As an international professional in Finland – Towards work life

International professional, on these pages, you can find information that supports job seeking and using and developing your own competence in Finnish work life.
Moniniasesti parempi -hanke

Finland needs the competence of international experts. However, job seeking in Finland may feel difficult, especially if you do not know Finnish or Swedish. The good news is that the attitudes of employers are changing. Even if your language skills are still developing or you have yet to start learning, you can still find a job. However, it does require persistence, networking and knowledge of the special characteristics of Finnish work life.

This guide is based on interviews of over twenty women who have moved to Finland and are working as experts. These experts have managed to find their place in Finnish work life. During their interviews, they detailed their own paths from job seeking to attachment in the work community and career advancement. They wanted to help other immigrants by sharing their experiences.

Based on the interviews, the guide offers advice, which support job seeking, using and developing one’s own competence, attachment to the work community and progressing along one’s career paths. On these pages, you will also find tips on how to address questions related to language and language skills in your job seeking and work life.

Finding work is rarely only dependent on ourselves. Competence is also something that develops in interaction with other people. When moving to another country, the importance of creating networks is highlighted. The guide also offers tips that support networking.

Don’t give up on your dreams. Imagine a path for yourself on which you can make use of your competence. And don’t get discouraged or try to take on everything on your own – ask for advice, build networks and, above all else, have faith in your competence.

Background to the guide

The guide was created in 2022 as part of the Manifold more - Leverage to the professional careers of immigrant background women project (2019–2022) funded by the European Social Fund. Female experts with immigrant backgrounds as well as managers and HR representatives from diverse organizations were interviewed for the guide.

The guide was prepared by Senior Specialist Kirsi Yli-Kaitala, Leading Specialist Barbara Bergbom and Senior Specialist Minna Toivanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Diversity and inclusion in an expert organization, a guide for expert organizations, was also produced during the project. The goal of the guide for expert organizations is to promote an ever more diverse group of jobseekers and workers being able to thrive in Finnish workplaces.


Shift in work life