Unfortunately for newcomers to Finland, most of the best job vacancies are filled before they are even advertised. Most of these jobs get around by word of mouth, so having contacts is invaluable when looking for a job in Finland.
The best thing any expat can do is to talk to people from the moment you arrive – friends, neighbours and local business people, to name a few possibilities. Even if you talk to cannot offer you anything directly, there is always a chance that they might know somebody who can.
Looking for a job online
The Finnish Labour Administration’s (TE-Palvelut) website provides information on jobs available and allows you to narrow your search to match the kind of work you are looking for. The information on the website is available in Finnish, English and Swedish, though the actual online job search engine is only available in Finnish and Swedish. You can access it by clicking here.
Another way to look for jobs online is to use the European Job Mobility Portal (EURES). This service gives you information on job vacancies, as well as how to apply, and the general living and working conditions in Finland. You can also submit your CV on this site in the hope that employers will find you. Click here to visit the EU website.
There are numerous other employment and recruitment agencies in Finland where you can submit your CV online and search for vacancies. It can also be a good idea to send cold emails to potential employers as they might have a position opening up that they have not yet advertised for.
Employment offices in Finland
Most localities in Finland have their own employment office and anyone is entitled to seek advice from them. Some larger offices have EURES advisers who can provide advice specifically aimed at immigrant jobseekers.
Notice boards at educational institutions
Looking at notice boards at schools, colleges and other educational institutions are particularly useful for students looking for seasonal work or internships. Full-time jobs are sometimes posted here too, so it is worth visiting any local institution to see if there is anything available.
What if I still can’t find a full-time job in Finland?
Don’t panic. As an expat, it is likely to be difficult to find work in the open labour market straight away. If finding a full-time job proves too difficult you have these alternative options available to you:
- Work experience placements (työharjoittelu): Offers the chance to gain valuable experience not only in a particular field but also of working in Finland. With some placements, it is possible to receive a small income from Finland’s social security system, known as labour market support.
- Voluntary work (vapaaehtoistyö): A good option for those with little or no previous work experience, though generally unpaid.
- Work try-outs (työkokeilu): For those who have difficulty finding a job due to health reasons, or those who are considering a career change.
- Subsidised employment (työllistämistuki): You can work for a company for 6-10 months and receive financial support. An employment agency will be able to advise you on this route.
- Apprenticeship contracts (oppisopimus): A combination of work and study, usually for a duration of 1-4 years depending on your level of education and which field of work you choose to enter.
Although these options are relatively short-term, they will put you in a good position to find full-time employment in the future as you will have gathered experience of working in Finland and, hopefully, will have picked up some of the language too.
Don’t hesitate to contact your nearest unemployment office if you are struggling to find work; they are always more than happy to help you out.