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How to succeed as a professional in Sweden

If you want to continue your career in your adopted land then you are likely to need some extra Swedish 'recognition.' Fortunately, it is quite straightforward to further your working life with the right advice and support.

How to succeed as a professional in Sweden

You’ve done the hard part. Slogged your way through university, got your degree and embarked on your professional career.

Then you decide to move to Sweden. Naturally, you want to continue practicing your profession. In order to do that, though, you’re going to need some extra paperwork before you can start earning the kronor.

IN PICTURES: Find out which professions might need a permit or additional paperwork before you start working in Sweden

For example, a doctor who has got their qualifications overseas can’t just pick up their stethoscope and walk into a Stockholm hospital and carry on as they did before. Complying with Swedish law and regulations is imperative if you want to continue your professional working life in your new country.

SEE ALSO: Click here for the latest listings for jobs in Sweden

“It all depends on what type of education and experience you’ve got before you come to Sweden. For most professionals they are going to need what we call ‘recognition’ of their qualifications before they can work,” Eures (European Employment Services) adviser Arne Arvidsson of the Swedish Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) told The Local.

There is in excess of 40 professions that require ‘recognition’ from Sweden, all the way from becoming a practicing advokat (lawyer) to saving animals as as a veterinär (veterinary surgeon). Medical professionals in particular are in demand across the country, said Arvidsson.

SEE ALSO: A look at past My Swedish Career features

“Right now there is a need for more doctors and nurses. They need to contact the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to see if they are suitable to work here.”

Typically, a doctor from overseas will then be given a contract with a hospital after they have been approved by the health board.

Mastering the Swedish language is considered essential if you want to thrive in your new country. English may be enough, however, depending on your line of work. Better still, mechanical engineers don’t need any extra “recognition” to begin employment.

“Along with doctors there is a huge demand for skilled engineers in Sweden. Engineering firms will often employ people who have English and not Swedish as the job doesn’t require it.”

Perfect Swedish would certainly come in handy for anybody who wants to practice law, as would mastering the nuances of the justice system in this country.

“Lawyers have to contact the Advokatsamfund (Swedish Bar Association) and fully understand the Swedish law system as it can be quite different from what they have trained in before,” added Arvidsson.

For many expats, their first route into Swedish employment is taking up a teaching post. Qualification requirements are more stringent now with professional teachers needing “recognition” from Skolverket (Swedish National Agency for Education).

But before you pack your bags and head for a Swedish classroom, be warned as Arvidsson says there is a “surplus” of teachers.

Not all professionals need further “recognition” from Sweden. Most media professionals, such as journalists, can work without any barriers – besides the lack of jobs – here.

“Sweden is not exactly crying out for journalists. There are many who are unemployed but they can at least work here without any issues,” concluded Arvidsson.

Professionals who are considering making the switch to Sweden need to contact the Employment Agency and set up a meeting with a Eures adviser, he added. Sweden has 60 advisers with many of them trained in multiple languages to suit the candidate’s needs.

Patrick Reilly

Follow Patrick on Twitter here

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OBAMA

Obama reveals he wants to work for… Spotify?

Barack Obama may be leaving the White House, but it looks like he's got his future all planned out.

Obama reveals he wants to work for... Spotify?
Barack Obama on a visit to Sweden in 2013. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

One of Obama's favourite trips abroad was his 2013 visit to Sweden, US tech entrepreneur, podcast editor and former The Local blogger Natalia Brzezinski has revealed the president told her.

She and her husband Mark Brzezinski, who was the US ambassador to Sweden 2011-2015, were invited to the White House on Wednesday evening along with other diplomats appointed by Obama.

“I finally got the chance to thank him for the life-changing appointment to Sweden,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.

“He said word for word: 'I loved visiting you in Stockholm, it was my favourite trip. I plan to go back there really soon'.”

Obama went to Stockholm on an official state visit in 2013. And Brzezinski, the CEO of creative tech festival Symposium Stockholm, revealed she tried to tempt him back to attend its Brilliant Minds conference in June.

He did not promise anything, but did at least urge Brzezinski to “send him the details”.

Obama leaves his post on January 20th, handing over the reins to Republican president-elect Donald Trump. As for the outgoing president's future, it looks like he's got his heart set on a certain Swedish music streaming giant.

“I'm still waiting for my job at Spotify… 'cause I know y'all loved my playlist,” Brzezinski quoted him as saying.

We are pretty sure he was joking, but it is not the first time Obama has praised Sweden.

Former prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt revealed in an interview last year that the US president had told him on his visit to Stockholm that he would love to return again with his family.

“Shortly thereafter I met Michelle and Barack Obama again in New York and Michelle confirmed that Barack talked to her about it after his visit to Stockholm. I said I hoped they would find time to return after his presidency,” Reinfeldt told the Aftonbladet tabloid in September.