Can you be professional AND kind at the same time?

Yes, being professional is kind! 

Why is that? 

Well, being professional means being clear and upfront with what can and what can’t be done. 

Being professional is honoring the expertise we have, our clients and colleagues. 

What does that mean? 

Being in the services industry it’s easy to get asked “Just this quick, general question” many times per day and week. 

Why is it important to follow a protocol? 

There’s a huge difference between “just giving a quick answer” many of which can result in major issues for the person that asked and dedicating our expertise to evaluate the full picture.

It’s also a fine line of being a great provider and partner to our clients and being nonchalant with the advice we give. 

Let me explain.

We live in a complex world and some areas such as immigration, housing contracts, and local registrations to Sweden aren’t necessarily appropriate to just answer a “quick question”. There are thousands of people that have received responses from the Migration Agency’s information desk that end up being evicted from Sweden. That happened based on “just a quick question” without an understanding that many more questions should be asked.

How can that happen? 

Isn’t their advice correct? If they said something don’t they have to honor the information given? No they don’t have to do that. The quality of the question will determine the quality of the answer. We know that when someone says “I was told…” they also didn’t ask the same question as the one we just answered. Given that you speak with experts the answer should be largely the same regardless of what you ask. If it isn’t the information provided has probably differed. 

This is when things can go wrong, both if you ask the migration agency and when you ask us “just a quick question”. The reason is that a fast check-in often doesn’t dig deep enough into the individual situation to provide valuable and pointed advice. 

Complex matters must be carefully considered, reviewed and usually we need much more information to safeguard the employees legal status. 

Quick and general questions are; 

What is the salary threshold for an EU Blue Card?

What is the application fee to the Migration Agency? 

These questions are easy to answer. However, they don’t paint the whole picture. We are not asked what all the employment requirements are. Which then omits crucial information that the person may or may not know about. We don’t know, what you don’t know. 

One of many examples is when a talent goes from one type of permit to another. Let’s say they arrived as students or interns and are offered a permanent position. There’s a lot of requirements that need to be fulfilled to create a perfect transition.  

Another common situation is when a talent has been in Sweden previously or is leaving one employer for another. That is what we call a risk situation and when a client asks whether it’s OK to just get started we will need to go through every detail of previous permits to see that it’s OK. Without this due diligence more than one employer has found themselves with an employee that is evicted. The so-called kompetensutvisningar, evictions of talents.

So to get back to the question is it possible to be kind and professional? 

Yes, it is and being professional means following a quality protocol and not giving standalone answers without looking at the full picture. To ensure quality and to safeguard employees’ current and prospective ones alike is to go through the motions of setting up an assignment, assigning it to someone that will dedicate time, effort and expertise to make sure it’s a safe situation for the parties in questions. 

Answering one off questions isn’t kind nor is it professional to skimp on getting advice when it’s needed. 

Assignments means accountability. It’s not a distracted quick answer to get right off one of the daily 200 emails. It’s something that is ordered, paid for and the expectation for the outcome is perfection. Taking responsibility also means being rewarded for the input. 

All around it’s a win-win to act professionally and kindly. Running a business as an expert based “quick & dirty” questions or answers is the opposite of a duty of care. We aim to be reliable and professional so our clients can trust our advice. 

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