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WORKING IN NORWAY

Tips for finding an English speaking job in Norway

Looking for a job in Norway and have yet to perfect your Norwegian? Don’t stress. Yes, not knowing the native language makes the job pool admittedly a lot smaller. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Here are our tips on how to find an English speaking job in Norway.

Tips for finding an English speaking job in Norway
Here are our tips for finding an English speaking role in Norway. Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

Start online

If you are currently looking for or planning on looking for employment in Norway, the most popular website to find available jobs is Finn.noUnfortunately, Finn does not offer an English version of its site, but if you type in English or the language you speak in the search heading, possible job openings, including your search word, can appear.

Other popular sites include Arbeidsplassen.no. and glassdoor.no. In addition, social media can work as a great tool in the job-hunting process. You yourself can let the masses know you are looking for a job. One can also find English job-specific pages such as this one or this one on Facebook.

You may also want to consider making/revamping your LinkedIn account before starting the job hunt for skilled positions. Many of the larger English-speaking international companies in Norway outsource their staffing needs to local agencies to help recruit desirable candidates. And many of these agencies use LinkedIn in the hunt to find the right person.

Network Network Network

Culturally speaking, Norwegians aren’t typically chatty folk. But they are helpful. Especially when they see you’re trying hard to find work. Talk to your neighbours. If you live in an apartment, make a sign or share your resume on the notice board in the common areas. Don’t be afraid to casually mention to the shopkeepers in your area that you are looking for work. 

It’s all about putting the word out. If you don’t want to let everyone in your neighbourhood know you’re looking for work, consider getting in contact with staffing agencies like JobzoneTopTemp, and Personal Huset to help you find employment.

Another tip would be to make use of expat groups. Posting in the group asking for a job may not sit well with its members, but there are other things you can ask. Simply reaching out and asking if anyone has a job in your preferred field in Norway would be a start. Asking members about their own experiences in finding an English speaking job could also provide valuable insight. 

Again, it is essential to remind yourself that you may not be able to apply to all the jobs you want to if you’re still a newbie with the Norwegian language. The manager of southern Norway’s job recruitment and hiring agency JobZone, Ulf Singstad, told The Local that around 50 percent of the jobs listed on JobZone’s website have a requirement for speaking Norwegian. 

If you have the choice, settle where the tourists are

Areas with a higher density of tourists are more prone to accept workers who don’t speak Norwegian. The popular tourist destination Lofoten, for example. Located in the North of Norway, the area is highly dependent on international visitors to support their economy. English is the dominant language used to communicate with foreigners. Food menus are printed in both Norwegian and English, and it would be surprising not to be greeted in English at a restaurant in Lofoten.  

The country’s capital, Oslo, is also rich with tourism-related jobs and home to many international companies where English is the working language. 

“The south of Norway has many export jobs that use English as the working language,” Singstad said.

If bigger city life isn’t your style, you can try looking for seasonal work in smaller mountain towns that need extra staffing during the winter months. 

If you can’t find a job on land

Then try the sea. Danske Boat, Cruises, Hurtigruten. Norway’s long coastline offers plenty of offshore job opportunities.  

Consider volunteering in the meantime

Volunteering is a great way to spend your time and is super beneficial in growing your network in Norway. In addition, the connections and experience you will get while volunteering in this country can help your resume stand out against the competition. 

The same goes for club sports and hobbies. Why not use the extra time you have doing what you love and increasing your chances of meeting like-minded individuals. 

What types of jobs are most available to me?

Specific industries will be more likely to consider English speaking candidates. 

Singstad recommends jobs within warehouse facilities.

“There are a lot of workers hired that cannot speak Norwegian, and there are also some that don’t speak English in warehouses,” adding that he recommends “looking for jobs that don’t require a lot of verbal exchanges.” 

That could include jobs within the construction, hospitality, and tourist industries, where contact with the customer is not a part of the job, such as a chef or dishwasher.

While oil industry jobs weren’t as prevalent as they once were in Norway, the industry appears to be showing signs of recovery and growth. And as many of the oil companies are international, English is the working language.

English speaking positions within big tech and software firms are also worth checking out if you have the right qualifications. Here is a list of the top software companies based in Oslo.

You can also consider starting your own business or work as a freelancer. With the worldwide web readily available to take advantage of, one can easily work with companies or clients based outside of Norway. 

Useful tips and vocabulary

A helpful reminder. The Local also has an English Language job board you should check often, here.  

bemanning bureau – staffing agency

Idrettsklubb – sports club

Jobbsøker – job seeker

Søknadsfrist – application deadline

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For members

WORK PERMITS

Why your Norwegian work permit application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Norway is an attractive proposition for workers from all over the globe. However, some job hunters will need a residence permit for employees to move to the country. The UDI has revealed to The Local the most common reasons applications are rejected. 

Why your Norwegian work permit application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Whether it’s the high salaries, work-life balance, or generous benefits, people from all over the world are lured to Norway for work. 

Last year, more than 21,000 people moved to Norway for work, according to statistics from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

Of these, 7,348 were granted residence permits for work, while the rest were EEA nationals, which meant they didn’t need a work permit. 

To be granted a residence permit for work, you’ll most likely need to have been offered a job first, and the type of permit you apply for will depend on your line of work. You must meet several other requirements to be given a residence permit, such as a minimum salary or a set number of contracted hours. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who applies for a work permit is successful. And as an application fee is involved, it would be handy to know the most common reasons for applications being turned down so you can take steps to avoid them. 

Luckily, the UDI has provided The Local with the most common reasons for applications being denied. 

READ ALSO: How many people move to Norway for work, and where do they come from?

Skilled workers

The skilled worker permit was the type of residence card that was most commonly granted in 2021. Over half of the permits issued to those wanting to live and work in Norway were for skilled employees. 

According to the UDI, one of the most common reasons why applications for skilled workers are rejected is because they do not have the relevant qualifications. 

Typically, the qualifications required for a skilled worker visa are a degree or vocational training of at least three years at the upper secondary level for example, if you have trained or undergone an apprenticeship as a carpenter. For those with vocational qualifications, there must be a corresponding course in Norway. 

Your application may be rebuffed if you have a vocational qualification that isn’t offered at upper secondary school level in Norway. Additionally, if you are applying for a skilled worker permit, the job must be relevant to your skills.

Workers can also prove they are skilled through work experience and have obtained special qualifications gained through employment. However, the criteria for this are much stricter, and the UDI warns that many of these applications are rejected.

In Norway, there are many professions which are regulated. This means special qualifications and training are required to work in these fields. In some cases, you will need to have your qualifications approved to be eligible to work in them.

For example, electricians must get approval from the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection to work in the country. If you have a degree you can also have it verified too.  

Therefore it is imperative to ensure that you meet the qualification requirements. One way of doing this is to liaise with the employer that has offered you a job. You can also contact the UDI before applying to clear up the requirements and see if you meet them, or work with an immigration lawyer. 

You can read about the other requirements for applying for a skilled worker visa here

Seasonal workers 

There is also a permit available for seasonal workers, which is awarded to those performing a job that can only be done at certain times of the year. 

Applications for these permits are most commonly turned down because the UDI feels that the requirements for the job contract are not met. 

To be granted a seasonal worker permit, the job must be for seasonal work or as a holiday stand-in, and the pay and working conditions must not be poorer than what is considered normal in Norway. 

Furthermore, the offer must be for full-time work. A full-time job in Norway is one which has 37.5 hours in a standard working week. 

You can read more specifically about seasonal worker residence cards here

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