Jag är invandrar…

27/06/2009

Jag ta fast anställning.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 1:21 pm

Jag ta fast anställning.  – I have taken permanent employment.

I was so worked up over what I thought would have been the eventual let down from this latest series of interviews that I was beginning to write this post in my head before the fact. Had I not accepted this job offer, the subject would have been “Om du inte kan gå med dem, slår dem.” or in English, “If you cannot join them, beat them.”

After several weeks worth of days spent in interviews at a variety of organizations here in Stockholm over the past three months I decided that if this last round of interviews was not going to land me a permanent job, that I was going to venture out in to the realm of entrepreneurship again and start my own IT Consultancy.

Fortunately I no longer have that worry about taking path.  On Friday, after 5 intense hours of interviews spread out across two days and an hour long psychiatric evaluation to see if I was insane enough for the job 😉  I was offered a position as an IT Manager with a technology firm with some interesting products and a viable future. I am very excited about this job and look forward to my start date in August.

IT is what I do, and they tell me that I am pretty good at it. The same does not apply to construction. To wit I am happy that I am able to give my notice and leave the construction  job. Though not for the people or the “I get to build stuff” element of the job.  It is not my thing and  despite my ability to operate a shovel or hammer over my 19 years or working I have grown accustom to being a mouse pushing desk jockey. The long hours of back breaking physical labor don’t mix so well with my already broken body.

Periods of notice are an interesting concept. Unlike in the US, where you are expected to give 2 weeks notice — but usually are shown the door the moment you give that two week notice — In Sweden things are quite a bit different.  Most organizations, I am told, require 90 days notice upon vacating a job. My construction job required 10 days (2 weeks) and this new job requires 2 months notice.    Conversely this same is true for the employee; In the US you usually can be let go for any reason with no notice, here it is rather difficult to fire employees after their initial probationary period and the employee is given a minimum of 2 weeks termination notice and is often assigned a state sponsored career counselor to help with the transition.  This is quite a different approach and the more I learn about these so called “evils of socialism” (thank you fox news) the more  this average worker likes them…

I will have approximately a month vacation between the old and new job, in which I hope to enjoy the wonderful Swedish summer, spend more time with my son,  take my first real vacation in 10 years, and enjoy some good times with old and new friends here in Sweden.

Yet I need to disclaim that this blog will not specifically speak about the new job, but instead will continue to focus on the experience of immigrating to a new country and culture. I may from time to time point out the cultural differences of the work place, but I am woe to even identify my new work place in this blog. From an American perspective things are quite a bit different here than back in the good ol’ US of A and my goal is to understand and document these differences.

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13/06/2009

Min veckor: avslagerfarenhet

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 7:33 am

My week: rejection experience

Avslagerfarenhet is probably not a legitimate word in Swedish, though it takes the words rejection and experience and combines them much like the words :

  • job experience—arbetslivserfarenhet
  • life experience—livserfarenhet

…which this made up Swedish word, this week is about both employment and life…

In this post and in this previous entry I wrote about a couple of job interviews  I was to have for an tier 1 support role at the US Embassy here in Stockholm.  I had that second interview on Monday and was rejected for the role on Friday. I liked the team and to work at the Embassy would have been very nice, to surround myself with other Americans who have chosen to be ex-patriots here would have been very educational. I am unable to say that I am not disappointed nor confounded by their rejection.

Their feedback about the interview and rejection was that “I was too over-qualified, not hungry enough for the job, and would likely get bored of the job.”

Over-qualified I can agree with, I am way over qualified for a tier-1 support job,  I hold no doubt about that.   I also agree that I would likely get bored of the role in time, yet at this moment in my life I cannot afford the luxury boredom.    This leaves us with ‘..not hungry enough…’ to which I am dumbfounded and take exception.  All of my interview experience from both sides of the table as a candidate and hiring manager gave me reason to play down my “hunger” sheer desperation for a adequately paying and in my area of expertise job. This is because, in my experience,  nobody wants to hire the desperate.

For the first time in my life, showing restraint has lost me something I want need badly.  Lesson learned.   A small part of me is frustrated at all of the lost time and wages from my construction job due to these interviews, but as they say ‘you have to spend money to make money.’

The first of the three organizations I had two job interviews with told me on Monday, that they will postpone the role that I was hoping to fill until December or January.  This leaves me with one more interview for a role more closely aligned to my experience  this coming week.  This time I will show my hunger and not my desperation. Because, frankly I need this job and with the forthcoming summer holidays, it is very unlikely that I will get an interview, let alone see any relevant job postings, until late August or early September.

The rejection notices are also starting to pour in from roles I have applied for, and my rejection rate is now nearing 20%, and my ‘hit ratio’  reduced to a paltry 0.7%.  Yet despite my dwindling savings I am confident that I will garner employment more closely aligned to my life and work experience, though when is the question.  I certainly hope it is sooner than later.

10/06/2009

Idag bröt jag en tand, och nu har jag en nya tand.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 10:58 pm



broken tooth

Originally uploaded by neitzert

Today I broke a tooth while flossing; 45 minutes and 800SEK later I had it fixed. Fortunately this tooth was just a veneer and cap from a previous accident I had while cycling 22 years prior.

Dental here is subsidized by the government, and those with extra insurance usually pay “very little” or nothing for dental care. Those without insurance pay a subsidized price, and those like me who are new to the country pay an unsubsidized price. Compared to the way dental is done in the US, it is quite different and absolutely confusing. I was so bewildered by the event that I had visions of my humble savings circling the drain of the spittoon next to a dental chair.

The urgent care dental clinic my friend Aina helped me find in my neighborhood had a opening and took me immediately. His office was simple and modestly decorated. Although I barely had time to hang up my jacket before being ushered back to the chair, I saw no stacks of magazines, no lines of patients, and not more than a couple of comfortable chairs atop a few very nice but not extravagant Persian rugs covering the modern linoleum floorings. A very comfortable, and clean place without feeling blandly sterile.

In the single examination room the equipment was pristine, clean and more state of the art than what I have seen at every dentist I have ever been to in the US. For what it is worth I have been to quite a few “good” dentists in the US throughout my life for a mouth full of misfortune.

He introduced himself as Dariush Yazdankhah, a middle aged Iranian man, who I later learned came here 36 years ago with his wife and family. A former civil engineer he choose to get into dentistry. He is a very friendly, warm, reassuring, and likable man.

His examination was thorough, and gentle. The filing, drilling and capping was pain and drug free. Which in contrast to my American dental experience is amazing because every cleaning I have had as an adult the dentist filled my mouth with Novocaine prior to getting down to business and it still hurt like hell.

45 minutes later he replaced the cap, cleaned up the edges on the tooth next to it. Both teeth were repair jobs from a same bicycling accident I had at age 15. Where while riding down Rose Hill road with a couple of my friends , I flipped my bike and did a high speed face plant on the road, snapping the two teeth in half.

He charged me 800:-, which is $103.92 at today’s exchange rate. We shared a few good social words about Sweden and what it is like to immigrate to this country before I had to rush off to my Swedish for Immigrants class.

For those of you in The US who are afraid of social medicine and high taxes, I am thoroughly happy for this experience, for in the US with the awesome dental insurance I had prior to moving here this little procedure would have cost me quite a bit in addition to my co-pay, deductible and my monthly insurance premiums. In the end I can say that paying the slightly higher taxes to pay for state sponsored health and subsidized dental care is absolutely worth it. The care I received was top notch, there were no lines, the equipment made American private dental equipment appear substandard, and I had an appointment the moment I called.

For the ex patriots reading this blog in Stockholm who are seeking a good dentist I can thoroughly stand behind this man, I will be back to see him for some things I need taken care of soon.

Dariush Yazdankhah
Leg. Tandläkare
Kungsgata 24, 5tr
111 35 Stockholm
Tel: +46 08 411 11 07

05/06/2009

göra en andre intervju för en jobb idag.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 1:03 pm

I went on another job interview today. The third organization I have interviewed with since I arrived 2 months ago. This coming week I should hear from the organization I had two interviews with in may.

I am very interested in working with all three organizations, I can see the fit, and how I can help and serve their needs. I like the culture of them all, and certainly hope something happens soon.

This week I have received 3 more rejection letters, and also been called back for a 2nd interview to the job I talked about in this post. This is all very exciting and soon I shall be a positively contributing member of Swedish society as opposed to just floating on my savings and my humble paycheck as a construction worker.

So far out my interview rate has risen to just above 0.1% and my rejection rate about the same at 9% out of the hundreds of jobs I have applied for. To that end, there are either some overflowing mailboxes somewhere, or Swedes do not see the politeness in responding to job applicants. There is a business model for someone here…

This week I also was able to meet my son for the first time in ages. My has he grown and he is ever so smart, adorable, and engaging. He is quite en charismatic boy, if i do say so myself, yet things are in motion that will garner me more access to him, for my objective here in Sweden is to take a bigger role in his life.

My mantra since I arrived has been “flat, job, son” so far, I have the flat, I am working on the job, and things are progressing nicely with my son. I look foward to the day where this all comes together nicely and my life is normal again.

Svenska för Invandrar is progressing. This week I am learning that there are few rules to Swedish, especially to do with en/ett (a/an/1) The only consistency I find in Swedish has to do with pronunciation, which is amazingly difficult as an American to wrap my mouth around the extra vowels “äöå”, however this is for another post I am working on with a working title foibles and follies in Swedish.

This weekend I will raise a glass to the return to normalcy, and continue the good work towards it.

Trevelig Helg
Merry Weekend

04/06/2009

Jag få mycket mer jox än lagenhet.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 6:12 am

I have much more stuff than apartment.

Over the weekend I found and moved into a flat-share in Odenplan. On Tuesday my things finally arrived from the US. Thanks to a good friend I have a place to store my things while life sorts itself out for me here, yet  I have far too many things.

In the final days of March, back in Seattle, I sold, donated to charity, or just gave away a majority of my possessions. I reduced a 2000 square foot home (aprox: 185  square meters) to a  6 cubic meters  crate and sent it on its way.  My overall possessions shrank by 90% and the remaining 10% is, honestly, still too much stuff.

64 days after its departure it was delivered.   I sorted through it attempting to figure out what I could bring with me to the apartment and  I have come to the conclusion that I should have liquidated even more of it, possibly all of it. 

I have spent the past two months without these things and not missed most of them. Except perhaps my bed and a couple of small things. My rationale for the shipping was; That is was less costly to ship my Tempurpedic mattress and all of the other things than to replace just the mattress. At $165 per cubic foot to ship it was very easy to rationalize keeping many other things that I probably should have sold off.

It is likely that I will not really use most of my stuff before the end of the summer.

This is my 3rd time moving across the pond and each time the load gets slightly smaller. Yet should there be another move, I plan on only moving with what I can carry in a couple of suitcases or ship in a small crate.

I have much more stuff than apartment.

30/05/2009

Jag bilda ett nytt bostad idag.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 8:17 pm

I found a new place to live idag.

It took some time, but I found a perfect place to live, for now, possibly longer.  I signed a lease on a very small oblong shaped room in a 3 bedroom flat in Odenplan. A young and hip neighborhood in central Stockholm. Given the price and location, I think I just landed a very good deal.

It gets better.  The two flatmates, Mother and Son are both Svenska för Invadnrar instructors, and they are traveling out of the country for the next 45 days. I have at minimum a 3 month lease on the space, from there, we shall see, however I like my flatmates, I love the location, and I am an easy going and happy guy.

things are looking up…

29/05/2009

Söker Lägenheter med dyster resultat.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 5:55 am

My search for an apartment is with depressing results.

In the past nearly two months, I have contacted a handful of apartment for rent advertisements, and applied for several.  In each case it was not to be. I am back at square one, and the first of the month rapidly approaches.

I realize and attempt to keep in mind that things move slower here than they do in the US, yet,  I fear that I am not acting fast enough.  I shall endeavor to find a place to live of my own this weekend…

Flyttning blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 5:38 am

I recently moved the blog from an old, perhaps mistyped account here on WordPress to this, correct spelling of the word.

I will likely move all of the posts to here and continue updating here.

Apologies for the abrupt change.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 4:32 am

The purpose of this blog is to document my experiences as an American immigrant to Sweden. Here I will write about the challenges, joys, fears, trials and tribulations regarding this experience.

Invandrar: A Swedish word used as a noun or adjective used in the following meanings: Immigrant, Foreigner, or Invader.

It is likely that this blog will offend some readers, though I will do my best to keep it safe for work, it is not my intent to offend but to accurately describe my experience. Conversely I reserve the right to repost, redact and perhaps mock complaints. If you don’t like what you see, please don’t read this blog.

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