Tips for expats: How to crack the Norwegian job market

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Photo: Lisbeth S. Storli

Published by Oslo Business Region, 20 September 2023

If you are new to Norway and want to get your career on track but lack the know-how and network, how and where do you get started? Check out these "hacks" from Lisbeth S. Storli from Contento (Jobbreisen). She is facilitating Oslo Business Region's new career mentor program for international spouses/partners of startup employees.

Success in the job market comes from a mix of hard work, stamina and a bit of luck. Preparation gets you only so far; then you need to meet the right people at the right time.

Here are a few hacks international newcomers can do to move the process forward:

1. Know your strengths and transferable skills. Be specific about what you bring to the table and how you can contribute to the company.

2. Polish your CV and LinkedIn profiles. Think about the "dream job" you want and gear your CV towards that. Highlight transferable skills. Be clear about the kind of role you are seeking so that it’s easier for others to match you with the right opportunity.

3. Prioritize building your network. Be visible and get to know people. Attend interesting conferences. At the very least, you will learn something new and hopefully meet a couple people who can open doors for you. Reach out to other job seekers to attend events and build your networks together. Remember that social gatherings and volunteering can uncover exciting job leads.

4. Leverage local references. While pursuing your dream job, be open to projects, consulting and volunteering. These types of opportunities, even if short-term and not at ideal compensation, will help you get to know people and will give you local references who can attest to your skills and capabilities.

5. Get to know Norwegian work culture.

  • Be well prepared for interviews/meetings and be on time

  • Address people by their first names and don’t get hung up on titles

  • Respect work-life balance, equality/ low hierarchy and the high trust culture

  • Show a willingness to learn and speak Norwegian

Thank you for your insights, Lisbeth!