Living in an Expat World: Work in Denmark – what to do?

Belgium’s Tiny Maerschalk, who has worked for the International Community networking platform since its foundation in 2008, knows how it feels to settle in a new country. Dedicated to improving conditions for new arrivals, here she shares her insights about the business issues that mean the most to internationals in Denmark.

The job market in Denmark is tough. Anyone looking for work knows how frustrating the process can be – whatever your profile, it’s just tough. However, internationals face this challenge tenfold, and there is a great need to help this sidelined and talented workforce.
Mixed picture
At International Community we are in daily contact with internationals from all over the world in various stages of their lives. We meet them at our events, the International Citizen Service and our offices, and we talk to them on the phone or via email.
Fortunately, a lot of them are satisfied with life in Denmark. But we also meet many who are frustrated and disconcerted about living here – most often because of their job situation. Especially many graduates and partners of expats experience difficulty finding their feet in the job market.

Network works
So what can we do to solve or at least help the situation? There really isn’t one easy solution to this challenge. Together with our partners, we have arranged seminars, mentor programs and events with the aim of getting job searchers a little bit closer to a job. Luckily, sometimes someone gets a job through attending one of our initiatives, but there is of course no guarantee with the few job openings out there.
We always suggest that also attending social events with no or little emphasis on your job situation can bring you closer to a job just because you are out there enhancing your network. In Denmark more than 50 percent of jobs are obtained through one’s network.

Valuable resources
What else can we do? At the moment we use all our channels to bring attention to the fact that companies can easily tap into a pool of valuable resources by hiring international partners or students.
For employers in the export market or seeking new options in a specific market, the chances are that an international partner with the right background and education can help to penetrate new markets with a much higher success rate than a Danish employee.