The Amcham team represents six nationalities: American, British, Canadian, Estonian, Finnish and Greek. (Over the years, we’ve had fourteen of them. And six religions. And seven mother tongues.)
According to research, organizations with more diversity in their workforce grow and outperform those with less.
Let’s hear what two of our colleagues, Matthew and Anne, think.
In early 2010, I was offered a job at Amcham over the phone, and left my job in the financial services industry and moved to Helsinki three months later. When I left Canada that July, I told everyone that I would be home by Christmas, so I’m about five years late at this point.
I stayed in Finland for three main reasons: the job, the city, and the people. I have an interesting and unique job that takes advantage of both my education and interests, but my colleagues have always been the best part of working at Amcham.
Of course, the most important thing is the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made since moving here – I’ve been very lucky to have such great people around me.
I recommend a diverse workplace because you’re constantly learning when you’re at work. Just having Finns is already interesting for me, and I’ve had colleagues from Mexico, Singapore, Australia, and the U.S., among other countries. I’ve learned a lot about myself from them, including how many “Canadianisms” exist that I had no idea about, like “chesterfield”, or “coming to your house and slamming your cupboards”.
If you’re a foreigner looking to work in Finland after your studies, my advice is to think of what makes you unique in this marketplace compared to other job seekers. When it comes to language skills and the local culture, you’ll always be at a disadvantage compared to native Finns, so consider what you can deliver that’s a little harder to find here.
— Matthew Wood, Canada
It’s not often that foreigners end up in Finland for a reason other than studies, a job, or a relationship—family or otherwise. For me, I came to Finland on a whim more than anything else.
Looking for a change and new opportunities for self-development, I moved to Lappeenranta in 2013 to get my Master’s degree. After moving from the U.S. to St. Petersburg, Russia and living there for three years, Finland didn’t seem so scary. One thing led to another and I was lucky enough to land a job at Amcham Finland in January 2016.
I have been delightfully surprised by living here. I didn’t have many expectations coming into it, but Finland has become a place where I see myself settling down.
When it comes to diversity, Finland, as a market, is too small for many companies to grow and prosper in. Hiring employees with different backgrounds is your key to going international. It’s your key to growing in a lot of ways; a homogeneous workforce is a natural inhibitor of new ideas and opportunities. To quote Einstein, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insane.
For people like me who have studied here and want to stay and work: a job search is not only done online. The human element is still the most powerful in creating new connections. Go to events, seminars, lectures. Introduce yourself and follow up. Grab a coffee, sit down, and talk to people.
— Anne Polak, US
Amcham has partnered with EK, Team Finland, Finpro, Sitra, and Me2we to build the Findwork.fi service connecting Finnish enterprises with highly-educated internationals.