Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm

So you've arrived in Stockholm, ready to take that next step (or maybe the first step) toward a Swedish career. But where to start? Have no fear, there are plenty of places to turn to kickstart your Swedish job search.

Published: Fri 10 Oct 2014 11:40 CEST
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Sergels torg in downtown metropolitan Stockholm. Photo: Shutterstock "

I love life in Stockholm. There's so much to see and do! I've visited the Abba Museum, been sailing, eaten plenty of strawberries, and I can finally find my way around. But all play and no work gives Jack a dull paycheck...

Indeed it does. Sounds like it may be time for a job.

Yes, and I would like to work. But I don't speak Swedish. Is finding a job even possible?


"Stockholm is the most international environment here, with many well-known brands and famous companies," Sissi Wang, a Chinese woman working at a Stockholm bank, has said.

Indeed, a plethora of global startups and international companies have offices here. And while learning Swedish will certainly help your job hunt, it's not always a requirement.

Well that's a relief! I guess I might have a shot. Where do I get started?

Your very first step should be to a visit to your local jobs agency, Arbetsförmedlingen. The Swedish Public Employment Service has a number of helpful programmes which can help you find your way into the labour market. But you will have to queue.

Ah, the notorious queues. I'd rather look before I leap and job-hunt the modern way...from home.

Good choice. In that case you can start with The Local's Stockholm jobs section, where you'll find over 800 openings for foreign professionals.

Holy herring! How do I apply?

The application process in Stockholm is quite similar to that in other cities – you'll need to write a CV, Swedish style, and you do need a cover letter as well.

Right, right, I know all about selling myself, let's get on it with it.

Oh, no, don't do that in any sense. Keep your dignity and whatever you do, do not brag. Stockholmers do not take kindly to those who toot their own horns too loudly.

You should simultaneously show employers that you are the best person for the job and yet that you do not see yourself as any better than anybody else. It's called Jantelagen.

Um. Right. Ok. I'll do my best to be the best average version of me I can be.


But what about taxes? Do I really have to give up half my paycheck though I don't know how long I'll even be staying?

Ah yes, taxes. Well yes, you do pay quite a lot here – but you get plenty in return. And foreign key personnel may be eligible for special tax relief - so be sure to check if you're eligible for a 25 percent reduction.

If you're staying less than six months you can also pay lower taxes – but make sure to talk to the tax authority.

But what are working conditions like?

Excellent! Workers’ rights are highly respected in Sweden, and the benefits are top-notch when it comes to things like parental leave.

It's also one of the most unionized countries in the world. About 70 percent of working Swedes are union members, which means their employers are obliged to follow collective agreements in regards to hours, pay, and other terms.

Woah, that all sounds grand, but I'm a lone wolf. I'm not so sure about this union thing.

You certainly don't have to join. Most large Stockholm companies have collective agreements in place anyways - and the terms and conditions apply to you even if you're not a union member.

There are also several networks for tech-oriented workers and startups, if you'd prefer that type of support. Try Swedish Startup SpaceHacker NewsSTHLM Tech MeetUp, and Stack Overflow.

Overflow of information, alright. I'm excited but a bit intimidated.

It may seem overwhelming, but thanks to a wealth of resources from the City of Stockholm, we think you'll do just fine. Lycka till, as they say in Sweden for luck, and cheerio!

Read more about moving to Stockholm here 

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Stockholm Business Region


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