Common first jobs for most expats in Scandinavia

People from across the world long to travel and experience Scandinavia more so due to its popularity as a peaceful, socially stable and happy region. Indeed so many who get a permanent residence or even citizenship in Norway, Sweden, Finland or Denmark can attest that their welfare has gotten better. But for a perfect experience of this greatness, an expat needs to check out available jobs for most expats in the region and start working immediately.

The exciting work culture and living wage standards set for any kind of job in Scandinavia makes it easy for starting expats to meet their bills and remain relatively happy. Even so, we can all agree that getting into a new job market where countries have their own language can be so burdensome. Unless you are a highly skilled and experienced professional coming to Scandinavia, it won’t be so easy to directly get into your dream job. Ask around and those honest acquaintances or friends will tell you the kind of jobs they started with.

Seasonal berry picking jobs

Of course those who have their kinsmen in Scandinavia or spare time to know much ahead of their planned move to the region know what skill sets to work on prior. You may be for instance a cashier at a store, teller at a bank, administrator at a company but then upon arriving in Scandinavia realize that such jobs can’t be given to you so directly. Maybe you need to take some extra training, apprenticeship or education. Additionally, jobs that require constant and regular interactions with the locals will mean that as an expat, learning that language is a must do. 

The palpable desire to work in Scandinavia

In a world where countries, even the developed ones such as the United States of America struggle with creating decent jobs for locals, many don’t mind traveling over to pursue greener pastures in Scandinavia. One thing about the Scandinavian countries is that their registered population remains relatively stable with only negligible cases of illegal immigration. This means that the countries manage to create and maintain good jobs for every legal resident plus bargain for juicy salaries with the employers. In effect, an expat employed in any industry in Scandinavia can be sure that their welfare is well guaranteed and no exploitation can occur. 

Ask any young man in a developing country about what thoughts they have about moving to and starting work in Scandinavia would be like for them. You’ll notice that they would readily pack their belongings and step out to start a fresh life there. In fact, cases of people being smuggled just to come to Scandinavia have been so many. But unless you’re a legal immigrant in Scandinavia, it would be a pipe dream to expect a job there. 

Workplace  and working situation in Scandinavia

The aspect of safety and security is a notch higher in Scandinavia. For every worker, insurance is paid for by the employer and a department that deals exclusively with workplace safety is run. Therefore, there’s nothing like having to drain your coffers in case you get an injury in the workplace or entirely losing an income as you heal. This is the case in workplaces throughout Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden. 

As a sweet icing on the cake, you also get a competitive salary irrespective of the kind of work you do. In fact, for every good work done, you get paid a decent salary. So, whether starting with a menial job or getting lucky to directly land a professional job , a  career as an expatriate in Scandinavia  is not a walk in the park. Before you know which jobs you are likely to get in the Scandinavia, it is important if you know the significance of having a job in these countries. 

High regard for work, working and workers in Scandinavia

Workplace satisfaction and happiness come across as important considerations that every employer in Scandinavia seeks to maintain. The employers go all out of their way to make employees, in whatever they do to feel part and parcel of the workplace. For instance, they have reward systems and gifting that entirely keep workers motivated and elated to identify with the company. On special days like birthdays, work anniversaries, end of year or local traditions, they give away presents and cut cakes which together keep workers so endeared to their jobs. 

Expats grinding hard on a production line in Scandinavia

Honestly, the best way to enjoy and share in the much documented happiness that defines Scandinavia is by working hard. Those who understand the considerably high costs of living in Scandinavia especially Sweden and Denmark know way too well that working one job may not be enough. Yes it will enable you to pay your bills and remain with a little for upkeep but to get that extra taste of luxury, a vacation here and a party there, taking an extra job becomes a perfect choice. 

With a job and reasonable income, you gain a sense of perfect freedom. No room for laziness and expecting prosperity to rain down from the heavens like manna and quails did to the Israelities. All the assurance that any expat should carry along when moving to Scandinavia is that so many jobs are available. You can’t expect to get the dream job or that which matches your qualifications. Whether a graduate or a professional from your home country, you need to just be flexible and embrace the available options. If you make friends with those already there, they may be truthful enough to confide that they started from that low and rose over time. 

Europeans from outside Scandinavia too have to start from somewhere

By now, you probably know that Scandionavia as a region also falls within the European Union and European economic zone which by and large includes up to 26 countries or thereabout. Even nationals of these other EU countries outside Scandinavia face a similar fate to build a career. There is so much need for patience and perseverance until when better opportunities avail. The impatient people may decide to leave the country or move to neighboring countries. 

At the end of the day, what matters most is ability to meet your bills and sustain  life as you look out for likable job opportunities. You know that in Scandinavia, you need to pay essentially for everything that you use. Having no half a krone or euro as an expat, the bus driver will not take you to your desired destination. Also, you need to pay your bills at an expected timeline. When I talk about bills, remember you are in a developed region. You will need utilities like heating, water, garbage collection and electricity at a certain price. Having no job can cause you to tumble into financial upheaval. 

Jobs most expats start on in Scandinavia 

One rule that you should adhere to while job hunting in Scandinavia as an expat is that you should not be too selective. As much as you should focus on finding the right jobs, know that you are beginning life from scratch. The nature of jobs in the Scandinavian countries is more or less similar. You will have varying jobs, including professional, unskilled and semi-skilled ones. 

Professional jobs

When you have professional skills, you are likely to land professional jobs in Scandinavia. The most dynamic professional jobs that can attract an expat include engineering, teaching, information technology, medicine, public health, construction, nursing, food industry, maritime and agriculture. On an annual basis, a country like Sweden releases a job shortage list that needs to be filled by professional workers. Expats interested in moving to Sweden should brainstorm the list to check if they qualify for a professional job. One thing you should know is that jobs on this list are normally in high demand as an expatriate; you do not even require proficient abilities in Swedish to enroll.  

Seasonal unskilled jobs

You can also land seasonal unskilled jobs. Here, you can find a job in the shipping, agricultural or hauling sectors. The good news is that during summer, most of the Scandinavian countries encounter a high flow in the number of tourists. You will be lucky enough to secure a job in the hospitality industry during this time.  

Semi-skilled jobs

You can also find part-time jobs in case you are aiming for semi-skilled jobs. Particularly, here you can secure or land a job in being a shop attendant, distribution of mail or cleaning.

An expat trying to gain a footing in Scandinavia through cleaning jobs

Self-Employment in Scandinavia 

If you are stable enough, you can also employ yourself in Scandinavia. In a country like Norway, self-employment is possible with the right skilled worker visa. First, you will need to accomplish particular criteria to qualify and be a self-employed worker, such as accomplishing certain education requirements. That is not enough, you need to have a detailed business plan, and your organization needs to make a particular amount of profit annually. The self-employment can be in the form of a sole proprietorship, private limited company or general partnership.

Tips for finding a job in Scandinavia

One thing I can assure you as an expat is that you will never miss something to do in Scandinavian regions. There is always a little something for every person. Nevertheless, there is a horseman or woman to this idea. Even before you embark on a search, discriminating against these jobs is a direct way of losing them. The jobs that society often dismissed as only done by failures, like taxi driving, cleaning, dish-washing or service in supermarkets come in the list of what nowadays learned people. even in developed countries do.

The uppermost intention of mentioning this is that many jobs, including those that need physical labor, are, to a particular dimension, automated. This simply shows that you will not squander much energy handling it. Further, your health and safety are the top priority as they reflect your wealth.

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An avid storyteller and passionate writer with a penchant for letting people know that which they don't know while at the same time telling people more about what they may already have known. At the end, you stay informed, be curious, and get cosy.