Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Work mentally, or is it mentality in Sweden

Things are looking up, depending on your viewpoint of the situation. It seems my experience and background have qualified me for a position here in this great land full of Scandinavians. This got me to thinking about the Swedish Work Ethic.

You see, as several swedes have pointed out to me during my stay here, Sweden is not a very big (based on populous) country. There are roughly 9 million people here and they are spread out in a Country the size of Alberta. There are many companies here, and quite a diversity of companies however due to the nature of how the population is spread out you wont find multiple huge multinationals all co-located in the same area. This occurred to me after having to find another job in my field. In Calgary, if i needed to go somewhere else, there is literally dozens of companies I could apply to, here in Stockholm however, there were 4. One was down and the others were not hiring.

This lead me to a stark realization. Having to find work could quite possibly mean a move. It would be a rare event for me to have to move from one city to another (without of course wanting to do so) in Canada however in talking with Swedes it didnt seem to be anything out of the ordinary. Most were of the opinion that they are 'LUCKY' to even find work and so jump at the opportunity. Quite strange.

On top of all of this, a Swede moving to another city possibly hundreds of KM's away and having to relocate their lives have to go through a probationary period for 6 months. Strange again.

On talking with an early 20-something, another thing made me wonder...people here truly believe that they should be paid on age and while this makes some sense (to coincide with experience) what about ability and function? In Swedish one might say 'Det Spelar ingen Roll' which basically means it doesnt matter. If your young, dont expect to make much, no matter how competent you are or how much you can perform.

Another thing that was somewhat surprising for such a peaceful country that likes to avoid confrontation is the word that backstabbing at the work place to try to get ahead is rampant here in this country. Its almost childish.

Not that its all bad, there are many good things about being here, about being part of this well functioning machine, but that will be left for another post.

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