torsdag 6. november 2014

The Dollar Barrell Down Turn has an Up Side for Expats in Norway

Well we never really did think it could last for ever with 100 dollar and more per barell and green lights on all the new projects, all the maintenance and all the public money in Norway.

As an in-wanderer you probably wonder if you may soon be wandering out into the job market, stickign in your below worth pay level, or if you are outside the job market feeling a bit desparate?

Hope is at hand- in fact the down turn in the economy can be the very best time for you to get a new job, if maybe not the most secure of new jobs. Why? Because in the Up Times you are competing with all and sundry who are sitting in a job and just fancy a move, and are willing to use their network and charm to get that move. People are more willing to move into a new area (ie where you live!) and take those positions on spec' that they work out. Norwegians know all too well about the traps of temp'ing or the dreaded six months probationary period which is often an open advertisement to anyone who knows people on the board and want their offspring in your job...oh yes it happens to Noggies as well as we "invaders".

The down side is of course that firms know that they can get some better productitivity or believe they can at least out of their existing workforces, but often it makes it harder for them to be rid of dead wood and the ambitious types who spend more time networking internally than effective working.

What I recommend in this time most of all is indeed to either take the risk of moving job if the rewards of experience are worth it, or getting a job if you are out of work by going the extra mile - turn up with your CV and a couple of well prepared questions. Speak to the person in charge of the position with just a couple of meaningful questions and a coy hmm, maybe it could be a position for you.

For me in the last down time in 2008 Q3-Q4 and into 2010 I was far too laid back about it all, and took out pappa perm' without looking at the job market. I ended up with a low paid contract but it was very good experience. Just as it started to pick up though I was able to use that experience to pick up in the oil industry and get a much better job, but had to live away during the week which just didnt work and it wasnt so 'glimrende' that I could or wanted to move the family.

Personally I would avoid small firms with under say 20 employees right now, they are most exposed to bad gearing. Larger firms with a diverse customer base and those mid sized firms with high growth are the ones to bet on. They can seem hard to get into, but find names, use linked in and get in front of them with the delivery of a CV to personnel and any really relevant department manager. Also keep on applying if they advertise several times in a row.

In terms of a job you have to move for and take some degree of personal risk, it is worth working around the recruitment branch especially if the job is out through three or four, which just reeks of BS and free advertising rather than any real interest in trawling for the very best candidates. Find out who the client is and go direct, saying you have heard they are recruiting from a friend. For a local job through a recruiting firm I would ask the personnel dept if there is a need to use them first and then only apply via them when it is clear they are in such an agreement. A lot of firms are pre-empting the proposed labour law changes here, to being able to always be a temp basically, by using be-manning companies to fill 20% of their staff. this is very negative for you as an immigrant because it is easier for Norwegians to do the dirty on an immigrant unfortunetly. I have seen many temps who are better than the incumbents but who are in the 20% buffer and personnel would rather not  recruit them into permanent staff, being happy where they are in that gang, and the majority of these have been immigrants. The answer is simple, if you are a really good candidate then avoid going through bemannings hired in staff, or remind them of the current legal stance as of mid 2014 that you are due a permanent job and not just a renewed contract after six months full time work.

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