Living in Sweden as an international during an almost… | Undutchables

Living in Sweden as an international during an almost lock down - what to do?

Blog provided by Nimmersion AB, established 25 years ago with a focus on helping companies that recruit international talents with work permits, housing and all the other practical matters to help a newbie come to Sweden, legally, comfortably and prepared.

Sweden is a great place to live and work and most of our assignee's extend their stays for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s a great place to live! Sweden’s flat corporate structure and autonomous work style appeal to many. Access and possibility to work with higher ups is a great learning experience and Swedish workplaces offer a good learning experience even for junior positions.

Secondly, international assignee's are needed and their contribution is much appreciated by the Swedish companies. By bringing new perspectives, different work styles and new experiences to the table are essential skills needed by Swedish companies that enhance their product and service offering.

So in COVID-19 times, a lot of employees are home based, working remotely and others are actively searching for a job. Not easy times for anyone at this point, yet it nonetheless offers opportunities especially if you are getting excited to start working and want to use this time to prepare.

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Starting a job in a new country can be daunting, there are more things to think of than when you are in your hometown. This makes the first few weeks really tiring and there is a lot more than just the job to take in. While in lock down (or close to it) it’s a good time to set up some strategies and practices for the day when you are gainfully employed - YAY!

So, let think of what skills may be important for you?

  • Increase your adaptability to change
  • Educate yourself on cultural nuances and prepare so you don’t make rookie mistakes
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture from the comfort of your own sofa
  • Learn new skills that are marketable
  • Improve your Swedish skills

Where can you find these resources?

Nimmersion provides a pro-bono online course called Professional Inspiration to prepare you for a move to and working in Sweden. It’s free of charge. You can find it HERE.

Undutchables Sweden can assist you with qualified leads to great sources (Grow Internationals, Berlitz, Swedish for Professionals, different apps that are available and maybe even free) and some people swear by Duolingo.

What skills are needed in Swedish and how are you employable even in a downturn?

Read up on what skills are needed in Sweden at the moment and skill up. There are free MOOC classes - massive open online courses- that you can sign up for that are given by high quality universities around the world, not least from America, and there’s Udemy and These resources are great places to start.

The downturn that we can anticipate to be the aftermath of the Covid-19 will also make entrepreneurship and self leadership important talents. Not only will companies be leaner and there will likely be less time for guidance given by co-workers, hence the need for self leadership.

To stay in business all companies, large and small, will need entrepreneurship and to actively contribute to that means you will be a valuable employee.

Depending on whether your qualifications are very niche or more general you can hone other skills so that you can contribute to your own job security.

What else can you practice while being inside?

Update your LinkedIn profile so it’s up to date.

Improve and expand on your network.

Be patient, think long term in terms of skills and contacts and don’t give up! On LinkedIn people have a lot more time and engagement has increased as people are looking for human connection. This is an opportunity for you!

Stay on top of the news - it’s a good way to understand Sweden.

Information in English:

Stay clear of toxic conversations and FB groups, it won’t benefit your mood or outlook on life.

Stay positive!

Connect with future friends and find virtual fikas or after works.

Sign up at Undutchables Sweden's talent pool:

There will be a post-Corona so look past this bump in the road, see if you can even find some silver linings and opportunities. Crisis is the birth mother of innovation - perhaps you will come up with something? If nothing else you can become a master chef or learn to play the ukulele. The world is your oyster.

Written by Lena Rekdal, Founder of Nimmersion in 1995. During her years as an entrepreneur she has lived through three major downturns in the economy and while this blog was written the outlook for jobs changed fairly dramatically. She strongly believes in the turnaround of companies and that for ambitious, entrepreneurial job seekers that are willing to adapt their skills to the market there are great opportunities ahead.

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