Working in Oslo?
Oslo’s Business World
The Job Search Is Not Easy, and It’s in Norwegian
Finding a job in Oslo can be difficult, since the city has become increasingly popular in recent years. For expats, the main obstacle when searching for work is probably the language barrier — fluency, or at least some proficiency, in Norwegian is required for most positions. If you are not capable of speaking the local language, finding a job in Oslo won’t be easy.
If possible, try to pick up some Norwegian before moving to Oslo. This will help you when you begin your actual job search. Recommendations and personal contacts are essential, as many positions are not advertised and are only applied for through the people you know. It may also be worth getting in touch directly with companies in your industry and contacting your business network in Oslo, if you have one.
This online course, Norwegian on the Web, is a good way to learn some basic Norwegian and might help you get ahead when you start looking for a job. The course has ten free language lessons aimed at beginners.
Resources for Jobseekers
When it comes to the traditional way of searching for a job, NAV (Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration) is a good place to turn to. The NAV holds the largest vacancy database for Norway, as well as advice and information for future expats, regarding employment contracts, pay, and working hours. English-speaking job placements can be found by searching for the term “English”.
Another option is EURES (the European Employment Services), featuring over one million job vacancies across Europe and providing advice for jobseekers. Available positions in Oslo may also be advertised on finn.no, Jobs in Oslo and in local newspapers, such as Aftenposten.
Below are several smaller useful websites for jobseekers in Oslo. However, most of them are available in Norwegian only:
- Jobbsafari.no (available in English)
Doing Business: Be Professional and Modest
Egalitarianism is highly valued in the Norwegian business world and culture. If you want to successfully do business in Oslo, you need to make sure not to come off arrogant or overconfident about yourself. Some expats, for instance, may be tempted to flaunt their status and position within a company more openly as this is what they are used to. Your new colleagues in Oslo are likely to find this rude and strange. You should try to refrain from this type of behavior, however, and remain modest, instead of showing off your financial status.
Doing business in Oslo is usually quite informal and casual. Still, your business partners are likely to remain on a surname basis with you. It’s also important to begin each business meeting and always greet your business partners with a firm handshake. The style of communication in Oslo’s business world is rather easygoing in everyday business as well as during meetings and negotiations. However, as in every business setting you need to remain professional and respectful while keeping up with the straight-forward communication style and direct nature of the Norwegians.
Social Security System
Expats working in Oslo enjoy the benefits of Norway’s National Insurance Scheme from their first day of work if they contribute towards the scheme. This allows coverage of national health services and contributions to Norway’s pension scheme, among other benefits like unemployment allowance or parental leave. If you’d rather not make any contributions to Norway’s social security system, you need to prove that you are covered under a similar scheme in your home country.
You should keep in mind, though, that different rules apply to EU or EEA nationals and to non-EEA nationals. Citizens of EU or EEA countries join the National Insurance Scheme automatically if they have not been posted from their home country as an employee on a short-term basis. In the latter case, you cannot claim NAV healthcare benefits but must refer to the health coverage from your home country.
If you are an expat from outside the EU or EEA, check whether your home country has a social security agreement with Norway. For more information on social security agreements, please refer to our article on Working in Norway.
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