Jobs In Norway
Before I moved out to Norway I had worked for IBM UK Ltd for 3-4 years and had a fairly decent well paid job. I met my ex-Norwegian girlfriend at IBM and decided to move out to Norway with her. So, having worked for such as large company as IBM, I thought I could get another decent job easy in Norway, but that was far from the truth.
I learnt the basics of the Norwegian language before I left, just to get me started and thought I would learn more whilst I was out there. In hindsight, I would have spent a lot more time learning the language as perhaps then I would not have been so disappointed at the basic labour and jobs I could get.
I had four jobs in Norway in total and each of them were totally different to what I had done before in the UK, so was a new experience and something I had to pick up on the job.
A few weeks after arriving in Norway I went to Manpower AS, one of main job agencies at the time in Norway and signed up to their books. I took a typing speed test whilst there and was told I was one of the fastest typers she had ever met, so that gave me a little confidence boost.
They were nice people and managed to get me a job working for Manpower’s main office in Oslo. I worked in the invoice department, but was the only foreigner there. As this was my first job in Norway I gave everything to the role, but not knowing the language held me back.
Also, I found that people would avoid talking to me, because they were not confident speaking English, so it felt very lonely at times.
It wasn’t a bad, or difficult job, but was a long way down from what I was used to doing in IBM. However, when you move to Norway you have to leave your old ways behind, so I still gave it my best.
The job came to an end after three months, as there was a Norwegian guy I worked with who didn’t like the “hired foreign help” and made my life difficult, talked about me to his friends in Norwegian whilst I was sitting next to him and he eventually convinced management to let me go. Wasn’t the best start to my new life in Norway, but when you need the money you put up with these things.
I had a period of about a month where I couldn’t find work, then my ex-girlfriend asked one of her friends if they could get me a job at a local theme park called Tusenfryd. I hadn’t done any manual labour before, but again, was willing to give it my all for the experience and the money.
This was a very basic job, where I picked up wood from the ground and put it in a wood bin, then cleaned bolts and on one occasion I helped drill some holes and bolted the wooden roller-coaster. I felt very low at this point. Going from IBM to this, was hard and again, along came the language barrier.
The Norwegian staff would not talk to me, apart from my girlfriends friend, but luckily for me, they had three temp staff working on the wooden roller-coaster being an Englishman, Irishman and Norwegian (no I’m not going into a joke here). I worked with these guys for a couple of months, then Winter hit.
I had never worked outside, let alone in the depth of the Norwegian Winter! It was -15oC outside, was very cold and I spent most of my time alone. I had to walk from Vinterbro bus station to Tusenfryd in Winter, even though the Norwegian staff lived in the same town as me, but didn’t offer a lift (language again).
This job came to an end, when one of the Norwegian staff wanted me to pick up a board of wood, but instead of asking or pointing to it, he pushed me at it, then pointed. I understood that he couldn’t speak English very well, but I was not going to be treated like that. So I thanked my friend who gave me the job and was on my way.
My third job, was from another good friend of mine, who got me a reception job at Viking International AS, which produced Maglamps and Knives and such. I had to open post, update their computer system and post out replacements for products.
It was only a two week job, but it was a little odd giving a front desk roll to someone who could barely speak the language and I was on my own! I did appreciate it though, as again I saw it as an experience and of course, two weeks money.
I think the company has gone bust since, otherwise I would have added an image here. Again, no one really spoke to me (reoccurring theme here) but they were at least pleasant enough to me this time.
My final job in Norway was working for a surveying company called Solli & Hoff. I was the stick holding guy, which doesn’t sound too glamorous and it wasn’t. However, what I did like about the job was the different areas of Norway I would not have normally got to see.
I went to various locations in and around Oslo, and once I worked on the top of the Postbanken building in Oslo as they had built four new floors. What I didn’t know was they they were just that, only concrete floors with a small barrier around the edge! Took me a while to get used to the height and lack of walls and of course, our job was to measure points on the edge!
But this was one job that I actually enjoyed. I made a few friends there, people tried to speak to me and by this time, I had learnt some of the language so I was getting confidence to speak and understand what was going on. This job continued right up to the end (when my ex-girlfriend dumped me) and sadly I had to move back to the UK.
How To Find A Job In Norway
In one way I was lucky with the jobs I found in Norway, as almost all of them came via friends and family of my ex-girlfriend. Otherwise I may have found it harder to find work over there, not being fluent in the language.
If I had my chance again, I would have sent my CV to every English speaking company in Oslo, went to more job agencies and online, or maybe I would have freelanced for work.
One of the best ways to find a job is to “Google it”. If you type into Google “Jobs In Norway”, it brings back about 37 million results, but after search through the first few pages you should hopefully come across something suitable for yourself.
If you can find a job in Norway, while you are living in your own country, then applications for visas and residency permits are more likely to get granted. Also knowing that you will have some financial stability from the moment you land in Norway will help with your transition.
If you go to the following website, there is more information about how to find work in Norway and links to job agencies:- http://www.norway.org.uk/Embassy/faq/work/
Hmm, reading back what I have written, it does sound a little bleak doesn’t it? I hope I haven’t put you off as I’m sure your experience will be totally different to mine.
If you don’t have anyone over there to help you, then you can sign up to the state employment system, which will provide some benefit before you can get work and also help you find work.
What seems to work is to let someone else find jobs in Norway for you, which is where a job agency comes into play. If anyone knows any job agencies in Norway, or if any approach me for advertising then I will add them here as working and finding a job (unless you are rich) is pretty much the most important part of the move.