We have many inspiring stories; find a couple of them below.
When Katja arrived in Finland, it was difficult for her to make friends and build connections amid the pandemic. The challenges of relocation, lack of contact with others, and difficulty-finding employment began to affect her confidence and well-being.
However, through her participation in the Spouse Program, Katja was able to find a supportive community of internationals, “All of my friends in Helsinki are from the Spouse Program. We are all different ages, come from different backgrounds, speak different languages, but we support each other.”
Trained initially as an aircraft engine mechanic in Germany, Katja had grown accustomed to shifting careers and living abroad as her family often moved due to her husband’s work. After living in the UK for 11 years, her husband’s new job brought them to Helsinki in 2020.
Through her participation in the Spouse Program, Katja was able to get the career support she needed to regain confidence in herself. In addition, by participating in CV clinics and pitching events, Katja better understood how to communicate her skills and learned how they would translate to the Finnish job market.
She adds, “Learning how to make a pitch was very helpful, often this is the first thing you’re asked in an interview. Now it is effortless for me to pitch myself, my skills and experience”.
While the Spouse Program provided Katja with the tools she needed to enter the Finnish job market, it also offered a supportive community of individuals bonded by their situation. Katja credits the variety of social and cultural events hosted by the Spouse Program for helping her learn more about life in Finland and feel comfortable in her new home.
A few months after moving to Helsinki, Katja had a dental emergency and she first turned to her friends from the Spouse Program to get help, “I was unsure of what to do and where to go. The other spouse program participants helped me right away.”
After spending three years in Denmark, Vismit and her husband, originally from India, moved to Finland in June 2020. Having previously relocated to a Nordic country, Vismit was attuned to the challenges she could face in finding employment and knew that these challenges were only heightened due to the pandemic.
However, even before arriving in Helsinki, Vismit, a passionate talent acquisition specialist, began to network with Finnish recruiters. Vismit explains that she focused on learning more about the recruitment industry in Finland instead of only searching for open positions. Her proactive approach, openness to self-improvement, and willingness to learn other new languages put her in an excellent position to find a job.
But Vismit credits the Spouse Program for helping her better discern the nuances of the Finnish Job Market, “I would not have been able to find a job in my first ten months without the support of the Spouse Program. The community really helped me understand the Finnish job market, how to build my CV, how to make a compelling pitch, and correctly utilize LinkedIn.”
Vismit’s current employer contacted her after one of their company representatives heard her pitch during a Spouse Program pitching event. The representative was impressed by Vismit’s pitch and forwarded her profile to her current manager. These events provide spouses with the opportunity to pitch themselves to company representatives.
She further explains through the Spouse Program, she already had her first point of contact when she started her job. “When I was hired, I found out another Spouse Program participant was already working at the same company. It was great to have someone I knew, even if we had only met virtually, at my new job”.
Vismit describes the Spouse Program as an open, supportive, and transparent community, “we are a strong pool of talent, but we all in the same situation. As a community, we try to support each other and keep each other motivated”.
Even after finding employment, Vismit has continued to support other Spouse Program participants. Sharing her experience, providing them with guidance, and motivating her peers.