Funny enough, a lot of the language-type jobs in Sweden aren’t so strict on education and/or your ability to speak Swedish. Mostly everyone (under 50 or so) speak fluent English…
…and in universities Japanese is taught also…so there are opportunities.
Well, I do have English teaching credentials and experience teaching college students in Japan. Problem is that I don’t really like teaching language. Not English at least.
What sort of job would you be looking for? As said somewhere else, if you have credentials that would get you a qualified job in your home country, go for it, not speaking Swedish is not necessarilly an issue. In a former company of mine, we had an office in Stockholm where 2 English guys worked. They spoke no Swedish when they arrived but they had the skills to get a job in the IT industry. They both learnt Swedish over the years but because English was their first language and in IT English is the lingua franca, they had no problem getting the job.
My name is Andrea Dossena.
I’m a 21 years old italian guy and i live in stockholm,sweden.
I saw that 2 english guys worked for you without knowing swedish so i would like to know if there is the same opportunity for me.
I speak Italian, English, spanish, more or less swedish and french.
I studied pc programming and computer in general in Italy and i worked for whirlpool europe in the material management office.
Please contact me to let me know if i can work or not on my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please i really need a job and every one i contacted here in stockholm told me that speak swedish is necessary so your job gives me a huge opportunity.
Please try to help me
Looking forward to earing from you soon
while I have a good friend (American) who’s lived in Sweden for many years, I myself am not so familiar with the job situation. Recently visited for pleasure only.
if you’re not interested in language-teaching jobs, perhaps you can give some other ideas of what you were hoping to find.
Depending on your skills there may be jobs. Sweden has several international companies like Ericsson and ABB that uses english as company language. In the IT business there may also be openings for english speakers. One of my current coworkers is an englishspeaking german. Generally the job market is not very good so it may be hard to compete if you don’t know swedish. I would also think that employers where most people are young are more likely to hire folks that can’t speak swedish.
I’ve not actually tried looking for a job there myself but my good friend who is a Native Japanese and advanced English speaker found it very difficult until she’d learned a fair amount of Swedish.
She lived in a smaller town though (about 20,000 people) and as you’d expect it’s much easier to get a job in a large city.
In the end, I don’t think it was the languages that caused the problem so much as the availablility of work.
You could probably get a job in a sushi bar or Japanese restaurant in Stockholm fairly easily, but it might not be the most fun work or great money.
Think I’ll cheer froderick’s answer. Large international (esp British, American) companies – good. Job market – not so good.
Yes, there are. Check the Swedish Employment Service for more info: http://www.ams.se/rdfs.asp?C1=223
I know there is need for translators, interpreters, et.c. Just check and see!
I am a native English speaker, and I’ve lived here 8 years. I came here without initially knowing a word of Swedish, although I speak it quite well now.
The problem for you as an American, is that nearly all Swedes already speak excellent English. With the UK a 5 pound/2 hour flight away, finding brits to hire is hardly difficult either and they don’t need all the immigration brouhaha that the rest of us do to move here. So speaking English in itself is unremarkable
Let me put it another way: If you have enough to offer that a Swedish company would offer you a job anyway, being a non-swedish speaker is rarely a hindrance to working here. Your speaking Japanese might be viewed as very useful, depending on the industry, but your best bet is tourism related or translation to/from Japanese, in and around one of the very big cities.
For what it’s worth, I just caught a documentary a few days ago on TV about a company that brings Japanese tour groups to northern Sweden to see the Aurora Borealis. The company brought their own English speaking tour guides with them from Japan, and one of them mentioned wanting to move here, but finding it very difficult to get work.
Work is very difficult to find in Sweden. In some cases even for Swedes but especially for foreigners. I know someone with several master degrees under her belt, a VERY nice work history and fluent in Swedish – She lived in Sweden several years before she could find anything. She ultimatetly moved back to the States.
The only people I knew, who had jobs were teaching a second language, a chiropractor (also fluent in Swedish), someone working for an American company or started their own business – and as mentioned the woman above. All others couldn’t even apply at unemployment until they took SFI classes (Sweden’s ESL). Which by the way is illegal. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. You have the right to apply for unemployment without having to take SFI. Maybe the law has changed?
I’m not trying to burst a bubble. I just don’t want you to see evrything through rose colored glasses. Employment is not easy for most and often the reason people leave to go back to their homeland. Sweden is also having a problem with refugees collecting money while they sit around for years taking SFI classes. The argument is they can’t find a job – I’m not going to debate for or against. My husband a Swede and myself chose to come to the States for several reasons – one being employment. Just letting you know the problems I noticed while there in 2001-2002.
Sweden is a wonderful country. Just seek employment before the move.
As many has already answered to your question, the overall job situation – whether you are fluent in swedish or not – is troublesome to say the least. You being a native english speaker, and possibly interested in learning the most basic swedish, is most likely a good reference as most employers ask for english competence nowadays, but as most swedes are fairly good at english it doesn’t give you a guaranteed employment.
If you are planning to learn swedish your japanese knowledge could come in handy though, as the manga industry is growing rapidly. I’m not aware of the translating situation, whether there are jobs available or if they’d accept a non-native swede to translate into swedish, but it’s all I know about japanese vs. sweden.
If you are well educated I’d say you have as big of a chance as any well educated swede to get a job here. Not knowing swedish is not an obstacle if you are a native english speaker. (Though I would like to warn you about your name. People named Mohammed or Ching Phung may have a difficulty getting an employment in sweden.)
Being sorry I can’t answer your question I’m glad other people could. Good luck!
I am afraid to say that Sweden is a very tough job market. Swedish language is the norm here eventhough 5 year old kids know english and sometimes even a thrid language. languague learning is very popular here and spanish or french are becoming very common. Nonethless, there is a high discrimination to foreigners in the job market. it is something the government is trying to address with new policies. I believe england is more job friendly.
You might find the following resources of help when looking for work in Sweden:
The “Working in Sweden” section of www.sweden.se: www.sweden.se/templates/cs/Transit____16401.aspx
“The Local”, an online English language newspaper focusing on Sweden, which has a noticeboard: www.thelocal.se
“Scan Jobs”, a new website portal for job vacancies in Scandinavia: www.scanjobs.co.uk
“Community of Sweden” – an online community where you can, among other things, post requests on the Forum for assistance seeking work, etc: www.communityofsweden.com
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