Searching For Jobs In Norway is the first article in this post series of Finding A Job In Norway for non-Norwegian speakers.
Language is a barrier…
Most jobs in Norway are for Norwegian-speakers. They are generally posted on jobs boards in Norwegian. However, many jobs openings that are posted in English also require fluent Norwegian. Why do employers post jobs in English when they are looking for fluent-Norwegian speakers?
1. The employer is an international company looking for employees for their offices in Norway where the workplace language is Norwegian.
2. The workplace language might be English but the job entails daily interaction with Norwegian-speaking customers or business associates.
3. The employer wants their Norwegian-speaking employees to have English competency.
4. The employer is looking for employees who speak one of the Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Norwegian or Danish) and therefore it is best to advertise in English.
As you can see, language is often an employment barrier in Norway for those who do not speak one of the Scandinavian languages. To save your time and efforts, it is wise to check and adhere to the language requirements presented in a Norwegian job offer, even if it is posted in English. They are there for a reason.
The Norwegian labour and welfare administration, better known as nav, is the national job service. Employers not only submit open positions to nav, but nav also collates jobs from most other public jobs boards such as local newspapers, municipality websites and other online job portals, and posts them on their own job search database.
On nav’s job search page, to search for jobs that are for English-speakers, type ‘English’ into the top search field where is says ‘Søk i ledige annonser’ (search for job announcements). This will bring up most of the jobs in the database that are either written in English and/or require English for the position.
To refine your search, on the top right is a little dropdown menu with a selection for ordering your search results to most relevant, newest first, and application deadlines. On the left side of the page are menus to refine your search according to industry, city and employment type. You will either need to know basic Norwegian to navigate and make appropriate selections, or work with Google Translate. Job search page in Norwegian: www.nav.no
By far the biggest non-government job board in Norway is Finn. The word literally means ‘find’ and the site is generally used for trading goods and services. Most employers who are looking for employees from the general population post openings on here.
The layout of the job search is very similar to Nav with a bar to search key words, a dropdown to refine the search by newest to most relevant, and a left side menu to select industry, location and position type.
Again, you can search for job positions requiring English-speakers by using the keyword ‘English’ in the Søk bar. You’ll notice that more job offers are written in Norwegian. And, if you have already searched on Nav, you’ll find the same day-old jobs on Finn too. Job search page in Norwegian: www.finn.no/jobb
There are a couple of smaller places you can search for jobs:
Jobb Norge is a non-government job database in Norway. It has English pages for non-Norwegian speakers. However, this site tends to repeat a lot of jobs that you can find on Nav, so you will need to sift through for new offers, if any. Job search page: www.jobbnorge.no/
The Local is a News In English website that has a section for job postings. However, I find most of these tend to require Norwegian language skills. Job search page: https://www.thelocal.no/jobs/
Jobs in Oslo is a site that picks up job offers not just in Oslo but typically Trondheim and Stavanger too. However, the jobs presented often require Norwegian language even though the site says it is for ‘English Speaking Professionals’, and the number of jobs on the site is deceiving because after the first few pages you’ll notice the jobs start to repeat. Another thing to watch for is that Jobs In Oslo include internship positions with Startups. Typically, interns are paid minimum wage in Norway, but it is becoming the norm to expect free labour, and a lot of these Startups are one-man businesses, so do your research before wasting your time in applying. Job search page: www.jobsinoslo.com
Glassdoor is an international website that displays Norwegian job postings. The reason this site is beneficial to have as a job search resource is that I have seen a few jobs on offer here from Norway that I haven’t seen on the bigger Norwegian job sites such as Finn and Nav. Then again, some of the jobs are from companies or Startups looking for cheap interns. Job search page: www.glassdoor.com
Of course, there is the good old-fashioned way to search for open positions by blind contacting employers and leaving your resume, but many companies in Norway do not appreciate this method. Often, to advertise a minimum wage local job, some employers who have a public premises such as a shop still hang posters in their store to advertise. Though, these are usually for part-timers and students.
I have noticed over the years that some employers prefer to offer job positions covertly. Rather than posting on a big job site – they don’t want the headache of looking through thousands of applications – they either put out the offer on their business website or via social media. This way, they know they are targeting potential employees who have a real interest in their company. I suggest following the companies on social media that you like and would want to work for to learn about their business and to catch any employment opportunities that may arise.
LinkedIn is a place to connect with companies in Norway. Norwegian companies are getting into the habit of recruiting/poaching rather than going through the public hiring process. I have had both friends and family poached by companies through LinkedIn. Companies also keep an eye out for recent graduates so make sure your credentials are up-to-date and that you are active on this social media platform to increase your chances. www.linkedin.com
Create Your Own Opportunity!
It is hard to find a job in Norway when you live outside the country, but it is also frustrating to live inside the country and still not find a job. There are not many job opportunities for non-Norwegian speakers in Norway, period. But… don’t let that stop you!
If you have the guts and stamina to create your own business in Norway, I’d say go for it! Norway has some great, and often free, resources for people starting their own business. Innovation Norway is the government organisation in charge of business development, not only in Norway, but internationally. You do not have to be a Norwegian citizen to start a Norwegian business, and some companies have international partners, but the company must be Norwegian.
Innovation Norway has offices in most major cities, with regular info nights and courses about starting, building and internationalising your business. They also offer special Startup help and financing. Most of their website information is in Norwegian, nothing that Google Translate can’t help you with, but the site also has links to people you can chat with to discuss your business ideas and the viability of starting a business in Norway. https://www.innovasjonnorge.no/
Note: All information correct at publishing.