S - SKILLS
Moving to a new country and looking for a job can be a very stressful time. If you had a career back in your country, being jobless and not managing to get an interview, let alone a new job, might be extremely frustrating. The first advice that we have been giving to our participants was to evaluate their skills. Your first skills are hidden in your own personality and personal history. Which characteristics are influencing your skills sets? Are you outgoing? Cautious? Do you plan ahead? We have encouraged our participants to take different personality tests (for example 16 personalities) as well as feedback tests (like the Johari window). Knowing your own personality is a great tool to start thinking about the things that you are or the things that you do naturally and how they can be presented as skills.
Once this is done, focus on your strengths and weaknesses. What are the things that you are good at, that you have experience in? On the opposite, where do you know that you need to develop your skills sets? Focus on you and your own abilities. Once this is done, think in terms of threats and opportunities. Once put on the Finnish job market, how valuable are the skills that you’ve identified? What can be seen as an opportunity and on the opposite, what can be a threat?
For this aprt, you might need other people’s opinion. Your TE advisor is of course a good resource, but we also strongly encourage you to meet people who work in your industry, who do the job that you want to start doing in Finland. Ask them what are their skills, what are the ones expected from a worker in this field? Asking questions about skill sets, expected skills or even the trainings that people in the industry have received, will give you a very precious understanding on where you stand.
Participating in peer support groups and mentoring programs is also a very important tool to understand what other people in a similar situation as you have been going through and what kind of paths and decisions they have made.
Your skills come from your past experiences, and when you moved to Finland, it might be a very disappointing feeling. Many of our participants have expressed that they feel that their skills and abilities are not recognized or have lost all value. This is mainly because you have to rethink your skills in terms of the Finnish job market. Being here, you are competing with Finnish workers, who often have the language as an advantage. This will require you to be honest with yourself in analyzing the needs on the markets and how you can, with your unique skill set and experience, fill it up.
Unemployment can also be a very good time to rethink your skills, want to get more trainings or education, or even change your career path.