"I also found out about the Kick-Start Program, which came highly recommended by one of the alumnus of the programme. So I felt like this is it and I found the holy grail. But it turned out to be a Pandora's box! It opened up a whole new world of possibilities around me which would have probably taken me ages to figure it out on my own."
Moving to a new country is always filled with mixed feelings, part excitement and part trepidation about how our lives are going to change. Little did I know that it would almost take me 7 year to get back to work life here in Sweden! Although this seems a bit stretched and even downright scary, I have to admit that there was never a time when I was either bored or just whiled away watching TV at home.
When I moved to Sweden due to my husband’s work in 2013, I was already a bit tired from the IT career I had had so far, so I made a decision to study again and follow my calling. What better country than Sweden to study Sustainability! I enrolled at Lund university master’s programme on Sustainability and in parallel I also volunteered in an NGO in Lund working on urban gardening projects.
After graduation, reality hit me, although I had a great student life and met some new people through the NGO, my network was still really small. My Swedish language skill was too basic to get me anywhere so I felt really lost. I remember the times when I used to hang around the stadsbiblioteket's entrance notice board which had a lot of flyers pinned to see which activity can I take up next or perhaps some leads to a new job.
Around the same time I noticed the cute building in front of the library with the board titled International Citizen Hub Lund. This got me curious so I checked their website and found some very useful seminars which I could attend.
I also found out about the Kick-Start Program, which came highly recommended by one of the alumnus of the programme. So I felt like this is it and I found the holy grail. But it turned out to be a Pandora's box! It opened up a whole new world of possibilities around me which would have probably taken me ages to figure it out on my own.
Although I had applied to jobs before, this really was the first time I could get my CV reviewed by someone with more experience in this cultural context and got concrete tips for it. I met some fantastic people who were on a similar journey so we shared a sense of community around here. When I saw such a great talent pool, it was very reassuring to know that I am not alone and it is not my fault entirely that I do not have a job yet.
Apart from solid tips, links and resources shared by the hub, there was also an effect on my inner confidence and self esteem too. I did not find a job immediately, but definitely this was a stepping stone for future steps that I took. I made use of other available support programmes too and finally got my first salary paying job in Malmö in December 2020.
In retrospect, I can say that I've learned a lot about myself and Sweden in this journey.
/ Madhuri Muralidhar