Martin, you joined the Chamber in summer 2015, what was your expectation?
Yes, I joined the Chamber right after my graduation in September 2015. To be honest, at the beginning I didn’t know what to expect, but after few weeks with Lea (Executive Director), I realized that it will not be like part time jobs during the University. Suddenly I started to have certain expectations – getting new contacts, getting insight of the company management, improving my language skills.
How the real life fulfills your expectations and plan? What did you learn?
The real life went even better than I expected. Besides fulfilling my expectations Lea thought me 3 very important things. First is the responsibility. That you always have to take responsibility for what you have done, no matter what, no excuses. Second is, that “no” is not an option, everything is possible if you try hard enough. And third thing is, that if you work with someone you can trust and count on, it will make your life so much easier.
After 1,5 year, you accepted the offer to work in Finland for the company Transtech. If you can compare did you find differences in working for Czech company and Finnish company?
In the first place, I think it should be clarified here, that I got this offer thanks to the Chamber. Lea have always said that there is a possibility I could start working for a Nordic company and out of the sudden the possibility was real. Despite being contented in the Chamber, I didn’t hesitate a second. I felt it was the right step to move forward in my career.
There are of course some differences between the Czech and Finnish work environment. One of them is the “formality”. Here in Transtech you can directly approach the highest directors and they treat you like a friend, you can often see the “bosses” having lunch with regular blue collar workers. But there are also some differences which are not so great. Finns are obsessed with rules! They are not willing to disobey any written or spoken rule, even if the rule works against the common sense. I am still getting used to this, because what can be done in Czech Rep. in 30 minutes, here might take a day. Also they honor their free time, so when Finn is on a holiday, he will not pick up a phone or answer the email, and since there is a very bad weather here, their holiday takes 4 consecutive weeks usually in July. You can imagine what will happen if you not answer emails and company phone for 4 weeks…
What would you recommend to graduates to take opportunity and find dream job?
Don’t be afraid even of the hardest tasks and be patient. If you work hard enough, people will notice and the opportunity will sooner or later come.
How do you like to live and work abroad?
I love it. Finnish mentality suits me. Everyone is polite but not jovial. Finns don’t chatter much and do not expose their feelings and emotions. Only a minority of people smokes here and everyone and everything is environmental friendly. Also the weather during the summer was perfect max. temperature 25 degrees. But in august there were mornings when it was 0, I was not ready for that :D.
Regarding the work. The work environment feels more like a family and the salaries are on a different level compared to the Czech Republic. The unions are very strong here in Finland, the employees are very well protected.