Antonio Napolitano

"As for any other society Sweden too has definitely its do's and don'ts and one does not have to go the hard way in finding out what they are. In my personal experience the two basic, and perhaps universal factors which will eventually contribute to success are: attitude and mentorship. A positive, resilient approach will keep the engine running, while mentorship and a support network behind your back, will provide the steering accuracy to reach your destination."

I had recently moved from Italy during the early fall of 2019 with my partner, an employee of a major company here in Lund, and my 3 years old daughter.

I was not new to relocations and lengthy work experiences abroad and therefore had prepared myself both mentally and physically to face this new challenge, but I can honestly say that, so far, it’s been everything but a challenge!

My very first general approach with Swedish culture and Sweden lifestyle was through the free scheduled events at the International Citizen Hub Lund.

I attended the first one during my short pre-relocation trip and immediately realized the importance of their support network and the valuable information they provide, ranging from basic day to day life as an expat (the event on buying a house or a flat in Sweden was somehow mind blowing for me as it took the lid off of how Swedish society really works) to more in depth knowledge of the labor market or, for instance, the differences between Danish and Swedish work culture (I thought there were none before then: how naive was I?!).

As for any other society Sweden too has definitely its do's and don'ts and one does not have to go the hard way in finding out what they are.

In my personal experience the two basic, and perhaps universal factors which will eventually contribute to success are: attitude and mentorship.

A positive, resilient approach will keep the engine running, while mentorship and a support network behind your back, will provide the steering accuracy to reach your destination.

I personally felt I was initially missing some tools and knowledge on how to deal with job interviews here in Sweden: a more structured, less improvised, and definitely lengthier approach to what I was accustomed to previously.

Sometime the recruiting process might take up to several weeks, depending on the urgency of the recruiter, before a candidate is finally selected, so be prepared to exercise a good amount of extra patience.

The Kick-Start Program I was privileged to be a student in greatly helped me in filling those initial gaps and the results soon followed: I signed my first job contract just halfway through the program!

Lisa, Cynthia, Maria, Martina and the rest of the staff have been tremendously supportive and also providing that extra human, emphatic touch which is, to my opinion, the real value to their service to the expat community here in Lund!

So, whether you are a job seeker in search of a support network or merely a fresh expat in search of information on how things work here in Sweden, International Citizen Hub Lund is definitely the place to go to.

/ Antonio Napolitano

 

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