After telling you my story in the previous post, I would like to give you some advice in case you are thinking about moving to Norway and work as a designer/architect.
1. Come prepared.
First of all, you should learn as much as possible before coming here.
The more programs/skills you learn, the better. Learn from your teachers and friends, do online courses or just practice with some tutorials. It will always help you as a foreigner to be able to offer something else. If you like a particular office/studio, find out which programs they use and try to get good/better at them. Also, don’t forget to tell them you actually did that in a future interview (they love when you show a lot of interest).
2. Learn Norwegian.
But first, make sure your English is good. Good – meaning you can understand mostly everything and can have a conversation about mostly anything. So, if you know English, the first step towards working in Norway is done.
Next step is learning their national language, a language they only speak in Norway but one that will help you communicate not only with Norwegians but also with Danish and Swedish. Isn’t that great? I know it might be hard to find courses but all I did for two years was using language apps such as Duolingo and free online courses that I found on the internet. You can do it!
3. Get to know Scandinavian culture.
Working and living in Norway not only means you will have awesome working conditions. Your lifestyle will change, and you will adapt to their culture and traditions, so you must like it. Get some knowledge about their history but also about who they have become over the years and try to understand why they act as they do and why they think as they do.
I love almost everything about Norway, and the best way to learn about it is to experience the country through talking to local people and exploring their nature and lifestyle. You should visit Norway before deciding to move here!
4. Get your portfolio ready and start sending applications.
It is very important to either find a job before moving to Norway or at least have some interviews settled. Living in Norway is expensive and believe me, you don’t want to pay rent/hostel/Airbnb for many months before you find something.
So just get your portfolio ready and start sending applications a few months before you plan to move. Tell them you are moving here and that you are ready for an interview (it could be on skype) at any time convenient. Show your interest and wait for an answer. If, for example you plan on moving in August – September, you should start contacting companies around April – May and keep on until you get an interview. If you can’t find anything yet, you can always try and start working somewhere else such as a restaurant or a store, just as a start that will help you pay rent and learn more about the language. This way, you are also ready for future face to face interviews.
5. Make contacts.
To me, it was very easy to move to Oslo because my boyfriend is Norwegian but, if you don’t know anyone in Norway you might find a lot of difficulties at the start. Knowing someone can help you have a place to stay when you need it (for example, for an interview), they can help you understand how things work here and they might even know someone who could give you a job, you never know.
For example, join Facebook pages and groups about living in Norway/(the city you want to move to) and get to know people.
Finally, if you really want to move here and find a job, just do it. Do everything you can to make it happen.
Dreams do come true! You just need to fight insecurities and work hard!
Happy new year!!!