Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon!
Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon!
FinnishPod101.com Blog
Learn Finnish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Working in Finland' Category

How to Find Jobs in Finland — A Guide for Foreign Workers

Thumbnail

So, you want to work in Finland? Stay optimistic, but prepare yourself for a challenge too! Job hunting in a new country can be absolutely daunting. There’s paperwork to consider, a potential language barrier to overcome, and a whole new work culture to wrap your head around. And where do you even start to look for vacancies?

These unique challenges aside, working abroad is incredibly rewarding and we commend you for your interest! We’ve written this guide on finding jobs in Finland to make the process less stressful for you. We’ll cover essential information about working in Finland as a foreigner, explore different avenues for job searching, and look at some alternatives to traditional employment.

Six People Dressed in Different Types of Professional Clothing

Let the job hunt begin!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Finnish Table of Contents
  1. What You Need to Know About Working in Finland
  2. Job Hunting in Finland
  3. Other Work Opportunities
  4. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Get a Job in Finland

1. What You Need to Know About Working in Finland

Seeking work abroad is always going to be more complicated than job hunting in your native country, so before you even start applying for jobs in Finland, make sure that you’re informed about the local laws and customs first.

It’s also wise to do some research on the local job market to get an idea of what skills are currently in demand and where you’re most likely to find jobs in your field. You’ll also need to take into account your proficiency level in Finnish—we’ll come back to that in a moment!

Mood of Learning offers a free orientation program for employees who want to learn more about Finland and the Finnish work culture.

1 – Paperwork

First things first: Depending on your nationality, there might be some paperwork you need to complete before you can work in Finland.

EU nationals and citizens of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries can enter Finland to look for a job for up to three months and aren’t required to apply for a residence permit. Just make sure that your passport (or other official identity card) remains valid for the entire duration of your stay and that you have registered with all the relevant authorities, and you’re good to go!

If you’re coming to work in Finland from elsewhere, you must secure a job before you can enter the country. You also need to apply for a residence permit for an employed person, which may be granted either on a temporary or a continuous basis, depending on your job. Note that you cannot work in Finland with only a regular residence permit or a visa.

A note on qualifications: If you studied outside of Finland, you’ll need to have your qualifications recognized by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) or another relevant authority before you can apply for jobs that require a degree. You can read EDUFI’s publication Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in Finland for more details.

A Visa and Passport

Make sure all your documents are in order before you start working in Finland.

2 – Do you need to speak Finnish to get a job in Finland?

Knowing Finnish is always beneficial when applying for any job in Finland—and for lots of positions, including most customer-facing roles, it’s ‌essential. If you’re able to invest in learning Finnish before you start job hunting, you’ll have far more options to explore.

However, it doesn’t mean that it’s game over for you if you haven’t learned Finnish yet! With a bit of creativity, determination, and thinking outside the box, it’s possible to find jobs in Finland for English speakers. For example, Finnish skills aren’t always required for cleaning and kitchen jobs, bartending, mail delivery, construction, or warehouse jobs.

You can also work in Finland without Finnish skills if you plan to work in the tourism sector, for example as a walking tour guide in Helsinki or as a seasonal worker in Lapland. English is used a lot in the IT and creative industries as well, so software engineering and design-related jobs may be options too, as is teaching English as a foreign language.

The Finnish Flag Design Inside of a Speech Bubble

Speaking Finnish makes job hunting in Finland much easier.

3 – The Labor Market in Finland

Like many Western countries, Finland has an aging population and many sectors are in need of new workers. Employees that are currently in high demand include healthcare professionals—such as nurses, general practitioners, and dentists—as well as psychologists, social workers, early childhood educators, telesales staff, representatives, civil engineers, construction workers, and software developers. In contrast, unemployment tends to be highest in art, administrative, industrial, technical, and office work sectors.

You can learn more about the demand for specific skills and the availability of jobs in different parts of Finland by visiting the European Job Mobility Portal EURES, foreammatti.fi, and ammattibarometri.fi.

Since Helsinki is the capital and the largest city, it offers the widest range of job opportunities and is the number-one destination for many job seekers. However, it’s worth checking if there are more jobs in your particular field in other parts of Finland. One bonus of finding a job outside Helsinki is the lower cost of living. 

2. Job Hunting in Finland

In this section, we’ll get to the nuts and bolts of job hunting in Finland. There are various ways to find work, and it’s always a good idea to combine tactics to improve your chances of landing your dream job. 

1 – Job Search Engines

The best thing about job search engines is that you can browse them from anywhere in the world.

There are a lot of job search engines for avoimet työpaikat (“vacancies”), but the online job directory run by the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE-Services) is the largest of its kind. You’ll find job advertisements both in English and in Finnish.

Other general job search engines that are worth checking out include:

If you’re looking for work in Finland for English speakers, the following sites are useful:

You can always narrow down the results on general job search sites to listings in your specific field, but there are also industry-specific job directories out there.

For TEFL language teaching jobs in Finland, visit:

For blue-collar jobs in Finland, visit:

 For health-, science- & technology-related jobs, visit:

Someone Searching for Jobs in an Online Directory

You can find thousands of jobs in online job directories.

2 – Social Media

Don’t forget about social media! Facebook is very popular in Finland and it’s a great place to network and find out about new job openings. LinkedIn is used by head hunters to find suitable candidates, so make sure that you have a professional, up-to-date profile. Even Twitter is used by a growing number of companies to advertise vacancies, so be sure to follow any companies that you’d like to work for.

3 – Newspapers

It may sound like an old-fashioned way to look for a job, but if you’re in Finland, picking up your local paper for the vacancies is still worth it. Look for the following papers:

  • Helsingin Sanomat in Helsinki
  • Aamulehti in Tampere
  • Turun Sanomat in Turku
  • Keskisuomalainen in Jyväskylä
Someone Circling Vacancies in a Newspaper

Vacancies are still advertised in newspapers.

4 – Recruitment Agencies

Getting help from recruitment agencies could help you land a job faster. If you can find several agencies that are a good fit, it’s worth registering with them all to maximize your chances.

These are some of the prominent agencies in Finland:

  • Adecco – An international recruitment agency with a branch in Finland
  • Boyden Finland – An agency that specializes in executive roles

The following agencies specialize in outsourcing and hire temporary staff:

Two People Shaking Hands

5 – Recruitment Fairs

Rekrytointimessut (“recruitment fairs”) can be a good way to meet and make an impression on prospective employers. You could even walk away from a fair with an interview in the bag.

Many recruitment fairs are specifically aimed at students, but look out for events like the Finland Games Job Fair, which is open to anyone with relevant experience.


6 – Hidden Jobs

Many vacancies in Finland are so-called “hidden jobs” (piilotyöpaikat), which are not advertised. In these cases, the employer has decided to fill the position through their own networks instead. You can find these types of jobs by being proactive and contacting companies that you’re interested in. You can send an open application (known as avoin hakemus in Finnish) either via email or through the company’s website.

You can browse a list of notable companies in Finland on Wikipedia to get an idea of who to approach. 

7 – Get More Help Finding a Job

Sometimes finding a job can turn into a real struggle. If you find yourself in that situation, TE-services offers advice and training for the unemployed. People who have recently moved to Finland can also take part in kotoutumiskoulutus. The support given may include Finnish language training and job trials.

3. Other Work Opportunities

Landing a job is not the only way to earn money in Finland; there is also demand for freelancers and entrepreneurs in various fields. 

1 – Freelancing

Are you a programmer, graphic designer, photographer, translator, writer, or similar? If you have suitable skills, you could offer your services to clients as a freelancer in Finland.

Freelancing is also known as kevytyrittäminen (“light entrepreneurship”). The downside is that you’ll need to take care of your own billing, invoicing, and taxes and may have to spend a lot of time looking for clients and advertising your services.

Find out whether freelancing could be for you in Ukko.fi’s handy freelancer guide for immigrants PDF.

A Woman Working on Her Laptop

2 – Starting a Business

Starting a business abroad may sound even more daunting than looking for a job, but it could be a way for you to create your dream job for yourself. A lot of help is available for new entrepreneurs in Finland: you can get business advice and training from TE-services and apply for a start-up grant (starttiraha).

Read about becoming an entrepreneur in Finland in more detail in Guide to Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland. Alternatively, you can visit businessfinland.fi.

3 – Volunteering

Finally, if you’re interested in getting a taste of what working in Finland is like but don’t want to commit to a long-term stay, volunteering could be the right option for you. Even if you’re not getting paid, engaging in volunteer work in Finland can still benefit your career: you’ll gain valuable work experience, build your network, and improve your language skills.

Volunteering is called vapaaehtoistyö in Finnish. You can find volunteering opportunities at vapaaehtoistyö.fi and toimeksi.fi. International sites like Workaway and WWOOF Independents also have listings in Finland. To learn more about volunteering in Finland, visit  InfoFinland.

4. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Get a Job in Finland

By now, you should know that learning Finnish is vital for securing most types of jobs in Finland. Of course, speaking Finnish also makes it easier to make friends and enjoy your life here!

You’ll find plenty of resources on FinnishPod101.com to help you build your confidence fast, regardless of your current Finnish proficiency level. To get you into the right headspace for bagging that job in Finland, you could listen to a lesson on job searching and learn important vocabulary for remote work.

If you’re serious about getting fluent in Finnish (or simply want some extra help), our Premium PLUS MyTeacher service gives you access to one-on-one coaching with a professional Finnish teacher. What’s better, your teacher will be able to help you with any language-related problems you might come across while writing those CVs and cover letters!

Before you go, is there anything you’d still like to know about finding a job in Finland? Or maybe a job success story you’d like to share with other job-seekers? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Finnish