A friend of mine who arrived in Finland a few years ago obsessed about getting a part time jobs in Helsinki, believing there was no other choice of employing herself
As I told her, "To live and work in Finland is not easy", even though there is work in Finland for English speakers and generally Finnish people can speak enough English, it doesn’t really translate into working life. Many immigrants that arrive in Finland have a expectation that English is the first language of Finland, because Finnish is seen as being so difficult to learn. This is fundamentally true, but those of us who have lived in Finland for a while have realised that instead of waiting for something to happen, taken action is the key.
There is three main options for the immigrant in Finland:
- Learn Finnish well enough to get the best jobs in Finland for a foreigner (A good option)
- Do not learn Finnish and end up trying to find work in a English speaking work environment (The worst option)
- Or become a entrepreneur (The best and fastest option)
Originally went for the first option and studied Finnish, gained a degree and then integrated myself into a Finnish working life. However, even though this is a good option, this does not mean that everything went fine and somehow I have found the best jobs in Finland. In reality, I was still bound by the work life restrictions of the glass ceiling of Finnish society, yes there are a few that smash through the ceiling even without speaking Finnish, but on the whole it is very difficult to achieve true career success.
The most successful foreigners in Finland such as Keith Armstrong (Football manager) and Neil Hardwick (actor and writer) still speak Finnish and have very public careers. However, in my opinion the unsung heroes are those that start a business against all odds. A few of the options I know of that need no Finnish language skills at all are:
- Running online businesses (Low investment, Low risk)
- Starting pizza / fast food restaurants (High investment, high risk)
- Starting a local delivery service with a secondhand van (Modest investment, Modest risk)
These shoestring entrepreneur became my inspiration to start my own business and build an unstoppable career in Finland.
So, finally after some years in Finland I become a entrepreneur, which many may feel is about simply starting a business, but it is more than that, becoming a entrepreneur is a mindset change and a revaluation of self. As a good friend told me, "an entrepreneur is never unemployed" which finally makes anything possible.
What is the alternative to searching English jobs in Finland?
Becoming a entrepreneur was my solution and alternative to looking for English jobs in Finland. My path to success started when my wife and I moved out of the city and into the countryside. Once we had settled into our new home I realised I had time on my hands. My commute to work everyday was about 30 minutes and generally I had evenings and weekends free. I enjoyed my work, but I still wanted to do something more such as start my own business, so I went through my options in relation to my skill base, what I could afford to start as well as the benefits of doing it in Finland.
I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I set out a list of characteristic and financial needs I wanted to see in any future business. I believed it would help to see what business career options were available for me in my situation in Finland.
What was the advantage of starting a business in Finland?
My personal skills
- Affordable, fast and high quality internet services including 3G and even G4
- Affordable communication services
- Time and environment to run a business
- Support from my wife
Characteristic and financial needs of a work from home business
- Knowledge of internet marketing
- Knowledge of best practices from working online
- Knowledge of keyword optimization
- Knowledge of SEO marketing
- Knowledge of video marketing
- Knowledge of social media marketing
- Knowledge of content marketing
- Knowledge of HTML editing
- Knowledge and the ability to create landing pages and Wordpress blogs
- Low startup cost or nothing
- Low risk
- Free webshop and marketing tools
- Free online admin and back office
- High quality disposable products for a niche market
- High quality products that customers are willing to puchase on a monthly bases
- No monthly fee
- Unlimited earning potential
- High retention rate of return customers
- A small enough product that would travel easily
- And the possibility to run the business online from anywhere where there is the internet
After a lot of research into work from home businesses and even the idea that I could start something from scratch I decided to look at a few turnkey business opportunities and even a few of the network marketing companies. In the end I made my choice and begun a network marketing business which allowed me to work from home.
After a slow and shaky start I managed to build a international business from a cabin the the Finnish countryside.
Don't get me wrong, this was hard work and sometimes I think it could be far easier to just get a job, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed ever moment and felt empowered that as a foreigner anything is possible if we only want it enough. The important aspect of running any business is understanding our why and what we really want from our business. However, more importantly running a business solo needs a strong personality and the determination to succeed. When there is no-one telling us what to do we are for the first time given complete freedom which divides the ones willing to take action and the ones who are not.
Shortly after my first touch of success, I made a decision to move into the local town of Porvoo about three years ago, simply because we could. I had taken control of my life and nothing was going to stop the momentum.
This article is not about telling people that move to Finland that getting a job is a futile career move, but to allow them to understand that there is options available to them. Everyone need money and everyone needs to feel that they are moving forward in life and career, but sometimes a job does not tick all the box that we need to feel we have achieved something bigger than we could imagine.
Is running a business one of the best jobs in Finland?
I am not sure if running a business is better than having a job, there are high taxes and lots of rules, but personally, I love it. I could easily say it's all about the money, but really it is not. I could say it's about the power, but again I don't really care about that. What it is about, is the possibility of achieving something bigger than we are. A job is a job, it brings in money and you can pay your bills and if you are lucky there is enough to go on holiday or some other luxury in life. On the other hand, a business brings hope, allows us to dream and finally allows us to be free to choose.
Since, starting my own business, we have choosing to sometimes live in Finland or Spain or really anywhere there is a good internet connection. I run my business from home and home is where I hang my hat, which is the freedom I have always wanted. Running a work from home business simply ticks all the boxes for me, so looking back to my past employment options, I can't imagine returning to that lifestyle any time soon.
Personally, looking for part time jobs in Helsinki like my friend does is not the way to go, yes of course working for a living while building your dreams is a good plan, that I would recommend, considering that was my plan that worked for me. However, when it is possible to start your own business for as little as 20€ I find it difficult to understand why perusing this option is not taken more often. Yes, I am guessing that fear has a large part to play, but I believe we only live once and this is not a dress rehearsal, so building a existing business where you are the architect of your future is powerful that it should be considered as a real option.
So, if you are finding it difficult to even get an interview for English jobs in Finland and would like to consider starting your own business - Click here
and we will send you more details on how to start a home business in Finland.