Job Search Secrets

The 3 Secrets To Finding A Great Job In Norway In Tough Times

Jobs in Norway
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Is there a quick way to find a great job in Norway during a down economy? There is and I want to share it with you. I figured this out the hard way. I was unemployed for 8 months, and got rejected 63  times before I learned the quick way.  As an immigrant, I had a long list of reasons for why I couldn’t succeed with finding a job in Norway.
  • I didn’t speak Norwegian fluently
  • My professional network consisted of two people (family)
  • The country was facing a recession
  • I wanted to work in the industry hardest hit by the recession
When I started job-hunting in Norway, I was naive as young boy on his first date. Yet, I was still hopefully despite the obstacles. That was until after 8 months of searching. I looked at the pile of rejection letters and counted 63 of them. 63 rejections and not a single interview. I felt the last drop of hope disappear when in an act of desperation I applied to work as a delivery boy for Aftenposten (I had a MSc from BI). Even Aftenposten didn’t want me on their team.
“Where you stumble is where your treasure lies.”

– Joseph Campbell

Little did I know how correct Joseph Campbell was. Rejection #63 was my turning point. I had stumbled and fallen. I  was laying face first in the mud. Sometimes you have to hit the wall to become open minded to other ideas.

That’s when I became obsessed with finding a better way of finding a job. I read as many job-hunting books, blog posts, and articles as I could. I experimented with every technique.  I had nothing to lose. What I ended up discovering was a simple process based on three ‘secrets’ that has changed my career and my life in Norway.

How to Get a Job In Norway

Finding a job in Norway can be challenging without a network

The first secret is that 60%+ of the jobs in Norway are not advertised. When I recently met with Einar Wergeland-Jenssen, CEO of AS3 Norge, an outplacement and career development service, he said the number is closer to 75%! What this means to an immigrant without a network or even a  Norwegian transitioning to a new industry, is that only a fraction of the jobs available are advertised online.
After discovering a simple technique for getting access to existing professional networks, I’ve landed 107 meetings with hiring managers as high up as the CIO of Norsk Hydro, partners in major consulting companies, partners within the 7 largest venture capital companies in Norway, CEOs, CFOs, project managers, account managers, engineers, and entrepreneurs. I’ve never been rejected when asking for a meeting – not once.

I didn’t change my profile, only my job-hunting approach.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the CV being obsolete after an article on the subject in DN. Yet there’s much life left in the CV because there’s 1,000+ ways to write one. However, when I’m a job hunter in Norway, I’ve found that it’s not the right tool for me.

Ian Jenkins | Career Outline

The career outline was my ‘secret weapon’ to finding a job in Norway

Instead I created a simple one-pager that captures my skill strengths, interests and work environment preferences that intrigues hiring managers. What many hiring managers have said, is that this one-pager is what they would have written down as their interview notes.

The Career Outline has become my secret weapon (secret #2) to gaining valuable career advice that has pointed me in the direction of the unadvertised jobs (remember that’s 60%+ of the Norwegian job market).

The third secret is having a referral blueprint. Have you ever noticed how someone looks at you when you ask them for a job? You shouldn’t be surprised because you’re asking them to put their reputation at risk for you. I never ask contacts for a lead to a job because the chances of landing one is thinner than Donald Trump’s hairline.

Instead each meeting with a hiring manager is carefully crafted to build trust so that at the end I have a good chance of landing 2 or more referrals. (The current record of referrals is held by one of my students in Norway. She landed 9 referrals from one executive!) Why are referrals so important?

Remember I didn’t have a network and nor did I have time to build my own. My best strategy was to piggy-back on the existing networks of industry veterans in Norway by knowing how to consistently get referrals. Did it work? Within 5 weeks I landed 34 interviews with hiring managers.

Sure beats waiting for my dream job to show up on Finn.no.

The truth is, had I not hit the wall trying to find a job in Norway, I would have settled for any job. Little did I know that the mud on my face from stumbling 15 years ago, would shape the careers of thousands of job seekers around the world (107 countries and counting!).

For more insights into the job hunting strategy I teach, consider joining my free online training.

Thanks for reading.
– Ian
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