Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Employment and a beautiful image of Sodankylä!

Again, I have been on the missing list for a while.

Been suffering with a terrible chesty cold and flu symptoms. This time, I had to give in and go to bed. Normally, I keep on going.. but this time, no. I had what felt like an elephant living on my chest.. and as there aren't many to the pound of those in Lapland.. I knew something was VERY wrong! So, off to my bed it was! We aren't normally a family to come down with this sort of thing wholesale, but this nasty bug has done the rounds with us twice since before Christmas!

Ok.. what else can I up date you with... oh yes, my son Jake has got himself a job! His FIRST ever job actually :D

As I've probably mentioned before, it is very hard to get work in Finland as an immigrant. However, he got an interview over the phone for a part time job and just casually left out the fact that he was British. I told him that would be best.. that if his Finnish was good enough (which we all know it is) it wouldn't even be questioned. He used the Finnish version of his name when he called... which is pronounced like 'Yakkay' and I truly detest it! He is ok with it though and I guess that is what matters. To me he is Jake, his given birth name after all. Anyway... I digress.

It was only half way through the interview itself that he told them.. and apparently they were somewhat surprised! As he pointed out... 'That's why I have an odd surname!'

It's a telesales job, selling magazine and newspaper subscriptions - which are quite a popular thing here - but even still it is not the easiest of jobs.. not even for a native. It takes a certain kind of 'something' to be happy doing that role. We have explained this to him, to be ready for a lot of 'no thankyou!'s and more extreme answers LOL.. and he is happy to give it a try. It will be, if nothing else, a good experience for him. His first paid job! He starts on Monday after school. It is for a minimum of 15 hours a week. He hopes to do it also during the summer holiday, before starting college.

I am.. no, WE are, both very proud of him! His Finnish IS excellent though! Such an achievement. Only today, I was reading a site that is advertising (during 2009) the problems of Finnish immigrants getting work. The following link page is in english.

As it says:
'With 132,000 immigrants compared to its more than five million inhabitants, Finland has fewer people of foreign descent than any other country in Europe. Immigrants' unemployment rate is three times higher than that of other Finns'. High language requirements, prejudices and discriminating attitudes among employers make it really difficult for immigrants to get a job here, no matter how hard they try or how highly educated they are'.

It's good to see it in black and white.. I was beginning to think I was imagining it! So, yes.. a VERY well done Jake! He is a very social 16 year old!

I personally, also got myself a short term / part time hotel job during January and February...because there is often many people in town during that time of the year and there is extra help needed. Even still, I was only going to be employed if my Finnish was good enough. My Finnish is nowhere near as good as Jake's. I was delighted to get my little job. Some extra money at the quiet part of the year online!

Jobs for foreigners ARE rare!

I will leave you now.. with a FANTASTIC image of Sodankylä, taken by a fellow Brit, living here in Sodankylä. Sally took this wonderful photograph in November, of the Kitinen river, from the shore of her beach sauna at Tähtelä (A local geophysical obvservatory that I will write about soon). The Kitinen is just one of two rivers that winds through the town. As you can see... it is of course frozen solid right now!

Isn't it wonderful? Great photo Sally! (Oh and btw..Happy Birthday to you Sally too!)
'Paljon Onnea Vain' as they sing in the Finnish!