Jasna Pocek

"My other advice is to never be afraid of starting over again, be persistent. You are never too old for something like this in Sweden. The great thing about this country is that it is socially acceptable and supported to study again (no matter your age) or to change profession or become an entrepreneur. In fact ideas, particularly those that aim at solving an issue, for a certain community, are met with great enthusiasm. Lund and Malmo are places rich in resources and support for the entrepreneurs."

The things we hear about Sweden when we are outside are all rich in good examples and practices related to the working environment, work/life balance, sustainability. We imagine this country as a place of wellbeing and a good and well balanced life. And this is all true, from my experience of living here. In fact, we often joke and say that once you have lived here, you may say to other people in other places: I (hope I) saw the future.

But in order to enjoy all of these fruits of a well-functioning system and in order to feel this environment in a positive way, foreigners who come do not only want to sit at home, many wish also to be part of it, to contribute and integrate by working and being active members of the labour market and society. This however is a challenge for many, especially new arrivals.

My advice to the newcomers to Sweden would be to equip themselves with patience, that is so much valued in this society, and hence it is an important aspect of understanding the society and its labour market.

You should also be very active in search for opportunities. Particularly when you just arrive, make sure you attend events, become part of groups where information is shared about possibilities for work, and donĀ“t lose hope. Sooner or later, you will meet and establish a link with that one person who will give you a chance or connect you with someone who will do so.

My other advice is to never be afraid of starting over again, be persistent. You are never too old for something like this in Sweden. The great thing about this country is that it is socially acceptable and supported to study again (no matter your age) or to change profession or become an entrepreneur. In fact ideas, particularly those that aim at solving an issue, for a certain community, are met with great enthusiasm. Lund and Malmo are places rich in resources and support for the entrepreneurs.

All in all if I would choose one phrase describe the Swedish labour market it would be with this: A closed door that, once you manage to open, the sky is the limit, if you like.

/ Jasna Pocek

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