With our participants, we have been exploring Finnish work culture, and tried to help them navigate it. Trust is maybe the value that influences most of the behaviors in the workplace, and more generally on the Finnish job market. References, or more generally reliable people who can vouch for you when looking for a job are one of the main keys to the Finnish job market. Trust and genuine relationships are a cornerstone of recruiting processes in Finland. Therefore, building networks is so important.
Trust also influences the way the recruiting processes are held. Make sure that you can prove everything you mention, and that you don’t lie on your resume (see our article “anatomy of a resume) or your cover letter. In Finland, information is checked, at least for your first positions.
In your workplace or as a volunteer, you will quickly notice how much people trust each other within teams. Finland and other Nordic countries are well known for their “flat hierarchy”. This doesn’t mean that there is no hierarchy in Finland, far from it. But as a foreigner, you might be a bit baffled by the freedom that you may experience at your workplace. Once recruited, you are expected to know what your tasks are, and you will be trusted to perform them, with minimum supervision. You’ll be trusted to do what you say you’re doing, to be sick if you take a sick leave, or to be done when leaving early one day. For many foreigners, this might seem in the beginning as if there was a lack of management or structure. We encourage you to discuss about it with your superior, ask for regular feedback and meetings, and communicate clearly on your needs as an employee.