Looking for a job in Finnish travel industry

This summer I wrote about temporary working in Paris ( https://saliamariama.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/temping-in-paris/ ), and now I’ll share my experiences about work researches in Finland, because I think it’s been quit interesting…

Last time I worked in Finland, I was around 20 and did many student jobs during high-school. Then I moved to France and started “real working” in hotel- and tourism industry, and studied tourism there. After 6 years of working and living there I was having a good network of people and contacts in different companies… In Finnish we say ‘I had a foot between the door’.

Also, Paris is one of worlds touristic city, there’s always some work in that field! I’m getting emails and job-offers every day from people consulting the french unemployment office with my CV, or trough different web-sites where I’ve subscribed a profile…  But still, I wanted to move to Finland, and as an optimistic person I was thinking I’ll find a job very easily in here, and get better salaries than in France. The plan was(and still is) to get a work fast, get more money and save it, and then leave to South America (or Africa, or Asia, or somewhere else!).

Well, the truth is that as in Southern Europe, in Finland too, the unemployment situation is very bad.  Much worse that I thought… AND, of course Finland, especially Southern Finland, is not comparable to France as a tourist destination. Means, there’s less work in my field that in Paris, of course.

But that’s okay, I wasn’t going to be discouraged so easily! I started slowly, sending applications in all kind of places… Hotels, travel agencies and tour operators, as a guide, as an air-hostess, receptionist, seller, waitress and everything else I could find, as well as open applications.

Sometimes, when I got some e-mails from interesting travel-companies from France, who were interested to meet me and talk about job-offers, I was answering them (reluctantly) that I was in Finland now and looking for a work here… And on those moments I couldn’t stop thinking if I had been crazy to left France where I was sure that I’ll find work in my field…

With all those applications, I started to learn about new recruitment methods I haven’t seen in France until now (sure existing!), as internet-interviews to pre-select the candidates. So it meant I was able to see questions on video and record my answers as many times I wanted, and when I was satisfied about my answers I sent them! Interesting…. Especially that I wasn’t invited for the next phase.

Then, I started travelling in Finland.

First I was invited for an interview in Helsinki-Vantaa airport. So, as a jobless-just moved back to Finland after many years-and having no money-girl, I decided to do things as economically, as possible. I bought a bus-ticket from Tampere to Helsinki with the quit new low-cost bus company (I think I payed 6 € for that, and from Tampere to Helsinki is under 200 km) then I arranged with all my friends living in Helsinki, that I was able to stay there for few days and see them at the same time.

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The interview at the airport went well, but also made me realize that I haven’t been using Swedish in years! And in big Finnish travel-companies that’s very important, especially in coastal towns… As Swedish, still is, Finland’s 2nd language.  After a wonderful week in Helsinki, on 3 different couches and beds, and great time with my old friends I found a ride on FB-carpooling-group (Kimppakyyti) and came back to Tampere. I kept on sending applications, but at the same time enjoying Finnish summer… So doing things a little with the left hand.

Of course my friends and family knew my situation and I had people helping and talking around me… So in August I had some new opportunities and interview possibilities, in Lapland this time!

One friend said me “It’s good that you’re not being too difficult with the location, the fork for a job being from Helsinki to Lapland ;)”. And that’s true! My goal is to find a job,and as long as it’s economically worthwhile for me, I don’t care if it’s in Tampere, in the Finnish capital, or in Lapland.

So, again to save money, I took advantage of my mom who was leaving to Rovaniemi by car and also needed someone to share the road with her. It was also good opportunity to me to see some Finnish landscapes and practice my driving… As when I lived in Paris, I wasn’t using a car at all.

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After 2 days passing in the Lappish capital I found again another ride to Ivalo. A nice Lappish guy took me until the hotel I was going to visit and didn’t ask any money, he was happy to have some company for the 4 hours road!  I spent about 2 days, visiting, talking, admiring the nature and landscapes and enjoying the place. As I was born in Inari, I was also happy to be in my born places, where I hadn’t been in 10 years, at least…

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After 2 days, meeting friends of friends and talking about job-opportunities in different places, I heard the magical: “I think it’s clear like this, you will start in November!”

For the first time since months, I finally knew where I’ll be this winter. And I’m finally able to do some plans, or say “no” for something because I know I’ll be working.

What makes it interesting is that I’m going to work with french clients and the hotel where I’m going to work, really needs someone who speaks fluent french and knows french customer base. I will tell you more about the work once I’ll start and be there… It’s going to be a  big change: From Paris to Ivalo! 😉

And now, as I am in Finland I need to follow the Finnish laws and rules, and pass some mandatory licenses before I can start working, as a hygiene proficiency certificate and the same for selling alcoholic drinks! Whiteout those it’s impossible to work in hotels and restaurants in Finland….

Well, even I have an oral promise about that work starting in November, any contract haven’t been done yet, and I’m still looking for any kind of work in Tampere for these few months. Meaning, I’m still doing those web-interviews for working as a seller or whatever and for temping.

These last 6 months, have been very interesting regarding my professional life, because I’ve been working or passing job interviews in 3 different countries (Brazil, France and Finland). And I’ve noticed how I’ve became much more confident during the interviews and on meeting people. I’ve also being noticing how situations change when you are not a student anymore… I remember few years ago in Paris, when I was looking for a new work place to my apprenticeship and when I went in many interviews which were very official and I was always meeting a lot of different people for one position… I was very anxious and stressed in those situations. Today, I’m meeting people in a completely other feeling, and the situations are much more relaxed and interesting.

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