Dream entry into a new job in Gothenburg!
Stephan Leijtens and his girlfriend Inge, moved to Gothenburg in October 2016 from Tilburg, Netherlands. Within 3 months he had found a job as a marketing analyst at a local energy company. He loves to go running, home-brewing his own beer and "messing around" with retro gaming consoles. Read this 32 year old's story!
How did your move to Gothenburg come about?
My girlfriend was offered a research position at Handelshögskolan, Gothenburg University. At the end of my girlfriends PhD she was applying for several positions all over the world and in the end the choice came down to the US or Sweden. We chose Gothenburg over US due to the proximity to Netherlands and the fact that I could accompany my girlfriend without waiting for any immigration related permissions.
Why did you decide to move too?
We discussed the possibilities and on an impulse, I said, let’s do it. It was scary but also exciting. Also, I had been working for the Dutch railways for quite a long time and figured it was time to change and do something new.
What happened next?
We started the process of relocating. Some things proved to be harder than anticipated beforehand, like saying goodbye to family, friends and colleagues. Before we move I had started looking for jobs, mainly English speaking ones, from Netherlands, but it proved to be hard to get a job when you are so far away.
What was it like in the beginning?
Waiting for a personal identity number I felt like an outsider but when I got it, it was great! It took 2 months, which is still relatively fast. When I came here I immediately started learning Swedish at Folkuniversitetet and it went very well, I found I was picking up the language very fast.
How did you find your job?
I was contacted by a recruiter who was offering a position at a local energy company. I was kind of hesitant at first because I had seen the position online and it was all in Swedish.
Further, the position seemed like an exact copy of my job back in the Netherlands and I really wanted to get into a more technical, data science position. However, I went for it, did the interviews partially in Swedish and I landed the job eventually. In hindsight, it was one of the best things I could do because my Swedish really took off after that.
How did you settle into the work place?
I integrated easily into the office environment, I felt I didn’t really stand out as different from Swedes. It sure helps to have a positive attitude about it.
But I have found some things hard, like how people just assume you know how to do things or how things work around here. In the beginning, people would just get up at 11.30 and go for lunch and nobody really asked me to join. It was not like they didn’t want to or anything and they were happy when I joined in. It just didn’t occur to them.
So you have to be proactive and take the first step.
Do you feel settled into Gothenburg now?
We feel settled in, to me it feels 95% like the Netherlands so it doesn’t feel so much like a different country.
The move has been a good thing for us as my girlfriend and I have taken it down a bit, in that we have become more chill.
I have some trouble adjusting to how people bike around here though. But then again, I’m from Netherlands, so we have own biking ways!
You change yourself in different ways. We have adjusted our eating pattern, to a heavier lunch and lighter dinner since we join colleagues and go for lunch every day.
How long do you plan to stay?
That depends, we might be here for 3 to 6 years depending on how things go at both our jobs.
What do you love about Gothenburg?
It’s a city but doesn’t feel like a city. The nature is great, Delsjon is my favourite area and spring the favourite season.
What were your expectations and how do you feel now?
I had never been to Scandinavia and started reading up to understand it a bit more. Once you start to read, you start forming opinions. But I came here without expectations and have tried to make the best of it as I go along.
Did you know...
Move to Gothenburg organises events, activities and programmes that can help you kick-start your private and professional lives in Sweden.