Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

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Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by Spucks » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:46 pm

How hard is it to find non-specialised office jobs (like secretarial, customer service etc.) in Finland for someone who doesn't speak Finnish? I'm considering moving to Finland in the next few years and want to know how realistic my chances are of finding a job.
I'm Austrian, so EU-citizen. I speak German (mother tongue) and am also fluent in English and Swedish, which is why I'd pick a city with a relatively big Swedish speaking population, to make things a bit easier.
Of course I plan to learn Finnish if I indeed decide to move, but am not kidding myself into believing that I could learn enough Finnish prior to moving to be able to work in an exclusively Finnish speaking environment.



Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

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SecretCode
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by SecretCode » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:17 pm

Since you are fluent in Swedish, look at places like Turku. Or if you like islands, Åland - you will hardly use Finnish at all there!

I think the chances of getting such a job in the majority-Finnish-speaking areas (95% of the country) without good Finnish are close to zero. But Swedish is an official language, so in principle you should be all set ...
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FinlandGirl
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by FinlandGirl » Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:49 pm

Spucks wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:46 pm
How hard is it to find non-specialised office jobs (like secretarial, customer service etc.) in Finland for someone who doesn't speak Finnish?
...
I speak German (mother tongue) and am also fluent in English and Swedish
Nearly impossible.

A majority of young Finns are fluent in at least Finnish, Swedish and English.
Why would anyone hire you instead?

Except for IT, it is nearly impossible to find any job without Finnish.
Spucks wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:46 pm
which is why I'd pick a city with a relatively big Swedish speaking population
In such an environment you might be fine with Swedish when you are a customer, since people working in customer service have to speak both languages in such places.

The Åland Islands are the only unilingually Swedish part of Finland.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by FinlandGirl » Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:50 pm

SecretCode wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:17 pm
Since you are fluent in Swedish, look at places like Turku.
5% of the population of Turku are native Swedish speakers, this is not not even above Finnish average.
Helsinki has a higher percentage of native Swedish speakers than Turku.

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by Spucks » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:55 am

FinlandGirl wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:49 pm
Nearly impossible.

A majority of young Finns are fluent in at least Finnish, Swedish and English.
Why would anyone hire you instead?

Except for IT, it is nearly impossible to find any job without Finnish.

In such an environment you might be fine with Swedish when you are a customer, since people working in customer service have to speak both languages in such places.

The Åland Islands are the only unilingually Swedish part of Finland.
Thank you!
Well, I assume if there ARE jobs available where you don't need to be able to speak Finnish, I should have a chance shouldn't I ;)
SecretCode wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:17 pm
Since you are fluent in Swedish, look at places like Turku. Or if you like islands, Åland - you will hardly use Finnish at all there!

I think the chances of getting such a job in the majority-Finnish-speaking areas (95% of the country) without good Finnish are close to zero. But Swedish is an official language, so in principle you should be all set ...
Thank you! Yes, Turku is one of the places I planned to look into.


Does either of you know how life is in Åland? Is it more like in Sweden or still very "Finnish-style", despite being predominantely Swedish speaking? I'm mainly interested in schools, since I left Sweden several years ago with my then 9 year old, because I found the schools so horrible.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by FinlandGirl » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm

Spucks wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:55 am
FinlandGirl wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:49 pm
Nearly impossible.

A majority of young Finns are fluent in at least Finnish, Swedish and English.
Why would anyone hire you instead?

Except for IT, it is nearly impossible to find any job without Finnish.

In such an environment you might be fine with Swedish when you are a customer, since people working in customer service have to speak both languages in such places.

The Åland Islands are the only unilingually Swedish part of Finland.
Thank you!
Well, I assume if there ARE jobs available where you don't need to be able to speak Finnish, I should have a chance shouldn't I ;)
When there are two candidates with equal qualifications for a position, except that one has the additional skill of speaking Finnish, why would anyone choose the candidate who lacks that skill?

I am curious why you are considering Finland but not Norway.
Since you speak Swedish and English but no Finnish, you have better chances of finding a job in Norway than in Finland.
Spucks wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:55 am
Does either of you know how life is in Åland? Is it more like in Sweden or still very "Finnish-style", despite being predominantely Swedish speaking?
I'm mainly interested in schools, since I left Sweden several years ago with my then 9 year old, because I found the schools so horrible.
I am not aware of any substantial differences between schools in Åland and Swedish language schools in other rural parts of Finland.

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by Spucks » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:21 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm

When there are two candidates with equal qualifications for a position, except that one has the additional skill of speaking Finnish, why would anyone choose the candidate who lacks that skill?
In that case, of course, if everything else is equal.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm
I am curious why you are considering Finland but not Norway.
Since you speak Swedish and English but no Finnish, you have better chances of finding a job in Norway than in Finland.
I am considering Norway as well, though I assume it's easier for me in the EU - haven't yet checked if I'd need any permits. Also Finland seems very likeable to me and I think Finnish sounds great, so I'd like to learn it and would love for my kid to speak it.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm
I am not aware of any substantial differences between schools in Åland and Swedish language schools in other rural parts of Finland.
Great, thank you!

FinlandGirl
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by FinlandGirl » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:32 pm

Spucks wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:21 pm
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm
I am curious why you are considering Finland but not Norway.
Since you speak Swedish and English but no Finnish, you have better chances of finding a job in Norway than in Finland.
I am considering Norway as well, though I assume it's easier for me in the EU - haven't yet checked if I'd need any permits.
You have to right to live and work in any EU or EFTA (Norway/Iceland/Switzerland/Liechtenstein) country.

Spucks
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: Office Jobs for non-finnish speakers

Post by Spucks » Sun Mar 14, 2021 9:11 am

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:32 pm
You have to right to live and work in any EU or EFTA (Norway/Iceland/Switzerland/Liechtenstein) country.
Thanks! I still prefer Finland, though ;)


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