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Picture: CollegeDegrees360/Flickr

Picture: CollegeDegrees360/Flickr

Are you looking for a meaningful job in Finland? Here are four tips offered by the experts and students at the discussion panel ‘International Finland’ of the Social Scientst’ Career Fair held in January.

Volunteer for work

For a small fish, from a big pond, this may not mean much but here in Finland where the population is relatively intimate when compared with, for example, London or Paris, getting involved with an organisation ( paid or not ) can sometimes be the first step in branding yourself as a leader or qualified candidate for your next job.

Søren Rasmussen, a student of political science, suggests starting the process as soon as you have an idea.

Don’t wait to graduate before putting the word out that you’re looking for something and be aggressive.

Stay active in your organisation and use your contacts and influence to earn the respect and attention of community leaders whenever possible.

You never know whose watching.

“For those of us studying political science, we already want to work in organisations. Start while you’re still a student,” he said.

Rapidly connecting to others through different circles within the university can slingshot you into the viewing path of those ready to invest in foreign talent.

Share your life

Even when you think nobody cares. Do you blog? Instagram? FB? Test recipes and send the results to your Tumblr?

If you have a passion or a hobby that somehow relates to the principles you believe in or something that interests you, maybe even as a career, there’s no better time than the present to put it out there.

We live in a world with far more distractions than most of us (admittedly) can handle.

If you don’t let people know you’re out there you’re more likely to disappear than to be magically discovered by your future employer.

All it costs is time and in return you’ve created a great tool that not only you but others can share on your behalf as well.

It also makes it easier to answer the tricky question of the job interviewers: “What have you been up to?”

Learn Finnish

You have to learn it but you don’t have to love it.

Rasmussen said that he has often been using English in his projects but that the vast majority of Finnish companies require Finnish language skills in some capacity.

Whether you’re required to use them is another story but in the meantime, while you’re learning, let potential employers know you’re studying.

You’ve taken 6 classes?

That’s something.

Find a positive way to communicate that.

Don’t let your fear of fluency keep you from going after opportunities.

Maybe you don’t have native skills but you can offer something instead that is of interest to potential employers.

Also look for employers who might allow you to grow on the job. At least your enthusiasm won’t be overlooked.

Create your dream job

If you don’t see the job you want, try creating it.

The panel described a work history that was built on suggestion, essays, proposals, and think-tanking.

These are where ideas and projects originate.

Once your thoughts are organised you can submit them for a review to loads of people who may have the power to tell you “yes.”

While this may sound frustrating that you have to create your own job, for those who have successfully accomplished this feat, you might hear it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of their work life.

[divider]Social Scientists’ Career Fair[/divider]

Kannunvalajat Ry (The Umbrella Organisation of Social Science Students in the University of Helsinki) together with the Social Science Professionals and the Faculty of Social Sciences (University of Helsinki) organised the first Social Scientists’ Career Fair in Finland. The Fair was held at Tieteiden talo (The House of Science and Letters) in Kruununhaka on January 27. The event gathered around 1000 students on the day and was organised by the students themselves.