A Prosperous Start; Sudden Dread

timemachine

So… I am in talks with a couple of companies about opportunities in Sweden, both seem very eager to chat and have so far been very pleasant to talk to – I am even noticing that the recruitment process is slightly more laid back, this is not what preconceptions have led me to believe about Sweden; a pleasant surprise.

Unlike back at the UK, I am not being sharked by ruthless agencies treating me like a skill set and I genuinely feel like these people want to know me as much as they want to know what I do. As to not jeopardise my position I won’t use any names but will explain my experience with the 2.

Company 1:

Now these guys are cool! After doing my research they have this real friendly “Google-esque” vibe going on, they have a belief that if you focus on employee happiness the results look after themselves – an entertaining video of the generic IT nerd (AKA: Myself) being turned into a suit by a company and consequently hating his job felt almost as if it was written exactly for me! I almost thought the video was an autobiography.

I am not one to believe generic hype in any form, but they either spent millions on fantastic actors or the employees they placed in these videos really are having a great time and are loving what they do.

So what about the person I am talking to in HR? After a short browse of their LinkedIn I can tell you I am feeling a little intimidated (http://howiebm.com/2013/04/16/work-in-sweden-top-5-observations/ – see points 1,2 and 3) – not to say she hasn’t made me feel comfortable, just tweaked my insecurities a little – but nothing I don’t think anyone goes through in the job hunting stage!

I am quite excited about this one and dates are being planned for a meeting! I can only hope I manage to impress…

Company 2:

Now these guys are familiar and safe! After doing my research I can confidently predict this company will be instantly familiar to me as something I have done before, this is neither a good or a bad thing and I think it has it’s advantages – I certainly feel less intimidated by this posting. I have a real passion for information management and client systems, WCF services and developing a piece of software that goes above and beyond the expectations of a customer and I can see clearly that is what these guys do; they do it cleanly; they do it quickly and there is something to be admired about that.

As such there is no hype, no immediately visible personable qualities – it’s cold hard business and there is definitely a place for that in the world. Especially in the sector these guys operate in.

So the person I ended up speaking to was the MD directly, quite a funny guy and again spoke to me on a personal level – contradictory to what the website would have me believe about the company, based on that alone I am starting to think that maybe this company isn’t the cold hard shell their online presence shows them to be and they just have a bad/business centric webmaster. Hire me… I’ll sort it out Winking smile.

So why the dread? I have suddenly realised that I know very little about the Swedish recruitment process, I can tell it’s different already… I am prepared to answer questions employers in the UK would ask, about UK businesses and UK affairs; Sweden operates bigger than that and I know it! I am going to have to expand culturally and fast I feel, so immediately I find myself subscribed to World News – perhaps at least now I might be able to avoid the 1 million articles a minute about Maggie Thatcher and read something that will tell me there is a world across the pond…

Love, Peace and all things Awesome!

Howard

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Work In Sweden – Top 5 Observations

Sweden/Britain

Sweden/Britain

So admittedly I haven’t been searching for work long but I feel like I have already learned some major differences in how the Swedes and the British operate; all this even before the interview stage! So below are some of the difficulties I am having:

1. Everybody speaks better English than you.

It’s no secret to us here in England that we don’t speak ‘propa’ English, it gets even worse when you add in the different dialects and little quirky sayings we so often use. So much so nobody on the international English platform has a full grasp of what I am saying, as much as I do try to adopt a neutral tone in my voice, being from Birmingham it’s only a matter of time before I slip up.

2. Everybody speaks more languages than you.

You’d be forgiven for not learning another language if your first language was English (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm), why bother right? Pretty much everything is in your language, even China makes an effort to translate.

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Arguably better English than my equivalent knowledge of Chinese… In any case I feel this has immediately put me at a disadvantage, even if knowing a second language has nothing to do with the job it’s still fucking cool right!?

3. Everybody is more talented than you.

Now I am not here to make excuses for myself but I’d like to think that if my university education could’ve been funded for WITHOUT the repercussion of me having to pay for near the rest of my life I’d have probably given it more thought and not been worried by the impending wrath of student finance England. In Sweden this is not an issue because education is free and provided for by the state, they EVEN offer this to EU citizens (bless you!).

4. A Different Upbringing and Better Culture.

I am still trying to come to terms with just how different the point of view is here in Sweden, compared to them, we Brits almost seem self-destructive – while Swedes do experience the same lows in life we all do they have this glorious ability to blame nobody but themselves. Come to Britain of course and it’s the PM’s fault, the governments fault, the fault of the police or even your neighbour. On a whole though, they eat better, they feel better and think better and all in all their outlook on life and how they live makes me feel frankly a bit of a twat.

5. Dedication

From what I can see in Sweden, there is no middle class; this does not mean not everyone has access to the upper class. The long and short of it is you either work extremely hard or you’re punished for it with an extremely hard life, and this kind of do or die life has bred some seriously dedicated people. In Britain it’s all too common to see somebody drifting through life not really going anywhere but still managing to live a comfortable life, this breeds ignorant contentment and a kind of comfort in not bettering yourself.

No doubt I’ll learn more as I go about just how difficult this whole move is going to be….

Wish me luck!

Love, peace and all things good,

Howard