"Having an updated and well-tailored LinkedIn profile is super important in Sweden to portray your skills and learnings on social media. Therefore, I started to focus my attention in building my profile to be more informative and visible."
Hej! I am Mrinmoi, and this is the story of my life in Sweden over the last nine months. My journey started last year in the month of August when my partner was offered a new job responsibility in Malmö. Moving amidst pandemic of Covid-19 was scary but at the same time I was super excited about the new country, it’s breathtaking scenic beauty, burgeoning foodie culture and picturesque medieval towns.
We arrived in Malmö, Sweden at the end of August 2020 and the city welcomed us with its cozy warmth of late summer weather. I knew before arriving in Sweden that with the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic it wouldn’t be so easy to find a job here, especially when you don’t speak the language and lack knowledge of the work culture. But I was always hopeful and decided to use this time to network and learn something new that could add value to my marketing career.
I started an online digital marketing course and at the same time started learning Swedish A1. Getting a job in Sweden is tough and I did not want to leave any stone unturned to get to it. I started to take guidance from a job coach to prepare myself for the Swedish job market.
Having an updated and well-tailored LinkedIn profile is super important in Sweden to portray your skills and learnings on social media. Therefore, I started to focus my attention in building my profile to be more informative and visible.
Meanwhile during one of my sessions with the job coach I came to know about the International Citizen Hub Lund (ICHL) and their various programs. I was instantly interested and subscribed for the ICHL’s monthly newsletter. Now every month I started to receive this amazing newsletter with loads of information for various programs that were organized by ICHL.
In October 2020, I decided for the first time to participate in one of ICHL’s speed-friending programs at Stenkrossen, Lund. It was a very well-organized event where I met some other people like me and had the opportunity to listen to their side of the story in Sweden. I have to say it was a really nice experience and I even could build few new connections through this event. After this I attended many other online events of ICHL, which helped me understand a lot about the Swedish work culture, about learning the language and much more.
I understood by then that having some hands-on experience of Swedish work culture is important, and it would help me learn the language faster too. Therefore, I started to look for some volunteer work. Meanwhile during my online drop-in meeting with ICHL I got the information that there were several organizations who were looking for volunteers at that moment. I applied my volunteer application to all the organizations and got the opportunity to work for Erikshjälpen, a secondhand shop in Malmo. Volunteering there helped me meeting new people, learning the work culture as well as practicing the language.
Alongside the volunteer work in Erikshjälpen, I continued my job application in different online job portals and also registered myself in Arbetsförmedlingen, which is the Swedish Public Unemployment Service. While working on my job search, I got to know about Jobbsprånget, an organization that helps people like me to get into internship programs in various organizations around Sweden. I applied to three different organizations and got internship offers from two of them. I have decided to go with the internship with IKEA Food and am still working as an intern in there. This internship is very valuable for me as I am learning a lot about their way of working, values and principles as well as gaining a great Swedish work experience. I hope with this experience I will be able to score something better in the near future.
Finally, not to scare you but I must mention that employment in Sweden is tough, however proper networking, willing to learn new things and always keeping a positive attitude helps. And never lose hope, use the time to pamper yourself, nurture yourself and make yourself more resourceful for a better tomorrow.
/ Mrinmoi Jyoti Borgohain (Mrin)