better if you can prepare yourself not only with some basics of the Finnish language but also with some basic technical skills. They will be your competitive advantage in the job market.

An advantage in Tampere is that the local government has been trying their best to help international students find career opportunities in the local community. There are different organizations and programs helping students on employment issues. For instance, the Talent Tampere co-operation is a good example on how committed the local government is in helping international students to get a job in the region. Students are also able to register with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) which offers advice on getting a job and offers help with composing applications. Bear in mind that you never walk alone in dealing with job seeking in Tampere and Finland.

In conclusion, the key advice is that job seekers always have to stay energetic to find job opportunities and to prepare themselves well enough for everything that the job market requires. Finding a job in Tampere and Finland is a special adventure where you will get yourself a lot of interesting experience!

Duy Nguyen

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