The past 18 months has transformed SIT into a registered organization with now close to 1,700 Educated.Motivated.Talented. members within the LinkedIn group. We launched paid activities and a subgroup of paid members that would receive priority registration and support. We found that focused efforts would bring the greatest results- as evidenced also by our mentorship program with the Rotary Clubs of Greater Stockholm. Now with its third class of participants, the program will launch in November 2016. (There is still time to apply to join.)
The many months since our last post have been interesting in Sweden. The influx of refugees/migrants and a what can only be described as controversy in the European Union as to how to handle this, rightly dominated the news. However, what was lost to an extent, was a focus on those educated immigrants already in Sweden and whose skills remain underused or ignored. Despite current reports that their unemployment rate is nearly five times that of native born Swedes, the media focus lays (and continues to lay) elsewhere.
What we can share from our experiences, and since we began our movement and have grown it into a now-recognized entity, is that there is good news: one can control one's future in Sweden. Spending some time learning Swedish and making an effort to "translate" not just your CV but your total "professional package" into the local language pays dividends. This means being honest with yourself as to whether your skills are sought after in this market of 9+ million; polishing your elevator pitch and LinkedIn profile in both English and Swedish; and even helping employers understand your credentials (education, titles, responsibilities). Part of the effort is academic- being able to explain clearly what you bring to any position and company, and the rest is physical- finding events to attend at which you can meet people and then telling those people (and everyone you meet) that you seek a job in your field.
In the past 18 months, we have also become friends with individuals and organizations looking to help educated foreigners contribute their skills to Sweden. A list of our partners sits on our website, and we encourage you to explore recruiters, programs at job agencies, and of course, to join as many organizations as you have time for. Keep following us. We try to keep the issues in focus and will help where we can!