I am not here for that

When I moved to Finland seven years (and some months) ago, I did that primarily to find a better quality of life for my future family.

Throughout the years, particularly during the two long periods (about 10 months at the beginning and 12 months more recently) during which I have struggled to find a job, I had to remind myself of this quite many times.

The reason why I am here is NOT professional.

There is some debate these days about how difficult it is for foreigners to find a job in this country. Indeed, if you do not speak Finnish, or if you don’t have good connections, or if you do not know how the job industry works here (for example, in terms of being bold in your applications vs being honest), it is quite the challenge to be employed. Sometimes, accepting a job below your education level will help, sometimes it won’t.

The reason why I am bringing this up, even though it might seem like a local issue, is that we often define ourselves, our lives, our satisfaction in terms of the job we have. For good reasons, of course, but we should be more careful about that.

People do not come to Finland because of its amazing economy, the infinite professional possibilities the country has to offer, the openness of its society.

People come to Finland because schools are excellent and education is free, because the work culture permits to go home at 16.00 without feeling guilty, because there is a well-maintained playground in every courtyard, because public transportation can reliably take you basically everywhere you need to go, because of its stunning nature, some also because they enjoy spending winters under 60 centimetres of snow.

We should refocus the way we think about life and satisfaction. Having a job is important, but it does not end there. If, for any reason, it does instead, then unfortunately Finland is not the best option on your list. And I am sure it’s their loss.

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