The search has officially begun. For the last year I have applied online to a couple of jobs here and there, but I haven’t put too much emphasis on working since I was still learning basic Swedish. Today, that changed.
I decided to finally get going and make it happen for myself – after all, my word for 2013 is “Success.” Let’s start by getting my foot in the door, training my Swedish, and networking.
Going around and handing out resume’s has never been my strong suit, as I had the same job for 8 years and found all side jobs online. So, not only have I only done it once in my life, now I had to do it in Swedish.
After tinkering with my CV to make it as Swedified as possible – including a photo, my date and city of birth, my personnummer (SS#), and my hobbies – I headed out to town. If you read a lot of forums or expat articles/blogs like I do, such as The Local, you’ll know it is hard to get a job in Sweden if you are new here and still learning the language. The amount of negativity and horror stories overshadows the successful ones; so, naturally I was terrified and expecting the worst.
I practiced what I would say, repeating it every step along the way. It’s only an opening sentence, but it helps. I went into my first target, a book store, walked around, and left too scared to talk. I’ll come back, I promised myself – it was too crowded anyway. Second store – same thing. Third store – success! I introduced myself, gave my resume, and told her to call me if they need anyone. Short and simple. I can do that! Next up is another book store – short and sweet again! This is getting easy!
I handed out 10 resume’s today and spoke to everyone (but one fellow American) in 100% Swedish! Not only that, the resume drop off’s started getting longer and longer – like 5 minute mini interviews – as I got more comfortable! I started “revealing” that I am new to Sweden and would like to get a Praktik (similar to a paid internship) to train my Swedish more and the responses were completely positive with many complements to my Swedish! I even went back to the stores I was too scared to go into at first!
It’s only a first step, but I couldn’t have asked for it to go better. Maybe I will find something sooner than I thought? What a great day, and perfect way to start the year.
Potluck dinner (Knytkalas) with some friends last night – was delish and a blast! Pasta, pasta, noodles, rice, and salad. Next time we’ll plan a bit better!