You need to know about living and working in Sweden
Swedish Krona (kr)
Are you looking for jobs in Sweden? There are plenty of experiences waiting if you are considering working in Sweden for a shorter or longer period of time. Our Nordic neighbors are in many ways reminiscent of us in Denmark, but there are also differences in the culture, landscapes and culinary traditions that make a stay in Sweden both fun and educational.
Sweden offers both big city life and magnificent nature. Stockholm is one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals with its many canals and bridges, and right next to the vibrant city lies the archipelago with its more than 30,000 islands, skerries and cliffs. Here you can sail, hike, fish and much, much more.
Here in the article you can read more about living and living in Sweden, how to find a job in Sweden as a Dane, and what characterizes Swedish culture.
Sweden: The basic facts
In Sweden there is plenty of room – the country’s 10.4 million. inhabitants are spread over 407,000 square kilometers. The impressive size makes Sweden the EU’s third largest country, and the low population density is of course due to the huge, uninhabited forest areas. Most Swedes live in urban areas in the southern part of the country. Sweden borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by the Øresund connection. The largest cities besides the capital Stockholm are Gothenburg and Malmö.
There is a great exchange between Denmark and Sweden – not only culturally, but also in terms of labor. Copenhagen is rich in Swedish labor, just as many Danes work in, for example, Malmö and other cities that can be reached in a short time from Denmark.
Swedish culture is both familiar and different
For a Dane, there is probably not the great culture shock associated with moving to Sweden. We can read and understand most signs, and we can probably understand much of what is being said. However, you may find the Swedes a little more reserved than Danes – Swedes often behave politely and a little more cautiously in public. However, Swedish society and the Swedish welfare model are broadly similar to the Danish one, and you will therefore experience small, whimsical differences rather than huge surprises. For example, the Swedes do not have the same packed lunch culture as we have – they almost always eat hot food for lunch.
Abroad, the Swedes are known for their fantastic grip on pop music, perhaps best exemplified by ABBA. Sweden also has a proud tradition of Nordic, minimalist design – and although many know the Swedish furniture tradition best as IKEA, the country holds far more than that. In Sweden, traditions are highly valued, and the midsummer celebration after a long and dark winter is one of the highlights of the year that you must not miss.
Eat your fill in Swedish specialties
Swedish cooking is something else and more than the infamous surströmming, which most Swedes are actually not so happy about. Sweden’s long coastline ensures that the kitchen can be supplied with plenty of seafood, and the potato is also an important ingredient in Swedish dishes. Popular eats are marinated and fried herring, meatballs and stews with boiled potatoes as an accompaniment. When the crayfish season begins in August, the Swedes cover up for crayfish feasts, which involve both party hats, schnapps and old shows.
Such is the work in Sweden
In Swedish companies, you will often find that negotiations and decisions take a little longer. In a business context, the Swedes are seeking consensus and therefore make sure to involve many parties before a decision is made. They are loyal to their partners, but it can also take a long time to build a good relationship, because the Swedish work culture is more formal than the Danish one.
If you move to Sweden and find a job, you must pay ordinary income tax, which, as in Denmark, is divided between municipal and state tax. You must also have a Swedish bank account to get your salary paid out. You get a payroll account created by visiting the bank, and you must remember to bring your employment contract, Swedish certificate of residence and ID in the form of, for example, your Danish driving license.
The cost of living in Sweden is generally a little lower than in Denmark.
Work in Stockholm
Stockholm is the economical centre in Sweden, if you want to land a job here you have to know it can be a struggle unless your profession is relative to technology and science which are the leading fields in the job market of Stockholm. A particularity of Stockholm is that it’s also one of the cleanest cities in Europe since it’s considered a major ecological and technology hub.
How to find housing and jobs in Sweden
When you are planning to move abroad, it is always an advantage to do as much of the work from home as possible at all. In particular, the search for housing can put you under pressure if you leave without having a place to live. Today, there are many opportunities to find a home online – start on local, Swedish housing sites or in local Facebook groups and ask in your own network if there should be any contacts.
The job search can in the same way take place from home. Contact an international recruitment agency that often has contacts with a number of companies in the country you want to visit. At Job Squad, we match graduates with companies in the countries they want to work in – you can read more about their experiences täältä.
Taxes in Sweden
As an EU citizen, you can get a swedish Identity card by going to the swedish tax agency (Skatteverket) with your passport, personal identity number and the money transfer receipt. Regarding tax rates, most people in Sweden pay only local tax – ranging between 29.08 and 35.15 per cent depending on municipality.
Where to learn Swedish?
If you plan to stay longer than expected in Sweden, we recommend that you learn the language, the Swedish Institute offers free courses to learn Swedish, but also you visit the website Learning Swedish where you can learn the basics and it’s for adults. Also, “Swedish for inmigrant” (SFI) is a program with multiple free courses around the country that you can make use of.
Why should you live and find a job in Sweden as an Expa?
If you choose to settle down and take a job in Sweden, you can experience a different culture without moving many thousands of kilometers away. There is a basis for both magnificent nature experiences and big city life, and for nordic languages, you can relatively easily learn the Swedish language if you want to expand your linguistic horizons. Swedish companies generally offer good and attractive conditions and in many cases have experience of employing other nordics labour.