Newcomers may have heard of Jobbsprånget. It is a platform that offers 4 months internships to English speaker newcomers (no Swedish required, yay!).
I heard about them last year and started checking the opportunities from time to time. As you can imagine, most of the ads are for engineers, especially in IT sector. I can understand engineers can work easily without knowing Swedish, and for marketing or HR people it’s generally harder to adapt the business without speaking Swedish – however it still sucks and make me depressed sometimes.
Nevertheless, once in a blue moon you may see an HR ad – which I saw 3 months ago.
A story with a twist and hopefully with some inspiration
It was one of the well-known global companies. The position seems really promising to open the doors of Swedish job market for me. I applied immediately and hoped for the best. Next day, they called me and asked me to come for an interview. That was quick! (My emotional status here at this point is excited and hopeful, feeling something good may happen!)
I’ve already did some phone interviews in Sweden, however this was the first time I would go to a company here for an interview. Those face to face interviews always seem more real to me so I get more stressed. After a couple of “what am I gonna wear” and “what should I say if they ask me that” evenings at home, I went to the interview. (Emotional status: feeling like a fresh graduate going her first interview…)
As I mentioned earlier, this was an intern position. I have experience in HR, mainly in Learning and Development area but also some in Recruitment. But moving a new country requires you to start over sometimes. So I was open to internship opportunities as soon as it helps me to reach my dream career path. And, to be honest, my experience made me confident while I was going to the internship interview. In the ad, they didn’t write experience is a must (which means experience is a plus, a plus that I have) And the position was just for Jobbsprånget, which means only English speaker newcomers can apply (again good for me).
My brain did some math and said “Let’s see, how many people could there be like me that are newcomers to Sweden, worked in HR and heard of Jobbsprånget?” If it was an engineering position, there would be lots of applicants – silver lining in HR positions. (Emotional status: overconfident but also does not want to jinx herself)
However, I have some twists within my story so keep reading to see whether it is a happy ending or not!
The interview was great, recruiters were very positive and kind to me. And I believe I showed my passion for the job well and also told about my short yet relevant recruitment experience. For a full-time HR position my experience might not be enough but for an intern position I think everything was well and my experience was “lagom”. They said they’ve already interviewed one other candidate in the morning and will interview another in the afternoon – so in total we’re 3 candidates which makes me think my chances are high. They said they’ll call tomorrow and they actually did – which is not common in HR world actually calling on the time that you said you’re gonna call or even calling at all. (Emotional status: still overconfindent…)
The story gets interesting here. Out of these 3 candidates including me, apparently there was 1 other candidate who has more HR experience than I have. What are the chances? Even in HR newcomers market in Sweden, there’s competition and moreover it is just for an intern position!
So life reminded me not to be overconfident in any situation ☺
I remember myself answering the call and for a minute or so I actually thought I got the job and then that feeling of surprise, sadness and confusion. It was a good test for my emotional status. (Emotional status: not devastated but feel a little bit down and had an evening of questioning my future)
But still the story has not end yet.
Life happens and rejection is a part of the job search deal. Sometimes you get the job but other times you get rejections.
If you’re a job seeker, especially in a foreign country, the first fact you should accept that there’ll definitely be more rejections than offers, and you should embrace them and use them to improve yourself and your job search.
So what did I do? As all experienced job seekers in Sweden know, most of the job positions are filled by recommendations which means networking is everything. And I am not the “networking” type that attends events and make lots of friends, so you can tell my network is not that wide yet. However, I believe my interview went good and my interviewers were really nice so I think I should keep in touch with them. I sent them a thank you email but not a plain “thank you, it was great” note but a genuine and customized email reflects my feeling and experience in the interview.
Few days later I got a call when I was on bus. I even didn’t look at phone when it rings, I just thought my husband was calling. So you can imagine my surprise when the same recruiter called me. She said after they saw my email, they thought my passion for the job actually compensates my lack of enough experience and passion is what they’re looking for so they’ve changed their mind and want me to start the internship.
Life keeps changing very often. We just need time to see what’s next or what this experience will lead to us.
I’ve accepted the offer and started to work. It feels good to be back in business world and do what I love!
By the way, to be honest, I don’t believe they rejected the other candidate after they make an offer to her just because of my email. I don’t think it is possible in any other part of the world but especially not in Sweden where saying “no” is already hard for people yet alone taking an offer back ☺ I’ll try to learn what happened if I have a chance during this internship! Probably something went wrong with the other candidate. But I still believe my email may have helped me to get the job. Otherwise, even with the other candidate canceled out, they may totally cancel the position since no candidates were really okay or they may re-run the ad. ‘’
Overall, I was lucky but I also prepared the circumstances to have this luck. It is equally important to be aware of greater good for your journey and seeing rejection not as an end but as a tool for you to keep proceed in your journey – either by opening new paths for you or by improving yourself for future opportunities.
Good things can happen and will happen. You just need to be patient and also be sure not to miss the opportunities around you.