I remember arriving in Denmark in 2003 full of enthusiasm and hope. But over the following months my enthusiasm dwindled – my hopes quashed by employment rejection letters and no invites to interviews.
Help in your new home
In the UK I’d been successful, first as a law graduate, then at forging a career in management. I rose quickly through the ranks, bought property and travelled frequently.
Denmark promised excitement, plenty of challenges and a fresh start. But three months in and I hadn’t found work and had few friends, while the daily challenges were wearing me down.
Fast-forward 16 years and today I am a CEO who helps internationals in their quest to settle in Denmark. Just like me, many of those I work with today are seeking employment opportunities.
They are highly-educated, experienced professionals with valuable skills and knowledge who could contribute to the growth of Danish industry, but find it impossible to find employment.
Crawling towards a goal
One thing we internationals have in common when we arrive in Denmark is a lack of understanding of Danish culture, and that includes workplace culture and particularly knowledge about recruitment procedures. If you would like to get hired, then understanding the application process is a good place to start.
Learning new things when you are an adult is not easy – even admitting you need to learn something new can be hard, but that is exactly what is needed.
I know how hard it can be, as I have recently set myself a goal of completing an Ironman. An Ironman involves swimming 3.86 km, cycling 180 km and finishing with a marathon (42.2 km) – the average finishing time is between 10 and 16 hours!
I can’t swim crawl, so with my end goal in mind I needed to seek professional help and guidance. I joined a club, networked with others and attended classes. I was incredibly nervous hopping into the pool that first day and celebrated just reaching the other side.
Eyes on the prize
If your end-goal is to find employment in Denmark, then be prepared to learn something new, to step outside of your comfort zone and to hop in.
Seek guidance and support from professionals or people who have experienced something similar, and commit to your goal 100 percent.
I like to let the people I work with know that it does get easier, and I promise that if you keep your goal in sight, then you will reach it.
I’m going after mine; now, go and get yours!