Thursday, June 28, 2007

Advice to those Moving to Norway


Well it's a bit of a basturt for we brits to move to Norway.

There are many contradictions here and the unwary brit may go under the impression that social ettiquette can be imported with only a minor bit of language relabelling. Slik funker det ikkje.

Ok, so you are a british guy and you have most likely met a norwegian girl...or WLTM, GSOH, FSH "no time wasters" ...Lets face the adverage pie in the uk is dire and you get enough flies to dirve you mad swotting them off if you manage to grab a looker with personality. Whereas the average norwegian gal is not only pretty, slim and open to conversation but as likely as not to enjoy serious mountains, roughing it in tents and cabins, fresh air sex and catching / gutting a cod....and they uncountable...anywhere you go here. In fact you start to notice the plain, ugly or fat girls here because they stand out like sore thumbs.

First of all there is the whole mating game- do you really want to move to Norway and be surrounded by all her mates and family without much of the lnaguage and anyway, the usual 'new boyfriend' shit ? No...give it some time, live together at least a few months in the UK or move to somewhere like Oslo or Stavanger away from where she comes from or at least big enough and ex-pat enough to let you have your own escapisms.

Learn the language, it's pretty easy, especially if you ever spent a lot of time on Shakespeare and that funny old verb inversion stuff. Tapes, books and perseverance. It will be a good bonding experience with your viking lass IF you take it with a sense of humour and don't try to use it much infront of her pals/family- stick to pleasentries in norsk. ( as said earlier in another post this is good advice when meeting new noregains at any point- you are a bit of a "fifth columnist" when you do speak good norwegian- it puts them at un ease as they are quite xenophobic- better to be a "guest" in the country)

Now consider the jobb situation...you need something which is of course not dependent on a lot of verbal or 'technical' communication in the lingo. Even if you acheive "bergens' test" you should be modest in your ambitions in this area.

If howvere you work in engineering or other oil related yrkes then you will have no bother in getting established in Norway. Just be PPP- polite, patient and bloody persistent.

Outside oil it is a bit of a bastar.....When it comes to getting other types of work it all depends here...luck being a factor and bloody minded strong will and hard work help....before you move though get some leads in your 'industry' but more importantly you must remember that outside oil it is a little country.. new career move comes hand in hand with moving to Alta or Leirvik!

Your best source is going to be her indoors and extended network of pals. Norwegian girsl expect their men to be quite able to get on with job hunting and most will only help a little- they rightly won't sit in an interview for you! If however all her family and mates work in the public sector then you are unlikely to get an "In" - better if they are in business or work in medium sized businesses with some links to blighty.

Mine werr on the other side- the former nationalised telephone company, now down sizing like mad, and schools. Shit. I did get a good leg up from my Brother in law with some three months part time work which saved my sanity and let me practice norwegian..that and the job club saved me here as far as the ear for the yocals goes and forcing myself to formulate / be understood at least in simple norsk.

Recruitment consultants (outside oil and IT sectors) will not touch you with a barge pole, unless you have something unique to offer or are really pretty competant in norsk - if not by then fluent. Don't waste your breath on them- phone round firms you are interested in.

Transfer all your tax rights, p61 or the like it is, and register with all the authorities and the employment agency as seeking work- make sure you get your first years work permit - do it in person and get up early and stand in line as otherwise it takes all bloodyd ay. Avoid july august and even mid june onwards if you can- lots of renewels of students starting in mid august, and most of the staff on holiday.

Retraining is a definitie option - once you have Bergen's test you have access to all relevant education. Trades are a good plan---even tile layers get about 25 grand basic and it is easy to go self employed or dare i say it, work a little black! The other half's cousin married an Irish guy who was a career soldier and into peace keeping. Now Norway is a major peace broker with a little peace "industry"...but none out in Telev├ąg!!! So he took odd jobs, learnt the lingo and trained as a plumber. Still not enough work ( while delivering kids to school etc) he retrained again as a bus driver!

The far better option is relocation to somewhere in Norway which actually has jobs for YOU or a super-duper job for the other half i.e. well over 400 o00 NOK. ( the average starte home int he cities is about 1.8 to 2 million NOK!! but with an intake of about 600K you can get mortgaged and get a depsoit loan from the council or some employers offer help e.g. statoil/hydro)

The second thing about relocaton is that it can get you away from the claustriphobia of little norwegian towns and the endless rounds of family parties with cream laden cakes and overcooked coffee! In a large extended family, say twenty cousins, you could easily spend every weekend in the whole year on family events or just visits. This can serioulsy eat into your enthusiasm for the country which on outset offered endless mountain walks, skiing, cabin sex, and fishing trips

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