Finland is becoming a popular immigrant-moving country. It has been declared as the happiest country in the world for the last 5 years, and without a shadow doubt with the quality of life and facilities. Many foreigners moved here from their countries, some are looking for improvement of life, finding a job or to live with their spouse. I came to Finland in 2019 from Pakistan because my husband is a Finnish citizen, so I had to move here. In the first look I liked this country, its beautiful scenery was fascinating.
My goal was to find a suitable job for me in this competitive market. I had my master’s degree in social work, and I was expecting that I could find the job easily. However, I was wrong when I tried to find a job, because I found that the main obstacle and problem is language. In other words, I cannot perform a job without learning the Finnish language. I speak only Urdu and English.
But how to get into a workplace to practice Finnish language in first place, if Finnish work culture finds resistance to trust immigrants and their lack of fluency when it is not native level?
What happened after I realized that? I enrolled myself in Finnish Integration Training and started to learn the Finnish language. I got paid for that, which is very good for immigrants who are learning Finnish language and trying to gel well within Finnish society and culture; getting that money allowance is a way to help them to bear their expenses.
Now I have completed my Finnish Language Training. What next? I got the degree equivalence certificate from the Finnish National Agency for Education, which makes my degree previously acquired in Pakistan valid to use in Finland. Still, I find it hard to get a job because after learning the language you need to practice it which is possible mainly if you do it in a workplace. But how to get into a workplace to practice Finnish language in first place, if Finnish work culture finds resistance to trust immigrants and their lack of fluency when it is not native level?
Let me share a personal experience regarding a job interview in a youth home as ohjaja (director). I had all the skills matching their job requirement, but still they were reluctant to give me a job because of my Finnish Language fluency. Even though they clearly understood my Finnish, my level of fluency did not match their expected criteria. I was suggested to practice more, but again, in my case this can be possible if I only get a chance to do it in a workplace. But could not get that job. However, my job-hunting journey still continues, but I believe that someday, real soon, I will get a job where I can show my potential and skills.
Some tips for concluding words. You must study additional subjects if your degree is not equal to the Finnish education system, because as it happened to me, you are going to need a degree equivalence certificate. Also, if you want to go in the social and health care profession, you may also need a Valvira Certificate, which is given to Social Workers and Healthcare Professionals.
If you got all this in your resume plus fluency in Finnish language, then you can even apply for a government job. So, my advice to all the immigrants or people who want to come here to Finland, learning the Finnish language is a must, so that your job-hunting journey can be easy and fruitful.
Best Of Luck.
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