“I believe that the whole Universe is a manifestation of energy and all changes in the universe are maintained by the flow of energy through giving and receiving. If you have set a goal and you are consistent with your efforts, sincere to the backbone, and maximize your focus you are going to achieve it. You just need to get out of your comfort zone and embrace the Gifts of Life”.
Hello! My name is Rupali, and I'm from vibrant India. My wonderful and devoted husband and I have been residing in Malmö, Sweden, for the past two years. He had given me a detailed explanation about the sweet and bitter aspects of the Swedish system as it was his 5th year living in Sweden. I was aware of the language barrier, lengthy queues for almost everything, harsh winter, and other cultural shocks. Despite all the odds, I happily chose to quit my job and get married to him because finding an amazing life partner is also quite rare. I was confident that with him by my side, I could rebuild my career.
While strolling around the streets of Malmö and Lund, I was delighted to see the stunning autumnal hues. My most treasured memories will always be those lengthy strolls through the fresh air, admiring clear lakes, feeling the cold breeze, being surrounded by lush greenery, enjoying sweet cinnamon buns and strong aromatic coffee in cozy cafés around. The beautiful houses with gleaming lights and lamps gave me a sense of warmth and belongingness.
Because if you have applied for something in Sweden, you can sit back and relax. Everything takes a long time and occurs in a systematic manner here.
I applied for the SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) course at Komvux and the social integration program as soon as I had received my Swedish personal number. While I waited to get admitted to SFI, I used Duolingo to speed up my Swedish learning process. I had the good fortune to have incredibly helpful teachers. I always concentrated on interacting with more people from other countries to practice speaking Swedish. And, now I feel good to be able to communicate well in Swedish.
In a few months, I got to know about International Citizen Hub Lund through Facebook and walked in on a gloomy Thursday. It felt like my second home. I am forever grateful to Susanne and Lisa for being so patient, kind, and generous. Some days all you seek is a ray of hope to move forward. ICHL was that ray of hope for me. I attended their kick-start program and gained a lot of information about the Swedish work culture, job-search process, networking, and volunteering to name a few. Here, I got my first diverse network of fellow travelers who were in the same boat as mine.
I had a really difficult time leaving an abusive and unhealthy marriage throughout my early 20s. I lost 5 years of my life in that horrific nightmare. Due to a long career break and my background in electronics engineering, I was unable to find employment. Then, I did a postgraduate diploma in marketing and operations. I have experience in sales, customer service, and the HR domain. I always had a strong desire to know about various fields in the IT domain. And now that I am in Sweden, Sky is the limit!
In addition to continuing to study Swedish, I also started looking into coding. I began studying HTML and CSS fundamentals by watching YouTube videos and practicing on freecodecamp.org.
Have you ever realized how the universe paves new paths for what we strongly desire for? I have sensed it numerous times in different situations. I got to know about a coding program from one of my friends at SFI. It is ‘Foocoding for Newcomers’, a program conducted on Sundays by Foocafé. I applied and got selected for the new batch. My joy knew no bounds. I had a tough critic and mentors from excellent companies who were highly committed in teaching us in best possible ways. This year, I dedicated all of my Sundays to learning how to code and practicing it throughout the week. I will always be indebted to Baraa Hatem, the project manager at Foocafe, for giving me this wonderful chance and the mouthwatering Italian pizzas every Sunday. I mean, how extremely generous an organization can be to give us their valuable time, teach us and provide lunch all for free. I learned front-end development basics there and already building cool websites. And my learning process continues, from various other resources available online.
I could not continue learning with Foocafe for the backend part because I got eliminated in a test to continue to the next phase. But, you see, every failure brings with itself, the seed of an equivalent or a much greater opportunity for success. The knowledge you gain can take you to places. You just need to accept your failures and continue to dive deeper. Now, I go to several web developer meet-ups, get to know more from people working in the same profession on LinkedIn, and also have all the time to continue learning on my own from endless platforms available online. Recently, I attended two events conducted by Pink Programming. I met with a lot of women working in Tech. It was a very uplifting and motivating experience. Generally, women deal with a lot of difficulties and challenges to reach their career-goal than men. And I appreciate the way pink programming is working on breaking the biases and barriers.
I believe that the whole Universe is a manifestation of energy and all changes in the universe are maintained by the flow of energy through giving and receiving. If you have set a goal and you are consistent with your efforts, sincere to the backbone, and maximize your focus you are going to achieve it. You just need to get out of your comfort zone and embrace the Gifts of Life.
/ Rupali Mohapatra
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