Martina had no objections to the Spanish weather, but found their bureaucracy a nightmare.
What’s your job title and what do you do during a typical day at work?
I am a student worker at WorkinDenmark and I work around 15 hours per week. My main responsibility is to transfer job offers from company websites to our website, so that they are available to jobseekers from abroad. Apart from that, I
help out with any other emerging tasks my colleagues can use my help with.
How long have you worked for WorkinDenmark?
I started in November 2014, so I have been with WorkinDenmark for almost six months now.
What characterises an employee at your company?
They are just great. They are very open, young-at-heart and have fun with each other. I think that creates a very good working atmosphere, which is
important when you spend the whole day together.
What other countries have you worked in?
Before coming to Denmark, I worked in Barcelona for three years. I had a position as a team leader in accounts payable there and was responsible for three teams – a total of 15 people.
It’s often said that the working environment in Denmark is relatively informal and relaxed. Is this the case at WorkinDenmark?
I would definitely say yes to that. In this case it was true what was taught in cultural studies: companies have flat hierarchies and informal interaction. I think if my former Spanish colleagues would come our meeting room at lunchtime, they would not be able to tell who is in a higher position and who is not. I am really impressed how relaxed and happy everyone seems to be at work.
Are you aware of any stereotypes about Denmark and the Danes? How do these compare with reality?
I was not aware of any of them beforehand, but now I am. I guess that’s the way the human mind works. When people asked me about the Danish language I used to say: “Just try to swallow your tongue and you got it.” I do not mean it in an offensive way – I am just trying to give people a picture of what it sounds like if you are not familiar with it! No need to mention that I still haven’t mastered the art of the Danish language.
Informality and a closed character are also stereotypes about Denmark I am aware of. As mentioned above, at least here at WorkinDenmark, informality really exists. About the character – I do not agree, as in my own experience Danish people present themselves in an open and cordial way, but it might be true that it takes some more time to have a deeper friendship with someone (especially compared to Spain).
Did you feel that it was easy as an expat to come to work in Denmark?
I think I was lucky to find my job. I met one of my colleagues at a career fair at CBS and asked her if it was actually possible to work for WorkinDenmark. The position I am now in did not exist at that time, but I was encouraged to call and apply – and was successful. However, I did not exactly come to Denmark to find a job, but to study for my master’s degree. I think the whole bureaucratic process in Denmark is very easy to understand, and it is very easy to find out where you have to go and what you have to do (it was not that easy in Spain). It was easy to come to Denmark, but it is never easy to find a job.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming to Denmark to work?
Be prepared that searching for a job is harder work than the job itself. That’s also what we tell jobseekers looking for advice. Job searching in Denmark is more than a full-time job and you need to be prepared for that.