"Don’t just ask for a job, ask for information or insights" - Tomas Slesar
Tomas is a great talent graduated from a Master’s degree in Financial and Management Accounting at The University of Oulu. I was fortunate enough to sit down with him and have a conversation about his experience with Finland and tips for job seekers. Tomas was born in Slovakia and when he was 18, he moved to Germany to do his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business administration. There, he met his current wife who happened to be Finnish. During his first year of studies, he already started the professional career on the side of a studies in the finance and accounting, which all paid off later in Finland.
In 2010, he decided to move to Finland with his wife to complete his Master studies. He laughs that it is kind of a typical story, first you come for a semester, stay second semester, and suddenly you found yourself staying in Finland. Tomas likes to work in challenging areas and sees them as opportunities to develop new sets of skills. “It makes you become more valuable at your workplace”, he says.
He added that connections and networks are a key part of job hunting in Finland, and of course a bit of luck. This happened to him, as the job offer came via network where a company was seeking a person speaking German and having some local connections. He was invited to have a chat with a recruiter, where Tomas proved himself and got hired. From part time work at the beginning became full-time work. He still works at Tracker, where his current responsibilities are making and developing sales actions throughout Europe.
Job seeking is more about who you know rather than what reads on your resume since most of the job places are not openly available. When networking right, four or five successful contacts can lead to dozens of connections in a short period. “Therefore it is necessary to go out and network at any given time and place and with any one.” Tomas adds.
“Remember that when you show others the real you, you do much better than forcing yourself to be someone you think others will approve of. When building a connection, don’t just ask for a job because this sounds like you demand them to give you a job. Instead, ask for information or insights without putting too much pressure on them - this will make your connection want to become an ally in your job search.” You can also search for jobs on platforms such as Monster, university’ websites and Linkedin, but none of those are as efficient as real networks.
Having worked for Finnish companies a long time, Tomas invites them to open up. “Many Finnish companies stay do not even try to get opportunities to a non-Finnish person. They need to understand that different work cultures will enhance development, and enable creativity and problem-solving skills in vast areas. Furthermore, companies looking for growth opportunities mainly outside of Finland many times hit the wall very hard.” Tomas has recruited another person – a foreign talent - to support his operations in Europe. “The motivation and being eager to solve problems were important criteria. Not the background.”
More info a way to conect with Tomas is his LinkedIn profile.