A process is “a series of actions which are carried out in order to achieve a particular result.” Job hunting implies action verbs: search, plan, think, do, write, speak, send. When you look for a job, you are active, and taking several actions, sometimes at the same time. This is an aspect that we have been discussing quite a lot with our participants, especially in our peer support groups, and that we hope you will have clear. Looking for a job requires to take action, to prioritize and organize. Job hunting is also a process because the result is clear: getting a job and sign a contract.
But once this is said, it is important to remember that:
Job hunting is an iterative process. It means that it requires you to take actions, analyze the results, and adapt your next action based on this. Sending an open application is an email. Sending a follow up email, asking for feedback, creating a list of the places where you’ve sent your resume… All this is iteration or constant feedback and adaptation. This can be overwhelming and difficult to do alone, and we encourage you to find support with your friends, family or networks. Peer support groups are a very important space, where you can get inspired by other people’s methods, failures and successes.
Talking about job hunting as a process is very important for you and your partner. Looking for a job takes time and energy. It has its ups and downs, it requires to take action, but it also depends a lot of aspects that you can’t control. Understanding the word “process” also means that you and your partner understand that job hunting will take time. Due to your own actions or to external factors, things might have to be put on hold, last longer than expected or go backwards. It might also go faster, based on unexpected events or opportunities.
Job hunting process takes time and is a 24/7 series of actions. Be ready to network, talk about the fact that you’re looking for a job to new people that you meet. Have your resumes ready to send. Look for the constructive aspects of the situation you are in regarding your goals.
Job hunting as a process is a state of mind. Many of our participants have had to break down in smaller pieces their goals and ambitions. Picking a momentary job, changing sector for a while, be a stay at home parent, study something new. All this will require you to have a clear goal in mind and be able to link it to your present actions. “I am doing this part time job now because my priority is to make a bit of money”, “I am studying Finnish now because I need the language to do the job that I want to do”.
One of the first thing to do is to set clear goals and priorities. What do you want to achieve? What do you want to have in 1 year from now? And 5? And 10? What are your life priorities? What are your current priorities? It is important that you have a clear idea of what you want to head for. Priorities are a very important topic, that we encourage you to think about and discuss with your partner. Do you want to focus on your family? Do you need to make more money? Do you want to explore a new field? There are no wrong and right answers, but it might be overwhelming to try to define it. Family, friends and network can help. Think also about mentoring programs and peer support groups, where hearing other people’s experiences, choices and decisions, might really help you to see things clearer.
The actions you are going to take depend on your goals. Job hunting is a process that will affect you, but also your partner, your family, your friends and your networks. Focusing on smaller actions, breaking down tasks in smaller ones can make it easier, especially as you are undergoing this at the same time as your integration process. Having your resume and cover letters reviewed and making lists of places where you can look for open positions or networking opportunities are simple, low threshold actions, that are useful and concrete.
Some concrete things might make the process easier.
Have your resume ready to be sent. You can then adapt minor details based on the position that you are applying to, but having it prepared will boost your confidence.
Administrative issues can be a terrible challenge and hold you back from doing anything. Take time to sort your administrative issues and don’t hesitate to ask for help from organizations and social workers. Some basic papers such as degrees for example need translation or Finnish recognition. You can find more information about this on the Finnish national agency for education’s website.
Do some research, ask questions, make sure to be explicit when things are unclear for you.
Communicate with your partner and take time to balance your job hunting and personal life. Your Finnish partner might have a vision and understanding of the job market that is influenced by his or her own experience as a Finnish person in Finland. Talking about your own experience and challenges is important, because some aspects that are obvious for him or her might not be relevant and/or known to you.