If you are moving to Sweden for work, it might be a good idea to learn from those who have already relocated to the country. We want to share with you some of the commonalities we have found in all the clients with which we have worked. Perhaps their experiences can help you integrate successfully.
What do successful ex-pats to Sweden have in common?
After 26+ years of experience welcoming ex-pats to Sweden, we have many success stories.
Moving is complicated, and Global Mobility Teams can attest to that. A great deal of preparation goes into a seamless relocation. In addition, a lot of work happens behind the scenes to alleviate administrative burdens for the assignee.
To smoothen the arrival, years, months, and days go into preparing and having workarounds to make life easier. In 2020 and 2021, the biggest hurdle is the extreme waiting times to get a Swedish personal number. However, this is just what happens to be the current big issue. There have been other issues in the past, and there will surely be new ones in the future. That is the role of the Relocation company to navigate around.
The role of the ex-pat is to make the best of the relocation and the job and to create an extraordinary life in Sweden. Also, when a family joins, even more is needed to ensure that they have a smooth landing and that each family member can thrive.
Moving to Sweden for work is often challenging; however, over the years, we have gotten to know many successful ex-pats, and they have some things in common.
Several spouses have set up their businesses. Starting a company in Sweden is pretty straightforward, although it may take some time. We have cheered on Wedding planners, photographers, artists, speciality cake bakers, and neuroscientists setting up a Swedish company.
Finding a job!
To find a job in a country where you do not have a network, do not know the language, are unaware of hiring practices, and perhaps even have a trade license that needs to convert is not for the lazy.
What works in the whole world, though, is grit and perseverance. The most fantastic spouse had a job within three days of arrival. During that time, she had also walked all over Stockholm, found good dry cleaners, cheese shops, and a favourite café, and knew her way around the inner city.
Many feel lonely initially, especially spouses that arrive without kids or a job. Having lunch with a crying newcomer, we had some ideas. We helped with introductions to others in the same situation, noticed in our newsletter about a lunch club, and the woman that was new in town got to know many people and became a pillar in the Expat Community in Stockholm.
To conquer a new location, a love for exploring is helpful. Being open to new experiences and willing to discover new things and places is an excellent way of enjoying life in a new location. There are clubs for winter swimming, skiing, ceramics, and anything else under the sun, along with Meetup and Internations.
Learning the language and cultural savviness!
Being curious about the new location is essential and to fairly quickly get a grasp of the language. We see the best outcomes with people willing to put in the effort to get at least a basic understanding of Swedish.
Picking up a book or two about Swedes and joining in the seasonal celebrations is also an excellent way to cultivate an understanding of the here and now. Instead of feeling frustrated and angry, seeing how things work can be seen as part of learning.
Asking questions is good. I remember having a surprise visit by a client. He needed some help to understand how things worked in his Swedish office. He felt the meetings were long and that nothing got done. He also believed that there were too many generalists and no specialists in his workplace. So we had to go back to the significant shift inland to see the beginnings of a Swedish workplace today. Where self-reliance became a more important trait, this can be seen even today in expressions like “A good man takes care of himself”.
Openness and preparedness are both essential traits and strategies for successful integration. The relocation company can remove a lot of pains along the way. However, the happiness in a move is up to the individual.
Many companies have mentorship programs, point to ex-pat groups, while schools have a parent’s association, and many have sports and interests as their way to find connections.
A relocation company makes moving to Sweden easier
For all cumbersome and frustrating administrative matters or dealing with the Swedish housing market, companies typically engage companies like Nimmersion to avoid problems and give their assignees a good start in Sweden.
However, the heavy lifting is on the Talent Acquisition team. They must find people that not only have the skills needed for work but also sniff out how they react to change and whether the family is on board too. Working with a relocation company, one great way to do this is to have a half-day area orientation with a relocation company where all questions answer for a better decision before signing on. Given Sweden’s fantastic location, it is not hard to get excited about living here.
In addition, Nimmersion offers a complimentary online course to all our clients. It’s called Expat Success, and it is a great way to prepare for a great move.
Are you thinking about what components can collaborate to make it a smooth transition for your employees? If so, do not hesitate to contact us for a discussion.
Are you thinking about moving to Sweden for work?
We here at Nimmersion have years of experience helping workers with their relocation to Sweden. Are you or one of your employees moving to Sweden for work? Are you in need of help? Do you have any questions to ask? Whatever the case, feel free to reach out to us. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible.