Work in Finland | Everything you need to know
Fins are said to be the happiest nation in the world. That might be because they live in a country of cleanliness, efficient economy and gorgeous landscapes. In addition with vivid culture and cuisine well-known for being seasonable and fresh, you get a combination worth discovering.
Read this article to know why, despite freezing winters and undeniably high costs of living, Finland is a great place to start your journey with living and working abroad.
Finland is one of the largest countries in Europe and is located in the north of the continent. Because of the location, the climate in Finland is characterized by short and warm summers and long and very cold winters. The population of 5.531 Finnish citizens resides at 338,440 km² and their currency is the euro (€). Helsinki, the capital, is at the same time the largest city.
5 Curiosities about Finland
- Lapland – home of Santa Claus – lies in Finland and it’s their northernmost region. Actually, you can make a trip there and see elves, reindeers and Santa Claus.
- Fins are the bigger coffee drinkers in the world! Coffee drinking is deeply rooted in their tradition. Average consumption is 12kg per year… per person!
- And we can’t forget about the sauna, they love it as much as coffee. You can find them not only in hotel rooms but even in state institutions!
- There are over 187 888 lakes in Finland. Together with forests, which cover around 74% of the country, it gives Finland its distinctive appearance
- At a certain point of the year, in the far north of Finland, the sun doesn’t set for 73 days in a row. If you will plan your moving abroad in that area, you might have a problem with getting used to it.
Culture in Finland
Finnish culture is peculiar. They pay a lot of attention to gender equality, private space and individualism. And even if it might look the opposite at the beginning, Fins are warm and open. Joking is a Finnish way of saying “I like you”!
They are in love with nature, but who can blame them for looking at the landscapes of Finland. Maybe that’s also why they pay so much attention to recycling. These landscapes were an inspiration for many Finnish artists and still are for present ones.
Another unprecedentedly important element is the well-known sauna. You can find it in every corner of the city. It is said that even in museums or banks. Finns love meetings in saunas.
The topic of earnings, money in general is considered a completely private case. In Finland, you just don’t ask about it. Everybody is living their own life, minding their own business. In the positive meaning of that sentence.
Domestic Cuisine in Finland
Many would describe Finnish cuisine as casual, simple and delicious. Actually, one of the most beautiful aspects about it is the fact that it’s based on seasonal ingredients. Every dish will taste the best served and tried at an appropriate time of the year.
Their traditional cuisine isn’t spicy at all, that’s because they are not used to using a lot of spices. What they season their dishes with are mostly herbs.
The most popular ingredients are fish, meats, mushrooms or different types of berries.
These are some of the well-known dishes in Finland:
- Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish blueberry pie, since berries are delicious)
- Reindeer, yes, you can try them in Finland, it’s their staple meat
- Karjalan piirakka (karelian pie). Sort of a pie made from rye flour and stuffed with potatoes, carrots or rice
- Finnish lihakaalilaatikko – meat and cabbage casserole
- Creamy salmon soup
You should always aim to eat everything you have on your plate. When the plate is empty, it’s a clear sign for the host that you enjoyed your food.
Work in Finland
Finnish at work likes to talk loud, and this does not seem as impolite but something common. They value equality and the agreements, for the Finnish is very important that you keep your word. If you agree to a job and a schedule, they expect you to do it, and they are not going to supervise you all the time. The average salary in Finland is around €3.200 and also there are plenty of work benefits like social security, 30 days of paid leave and the working hours are 37,5 per week.
The high average salary and the work benefits make Finland a great place to work, this is the reason many expats choose this beautiful and balanced country to start their work journey.
Work in Helsinki
Many foreigners industries have chosen Helsinki to place their businesses in Finland, and the majority of businesses here are in the metal, engineering and wood fields. Innovation is the key in Helsinki, and it’s very important to maintain their economy, this means that the companies have to be creative in order to sort the inconveniences of the market the best way possible.
There are many opportunities to find a job in Helsinki for expats in the engineering, development and technology fields, for EU citizens can live and work in Helsinki for 3 months, after that it’s necessary to register your right to reside in the country.
Taxes in Finland
Once in Finland, and you have decided which city you’re going to live in, it’s important to have a Finish personal ID that you can request in a tax office by filling THIS in advance, after this you can request a Tax Identification ID in the same office, you can check HERE which documents you need and more information about this process. With this, you’re ready to start making contributions and your salary is registered to pay at the end of the fiscal year between 6% to 32,25% depending on your income.
Finding accommodation in Finland
Accommodation, especially if we are talking about the capital city, can take a sizable portion of your salary. To specify how much it will be, you should take into account many factors, like location (how far it is from the centre), standard and type of the place. You can rent a room, or a whole apartment, of course, the first one will be cheaper. It can be rented furnished or unfurnished. There are many options to choose from, it’s just about looking for something appropriate.
Finding accommodation is sometimes a difficult task, even more difficult if you don’t know where to start. On these pages you can take a look at some rooms and apartments for rent: sato.fi or housinganywhere.com. It’s also helpful to follow Facebook groups about accommodation for expats. You may find there offers directly from landlords and contact them in person.
In some of the more popular areas apartments are rented very quickly. Be sure to reserve enough time for your search. For a room close to the city centre in Helsinki, you would have to pay at least €430. Utilities, except electricity, are often included in rent. Anyway, don’t be afraid. Similarly to other Scandinavian countries, if you will think wisely and organize your budget you can live a good life.
Living cost in Finland
The cost of living in Finland is high, even compared to other European countries. It might take a while to adjust to it, so it’s good to get familiarized with basic daily costs to know what salary you should aim for while negotiating a contract. Of course, the most expensive city is the capital, Helsinki. Also obvious is that the further from the city centre you live the lower living costs will be.
Remember, however, that it’s also about a good organization. Plan your budget, catch opportunities and sales and everything will be fine. It’s still cheaper than in Paris. Here you can take a look at examples of everyday living expenses:
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Accomodation*||580 – 700|
|Food**||35 – 60|
|Public transport (single ticket)||3|
|Mobile rate (per minute)||0.07|
|Pinch of local beer||6|
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Finland
The easiest way to join an expat community is to look on social media for some organised groups or events. It is highly recommended, while moving to another country, to socialize. People who are or recently were in a situation like yours are often extremely supportive. When it comes to nationals, especially at the beginning they might be reserved and quiet. Rather don’t expect great, spontaneous small talk. Just smile, be kind and everything should be ok. Simple “hello” is fair enough.
Keep a positive attitude, despite the high costs of living it is possible to start your journey by working abroad just in Finland. In case you still have questions, feel welcome to contact us by clicking HERE. We will solve all your doubts.
Languages in Finland
Even though Finns speak English on a decent level, it’s always good to know something of the mother tongue of the nation you live with daily. The Finnish language is not the simplest, so the beginning might be quite funny to watch, but don’t lose motivation. It’s just a matter of time and practice! You can read more on finnishcourses.fi or helsinki.fi. Usually, you can attend such a course in the evening. Another great form of language activity is so-called language cafés. You can meet expats starting their journey with language just like you! It’s commonly known that the best way to learn a new language is by practice, so speak Finnish wherever you can. Smiles on nationals’ faces are guaranteed, they will appreciate your struggle for sure.
Finland is a beautiful country with unique landscapes and a stable economy.
It provides great work opportunities for expats, with its high average salary and many work benefits. Finland is good, however not the easiest, to start living and working abroad. If you can think through your budget well, if you are interested in working in the happiest country of the world, go ahead! Check our Job offer in Helsinki and Job offer in Turku.