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Ezinne Edet

“I got a job offer nine months after arriving in Sweden, still I could not have achieved it on my own. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes collective support for an expat to thrive.”

New country, new story

Before moving to Sweden in 2021 for a master’s studies, I was working as a freelance content creator for blogs, websites, magazines, and social media platforms. I hoped to utilize my expertise and skills to make an impact in Sweden and land a suitable job.

On arriving in Sweden, I applied for content creation-related roles, including volunteer and internship positions. I became even more hopeful when I started receiving job interview invitations, and my hopes dwindled with every email I received that began with the subject line “Tyvärr…” or “Tack fӧr din ansökan…”

Ezinne Edet

I was casually scrolling through social media when I stumbled upon a job advert by The Newbie Guide to Sweden blog seeking volunteer bloggers, and that was where my networking journey in Sweden began.

Volunteering and Mentorship

I was offered a volunteer role for a six-month period, and I was excited to be part of a team that provides vital information to help newcomers in Sweden settle in effortlessly. As a newbie myself, I was delighted to share personal stories and experiences on the blog to show support to other newcomers. Amazingly, most of my blog posts ranked #1 on Google search engine, generating a lot of traffic and engagement. The co-founder was pleased and wrote a recommendation on LinkedIn, highlighting my skills and contribution to the team. When the duration of the volunteer agreement was about to end, I received an offer to extend my agreement for a year. I excitedly accepted the offer.

While researching for content inspirations, I came across career mentoring programs for expats, like Beela Pollination Mentoring and Mitt Liv Chans. I joined both programs as a mentee, where I received support and guidance from mentors who provided expert perspectives on the Swedish labour market and job search processes. I gained insight on how to prepare for job interviews and adapt my CV and cover letter to boost my chances in the Swedish job market. Most importantly, I expanded my network by connecting with the participants and facilitators via LinkedIn, and even over fika.

Landing a job

I joined The Newbie Guide to Sweden’s Facebook community while actively job hunting. In the group, community members network and share information related to working in Sweden, learning Swedish, and settling in Sweden. I came across a job posting in the group for the role of Communications Assistant at a leading drug regulatory and development consultancy in Sweden, which I applied for. After a few weeks, I was invited for an interview.

I informed my mentors from Beela and Mitt Livs Chans about the job interview, and we booked a one-to-one session to help me prep. One of the highlights for me was the reassuring text message I received from my Beela mentor on the morning of the interview because it motivated me.

After a couple of interviews, I was offered the job! My line manager and colleagues made adapting to the new role, in a new country a seamless process. I am delighted to be working in a role where I can utilize my expertise and skills to make an impact, with supportive colleagues who provide a conducive environment for creativity and growth.

Lessons and Reflections

My idea of moving to a new country was to explore new territories and embark on new adventures. Even better, I am discovering myself while creating memories, expanding my knowledge, building friendships, and even learning a new language. I am also learning to be patient on this journey and enjoy the process.

Yes! Moving to a new country comes with mixed emotions and culture shock, yet we don’t have to go through it alone. With collective support, expats can have a sense of belonging, leverage experiences and knowledge, and build valuable networks. There is strength in community; we can never tell what potential can be unlocked with the right support.

/ Ezinne Edet

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