Many people have seen by now that I offer the first session for free. And knowing that a process of healing or change can take more than one hour, I have received the following question:
“What can you do with one hour? How much can we solve, and what can we find out?”
One hour contains 60 minutes. As humans, we speak 120 to 160 words in one minute.
In one hour, there are between 7200 and 9600 words, which means a story of about seven to nine (or more) book pages – depending on the layout. That is the story of a fellow human at a particular time. That hour they are speaking with me. That hour that we spend together in a conversation.
My experience and my work with people have shown me that if that story is listened to from a place of presence and authenticity, it can create change in a human’s life. If a person is SEEN and HEARD at the moment when it is most needed and who chooses that moment consciously, they can change life’s trajectory with one millimeter. A millimeter can lead that person closer to healing or to what they need or desire.
The work with us, as humans, can take a lot of time: weeks, months, and years until we leave this Earth. There is no “quick fix”, you can read here how therapy works. At the same time, this long process is formed by happenings, meetings, and discussions with people who, even if they take only some minutes, or one hour, can have a great resonance in the future.
I plead for the small steps. Not everybody is ready to enter a very long-term process. Yet a person can choose to receive or give herself the experience of a conversation with a trained therapist in one hour, no matter where you are in the world.
I have seen that people I speak with, only for one hour, gain a lot of insight, even if they choose not to go further with the process. Because someone neutral can see their situation better and can communicate it back so that it becomes more evident. Clarity offers the possibility of change.
What is my gain?
The joy of being part of someone’s life for one hour.
The possibility to contribute to an experience that can have a long-term effect on the trajectory of actions made by one human being.
Therefore, if you are interested in receiving my offer, therefore one hour of your life and one hour of my life, sign up on this form.
I sometimes hear this at the end of a first or second session. Usually, after many other issues have been lined up as being the problem, which can determin someone to want to speak with a therapist.
It comes from young people who had an unstable childhood due to their parents’ moving history, yet not only. People who have lived in the same neighborhood for many years can experience the constant coming and going of people who are ex-pats or immigrants. Therefore their children will also experience their friends moving away.
When these young people refer to their unstable childhood, they do not necessarily talk about their parents because the parents were stable. They were there all the time. Yet the environments were different: new country, new house, new neighborhood, new school. People coming and going, and the family doesn’t stay long enough in a place for the children to keep the friends they make, or the families surrounding them leave, taking their children with them. It is not always sure that kids will stay in touch with each other after moving, so bonds get broken.
When they grow up, these children move to study or to work and experience lives on their own, far from their families, in other countries. During their moving lives with their families, they have developed skills like flexibility, speaking a couple of languages, being easy going, and making friends quickly. Aside from all these positive skills, at first sight, there is also the feeling of uncertainty developing, meaninglessness in all the relationships, and a strong need for certainty.
They still feel emptiness, loneliness, and frustration because they know it will not last. There is seldom security in these short relationships, just for fun and where people hang out for a while. Then everybody moves on, and not necessarily with the promise of keeping in touch, even if we live in a world where the internet can make communication easier. Still, it is sometimes different from keeping in touch in person.
Another thing happening on the way is that every time a relationship breaks because of moving, children and later the adults do not learn they need to mourn and be sorry for their loss. Even if we’re not necessarily talking about people dying, still, the relationship, as it was, is lost. I find that people rarely think about this small detail, yet, repeated, it can build up and create a feeling of emptiness and loss. How many times have you been grieving over a relationship you’ve had, no matter it’s nature: friendship, schoolmate, playmate, business mate, workmate etc.
Moving to a new city to study or work is challenging. In a country where it is difficult to approach locals, the easiest is approaching other foreigners, immigrants, and ex-pats, no matter what they choose to call themselves. I leave you in this link what I believe the difference between them is.
First, there are FB groups called “ex-pats in….” the name of your city or country. There are also groups with people from your own country of origin or from the countries you’ve lived in as a child and teenager if there are several. Look for them and introduce yourself. It helps to get in touch with people.
Then, if you have a hobby or several, groups and clubs accommodate people with the same interest. Try to find them and see if they work for you. Internations.org is also something you may want to check out.
I also hear many times that the age differences in these groups can be challenging to handle since there are all sorts of people from everywhere, and not necessarily something organized for people of the same age. Yet, you need to think about what is essential for you and that people you meet are probably just as lonely as you, no matter the age they carry. So, how significant is the age difference in a friendship for you, especially when your standards regarding friendships may differ?
Is it good for you to be alone or with someone, no matter whom? This question is relevant for couples as well… yet that will be another article.
In the meantime, if you want to talk more about being alone and/or lonely, you’re welcome to register for a first free session on this link.
Tromsø: this «little town» far, far North is the biggest in the region. It rounds about 70 000 people. It has grown since I moved here, almost 20 years ago, with about 1000 inhabitants a year. It has to do with the University, student life, and the fact that many people want better opportunities and a better lifestyle, and they move away from villages. There are many immigrants, too, about 160 nationalities, I hear. Still, currently, the region struggles with a lack of people who can work: labor power. Corona sent many working immigrants back to their countries and did not return.
When I say better opportunities, young people want, among other things, a more prosperous entertaining life: pubs, concerts, clubs where they can practice a hobby together, etc.
November 3rd to 5th, 2022, a new festival occurred here: Tromsø World Festival. It is a festival that people with big hearts and commitment to the city’s international population have managed to put together after several years of trial and failure with other attempts to bring famous artists to Tromsø.
When I say “famous artists,” I do not mean big names known to the Western World, but names known to the Asian world or African world. Names which, even if they are big outside Norway and Europe, people in Tromsø didn’t hear of – because people are much more interested in their local artists than from abroad.
I had the pleasure of attending two concerts (Fatoumata Diawara – photo- and Bombino) and a three hours seminar dedicated to integration and inclusion through music and theater.
Living in such a small town as Tromsø, the advantage is that one can get very close to the artists or members of a panel discussion. Like many others, the concerts I have been participating in give a unique feeling of intimacy and coziness due to the small number of people attending, especially if the concert is indoors in a small pub. It feels like the artist is there only for you, which is great. And I always see a slight shade of astonishment and surprise on the face of artists used with much more people attending the concerts that they have in front of them in Tromsø. Nevertheless, the performances are good, and everybody seems to enjoy them. I certainly did, even if I also would have expected a more significant number of people to attend.
Yet, we don’t need to forget that Tromsø is a small place where people have many entertaining possibilities, and they choose their favorites. At the concerts I was present this year, I’ve seen many immigrants or second-generation immigrants. I have also seen many people who have jobs working with refugees – people who’ve heard something about the artist presented through their background and life. And I know that many Sami and Norwegian people have been present at the concerts where local people have performed. It’s natural to look for what we know and similar to us.
Saying that I wonder when I will see at Tromsø World Festival Polish artists, for instance, Check, Romanian, or from Thailand and Indonesia. After all, there are lots of working immigrants from South Easter European countries in Norway and many wives from Thailand and Indonesia. It would be nice to see their artists here as well. After all, they pay taxes as well, taxes which are contributing to all festivals supported by government funds.
Yet, the festival needs to keep taking place at the same time each year, for many years ahead, so it can create a name for itself and continuity, like the other festivals here: Filmfestival, Norlysfestivalen (classical music), Bukta festival, etc. And this way, more people will attend the concerts, which will be announced in the Newspapers beforehand, attracting more locals.
That being said, I am grateful for the experience this year and look forward to the next year’s Tromsø World Festival.
All cultures have their written codes, but primarily unwritten ones. It isn’t easy for newcomers, travelers, or immigrants in Norway to see them at first sight. We need time, perseverance, interest, and willingness to understand them. Also, a good knowledge of the Norwegian language is necessary.
The book is about the untold things of Norwegian society and culture. You can find it on Amazon. Why Northern Norway? Because I have been living in Tromsø, Norway, for almost 20 years. All this time spent here helps me describe the subtleties and nuances of Norwegian culture. Many Norwegians do not know how to clarify details of life and work because, for them, they are natural. They were born and grew up with them and never needed to explain them to someone; that’s why it’s hard for them to put words to behaviors and actions that, for them, are implicit. Just as in your own culture, there are many details that you do not know how to describe in words because they are implied, you were born and raised in them, and therefore you do not even think that they could be incomprehensible to those who come from other countries.
Many immigrants come to Norway fascinated by nature and the social system. Behind this social system, the well-being and the lifestyle that can be seen at first glance, there are many years of tradition, planning, and action that cannot be seen and are difficult to understand when they are not explained. This book describes some of the logic behind what you see. It can be helpful to know ahead what to expect.
In this article, I choose to speak about ENVY in the context of immigration and multiculturalism.
I know it may not be fashionable to speak about less positive feelings, yet I choose to speak about them because we cannot have positive feelings without feeling the less happy ones. Life is not only sugar and honey. We can get sick of so much sweetness. Feeling the salt, sower, and bitter tastes can make life more interesting.
Envy is a feeling we have known very well since we were children. We were envious of the other toddler’s toy, and even if many other toys surrounded us, we wanted precisely that one the other kid was playing with.
This feeling follows us all our lives in various situations. And, since I like to be clear, I looked up the definitions of Envy.
It can be a noun and means: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
Or it can be a verb and means: desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to (someone else).
So, we deal with unhappiness provoked by comparing ourselves with other people’s success, qualities, and possessions.
Here is an article that explores the origins of this feeling in a much deeper sense.
When it comes to people who travel to live abroad for longer, shorter, or permanents periods, I find that this feeling of Envy can occur because of the comparison between three big categories of people:
People who are locals, and people who are immigrants/expats;
Immigrants/expats among themselves;
People married into the new country and locals, or people who married into the country among themselves.
I will explain what I mean by giving examples for each category.
A. Locals envious of immigrants:
Suppose we think of the immigrants who are refugees. Which means they have escaped their home countries because of war.
We can think about Envy, which occurs among some locals who see immigrants who are coming as refugees. If the government of that country has friendly politics towards immigrants, it will offer a lot of help to the refugees. It will have programs to help them learn the language, help them get jobs, and even give them housing and an amount of money they can live by for a specific time.
Some locals are going to be envious. Why? Because they may feel it is unfair that the refugees are getting so much help, which is paid by the taxes the majority of the locals pay. From some local’s point of view, these people coming from strange shores are getting something without doing anything and may not understand why. They may not know much about the wars in these refugees’ countries; therefore, they may have little tolerance. It may be challenging to understand the reasons behind the action of fleeing, even if that is war, when people have had a safe upbringing sheltered by war.
Suppose we go beyond the refugee category and consider all the immigrants in a country. Some locals will feel envious of the foreigners’ jobs, and we may hear affirmations like “these foreigners are taking our jobs”. At the same time, some of these locals are unwilling to do those jobs because they may be too hard to do either physically or intellectually. Moreover, not all people in a country are getting an education. Therefore, if some special skills are needed, the companies in need of those skills will bring people from abroad to do the job because they couldn’t find what they were looking for among the locals.
Sometimes leaders of companies prefer to get in new people from other countries and break some patterns within the organizational culture. When people work in the same team for many years, they become so familiar with routines that it can be hard to develop new ideas. Therefore, new and fresh eyes from abroad can either refresh the group or shake it a bit, just like splashing fresh water on the face in the morning, to help wake up.
Three things may happen when a foreigner is brought into an already formed group.
It may be that the older members will work together to assimilate the foreigner and persuade him/her into the same thinking patterns.
The group’s older members will stick together against the new ideas and the foreigner.
Suppose the older members of the group do not get along. In that case, the third thing that could happen is: that they will use the shared experience of the foreigner in the group to bring them together by having him/her as a person and the new ideas that are brought in as a conversation topic. The foreigner may not be unaware of this process since he/she doesn’t have the history of the place. He or she unknowingly may bring the group together.
B. The layer of Envy among immigrants/expats groups has many under categories.
– between immigrants/expats who were there before and those who just came;
– between immigrants/expats who receive help from the government in the new country and those who don’t;
– between immigrants/expats who receive a residence permit easier and those who are not allowed to stay without significant reasons;
– between immigrants/expats who happen to have issues with the religion or skin color of other immigrants;
– between immigrants/expats who have jobs and who don’t;
– between immigrants/expats who didn’t manage to speak the local language at a good enough level so they could have good jobs and those who did use time, money, and effort to learn it and to have good jobs;
– between immigrants/expats who have higher education and those without. Yet, in today’s world, when we have the internet and access to a lot of information, people can become specialists in a field without necessarily having a degree.
– between immigrants from the same country who perhaps belong to different social classes. If someone from a lower class succeeds in the new country, which offers more opportunities to everybody, then people who belong to a higher class in the country of origin may not like it.
I am sure there may be even more layers and shades of envy among immigrant groups.
C: Spouses. People who are married into the new country.
Locals can consider that people from other countries are just taking their men and women, and it feels unfair, especially if one has been struggling with finding a partner. One example you can find in this inteview.
Among immigrants, this can also be a subject of envy because it depends on why people marry into the country. Was it love, or was it a necessity and the marriage was used as a ticket to emigrate?
I am sure we all met this kind of marriage, and we also know that many of them can break apart as soon as a residence permit is obtained or citizenship. If this category of people feel like being married to a person they didn’t really like, they have sacrificed years of their lives so they can have the chance to live free in a free country, they may be envious of those who didn’t have to pay this price.
I have been asked this question many times. My reason was love as well. I loved myself enough to believe I deserved a better education in a different educational system.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Envy is a very complex feeling that we experience since childhood in our families. We will have more or fewer resources to handle it, depending on how it was managed at the time and the support each of us has received from the adults responsible for our upbringing. Nothing more, nothing less.
The next step would be to work with it, acknowledge it and, put a name on it, speak about how you feel and what would be your reasons.
Are there any other layers of Envy you can think about?
Please share them in a comment below or tell them to me, in a private conversation, by clicking on this link.
This talk is about children who move places together with their parents. They move houses, and schools and change colleagues and friends.
It is a talk about small immigrants, and about third culture kids, and what parents can do to make them feel safe through the process and through the changes.
About children who do not move towns and countries because they choose themselves, yet because they are following the grown-ups in their lives.
Crossing cultures can be easy for some and more challenging for others, the same with transitions through foreign languages and school systems. Listen to the podcast with Coach T, he is doing great with children.
Mange virksomheter er avhengig av utenlandsk arbeidskraft og arbeidsinnvandringen har økt jevnt og trutt etter grensene åpnet opp igjen etter pandemien. I dagens arbeidsmarked er vi heldige som fortsatt har noe arbeidsinnvandring, og det kan være mange årsaker til at noen med en annen nasjonal bakgrunn velger å bo og jobbe i Norge.
Vi vet at det kan være vanskelig å få seg jobb i Norge hvis du er ny i landet vårt og spesielt hvis du ikke snakker norsk språk. Men det er mange flere utfordringer enn språk når du skal begynne å jobbe i et nytt land. Det er aldri enkelt å være ny på jobben, men hvis du i tillegg er ny til norsk kultur og arbeidsliv, så øker kompleksiteten betraktelig.
I denne episoden, sammen med Anne Lise Heide, tar vi for oss kulturelt mangfold på jobben og ser på hva som kan være kritiske suksessfaktorer på din arbeidsplass hvis dere har arbeidstakere med en annen kulturell bakgrunn.
Nøkkelen til å lykkes med mangfold og inkludering ligger i kunnskap, og i denne podcasten vil du få innsikt i hva som kan være ulogisk og vanskelig å forstå for utenlandske arbeidstakere, slik at din virksomhet kan tilby bedre og smartere onboardingprogrammer, og kanskje også litt bedre ledelse for mennesker som skal lære seg å manøvrere i norsk arbeidsliv.
Many foreigners would like to work in Norway, yet they do not speak Norwegian. It is possible, and I know many people who have lived here for many years without even trying to learn the language.
Up to 60 years old, Norwegians speak good enough English, and many want to keep practicing it. Therefore, they won’t talk Norwegian back to you. Of course, if there are more Norwegians in a group and they had dinner and a drink, they will switch to Norwegian and leave you outside of the conversation. If you don’t mind this behavior, then you’re fine.
When it comes to working life, it depends on the employer. Here are 5 fields where you can get a job without speaking Norwegian:
1. Hospitality industry don’t require Norwegian since there are a lot of tourists who are the customers.
If it is in cleaning, you do not have many people to speak with, since you primarily work alone. Try stalheim.com hotel. They usually need season workers from May to end of September.
Waiter in a restaurant or a pub, you will also be OK with English, and as I mentioned, most Norwegian speak excellent English, especially if they have been drinking. If they were shy at speaking it while sober, they wouldn’t have a problem speaking it after a glass or two. This detail reminds me of the advice I also got when I moved here, and I was asking about the fastest way to learn Norwegian. The answer was: “Go out in the evenings, have a drink or two and start speaking with Norwegians. You’ll be fascinated to see how fast you’re learning”.
Going back to the waiter job, there is this Italian Pizzeria in Tromsø, called Casa Inferno which is looking for people. If you’re interested in living in the Northern Most big city of the Arctic, give it a try and send them a CV and a letter of intention. You find them on this FB page.
Another restaurant chain which is growing and needs people is Olivia. Click on the name and it will take to their “career” page where they advertise what positions they have available. The page is in Norwegian, yet you will figure out the e-mail address and the phone number so you can contact them.
I also see that SUMO restaurants are hiring, perhaps you’ve already seen their advert on FB.
Living in Tromsø I also happen to know that Scandic Hotels needs people. Walk in with CV and application letter, and see what’s happening. Otherwise, you can check this FB group called Servitør-Kokk-Bartender where there are many offers lately since this is an industry that suffers the most after Covid. Staffers can also be a site to look at. Check the link here.
Bakeries and pastries can be also good places, and if you have a recognized diploma in the field is even better.
A tourist guide is also a possibility, especially if you speak several languages. You will learn what you need to say, and there are big chances that you will also be speaking your native language to tourists. Check Arctic Guide Services. Click on the name, find e-mail addresses for contact and you may be lucky with a job.
2. Construction companies are running mainly on foreign labor since people are lacking in Norway now. Therefore, the number of people is decreasing, especially those of working age, especially in the North of Norway. Read more about it in this article.
3. IT – Computer world is international. Therefore English is the primary programming language. Here it also depends on the employer and how much they demand you. Some may pay for Norwegian courses, and I suggest you take the offer and learn as much as possible. I know many people who regret not doing so when they have been offered the chance.
Here there are several companies that hire students who only speak English: Equinor, Subsea7, DNV, Yara, SAP, ELOP, Norsk Hydro. Click on the name of each of them and see where they take you and where you can apply for an internship or a job.
4. International companies:
Sales or production can have international teams and offices in many countries, and often English will be the working language.
Another field can also be the oil and gas industry: from building the oil platforms to maintaining them, securing them, and all the software that comes with controlling them. The pipes transporting the gas underwater or underground must also be built, maintained, controlled, etc. Here are some examples: Petoro, Eni, Lundin, etc.
To find these jobs, the easiest way is to do a simple google search on “English-speaking jobs in Norway”. You can be creative with the search words according to your wish. It can take you quite far.
5. Education and research.
If you speak a little bit of Norwegian, yet you want to learn more, kindergartens need assistant teachers. For many people working with children is a good way to learn the language together with them. Children speak a simple language and learn new words every day. It is useful – for instance, I used to watch a lot of cartoons and children programs when I was in the process of learning Norwegian. It helped. In a kinder garden you also learn a lot about work environment rules and you get yourself some references.
Many universities and research institutes in Norway have PhD positions and research or teaching positions in English.
Natural science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, ecology, environment, etc. are the research fields where there is the most demand of people. For some reason, this area is widely international.
The best site you find this kind of job in Norway is Jobbnorge, and you can check all the universities and research institutions about their availabilities.
They will require a three-year bachelor’s and a master’s degree, with a minimum C grade. Also, all the documents need to be translated into English and verified by an accredited translator.
If you get accepted, it will also be easy to obtain a skilled worker visa since the employer is a university that needs you for their research, which means only you have the skills the research project needs.
You have far better chances of finding something in a smaller town and the North of Norway. I like to compare the North of Norway with the Wild West in American movies. That raw area of a country has many possibilities because it is far away, and you need a lot of guts to make a life there. Therefore, I welcome you to Wild Wild North, where you can get help finding a job. More details can see in this article.
Even before you start the process of finding a job in Norway, it is good for you to learn the hidden social codes nobody talks about because they can get you far on the work market. You can find them in my free newsletter, which you can register for here. Or, you can read about them in my book, which you can order here.
If there are other areas you think you can work in that, do not require Norwegian and a good knowledge of the internal social codes and systems, let me know in a comment.
And if you found a job in Norway, only speaking English, my strong suggestion would be to start learning Norwegian as soon as possible. The more years you’ve been living in Norway, and you do not speak the language, the harder will be for you to get access to better jobs and to grow within the society. Even if it seems like “all Norwegians speak English,” it is still a second language for them as well, and they will always prefer Norwegian among themselves. And then you’ll feel excluded.
A simple search online will take to several teachers who are teaching Norwegian online, for a fee, of course. If you are a working immigrant in Norway, you’re supposed to cover all expenses yourself, including the one about learning the language. It is a significant advantage if you speak some.
Best of luck in your job hunt in Norway!
PS! If you want to hear more about how to think when you decide to move to a different country, you can watch this webinar, and even more, if you check this page.