Moving to Finland and integrating here, especially when looking for a job might be baffling. Many of our participants have been very surprised by some procedures and have lost a considerable amount of time following one path before realizing that another would have been better for them.
In Finland, and especially with the administration, you will receive general information. Even though most of the decisions (administrative, legal, social) are based on individual cases evaluation, the information received is most of the time very general. One of our main advice would therefore be: ask questions. For many of the public agent or social workers who will receive you, most of the things that are unclear or worst unknown for you, are obvious for them. You might miss very crucial information, just because you didn’t ask a clear and direct question. Don’t hesitate to use a translator, ask to meet people in person and prepare questions in advance.
This is also valid for your job interviews, during networking events, with your spouse. Asking questions is your responsibility. Don’t assume that things are working the same as in your country, don’t decide based on your friends or spouse experience. Your case is unique, and you should ask as many questions as you can.
Social and NGO workers are a precious source of information, as they might have more time to spend on your own specific case. Peer support groups are also very efficient in guiding you to the right places to get answers.