Jag är invanderar…

May 29, 2009

Flyttning blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 6:34 am

I am moving this blog here Please update your RSS readers, etc.


May 27, 2009

En förhör för en fin jobb…

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 2:43 pm

Today I had an interview for a very fine job. The position is of tier 1 support at an organization whom out of respect for and their mission will remain nameless. However, the role is interesting, and directly is in line with my career in IT and not a low paying, part-time, manual labor type job which is all I can seem to obtain at this moment here in Sweden.

The interview was conducted in English, thankfully, yet that is the language of the work culture and presumably I will be working with many fellow Americans on this job. Throughout the interview I was asked repeatedly why I was choosing to take a role lesser to those that I have held previously. I drew some amusement from this line of inquiry, though, a job is a job, and a job at this particular organization is helping and serving in a way that had never occurred to me until I read their job advertisement. I hope to earn the role, I think that it will provide growth and opportunity unparalleled to my experiences.

It is predominantly a nine to five thing and much more hands on than my previous titles would indicate, though it is nothing I cannot do with excellence. Yet the job is such that it is in line with my personal life goals: To spend more time with my son.

I think Voltaire said it best “a man should live to work, not work to live.” Despite my nearly 20 years performing the nearly impossible at numerous start-up organizations for 80+ hours per week, I have mixed feelings about taking a step back and let younger entrepreneurs take their swings at the plate.

A very good friend an half of the namesake of my son, Al Lachner once said to me “you won’t think about the jobs you have held on your deathbed, but you will think about your family.” He is right, a job is a job. Family is everything.

I am optimistic about this job, though cautiously so, because the vibe I received was that I was overqualified for the role, to wit I think that I am ready and possess the humility and humbleness to serve in the capacity I just interviewed for, even if it is for a “lesser role”.

With regards to the rest of the job search, I have received 3 more rejection letters and no other interviews. This brings my interview rate up to 0.9% and my rejection rate up to 6.9% out of all of the jobs I have applied for. The remainder of my applications are out floating in the ether without receipt, rejection, or acknowledgment. Perhaps there is a business opportunity here; automating the application acknowledgment and rejection process in a culture famous for not handling either so well…

This afternoon I will go and look at more apartments, and this evening take yet another test for my Svenska For Invanderar placement. Tonight I test on Swedish Grammar and Spelling.

May 25, 2009

Jag hoppas på en snar förbättring

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 6:55 am

I am hoping for some improvement soon.

It was a long holiday weekend here. The holiday began on Thursday with “Kristi himmelsfärdsdag”, and the Friday after known as squeeze day, because it is usually a short day with many people taking the whole 5 day weekend off. Due to this holiday there was little work for me, and surprisingly some movement on the job and apartment search.

Shortly after I wrote my last post I was contacted for an interview for a job I recently applied for. I have that interview this Wednesday, and it is a big deal of a job, at least to me. I have a few other nibbles from perspective employers, so there is some hope with regards to full time employment in my career.

On Wednesday I also went to look at a room in an apartment. The people who own the flat are very nice and friendly. The room spacious (10m^2 in a 90m^2 flat!!!), and the location perfect. They said that they would get back to me Friday, but with this holiday I have not heard back from them yet. I hope that I can put the housing issue to bed this week. To say that I like the people and room is an understatement.

Back in March I put about 900kg/6m^3 stuff on a boat. Mostly it is my bed, books and clothes. Last week I paid the shippers and I will learn shortly when it is to be delivered. I am looking forward to being reunited with my stuff, specifically my bed…

I certainly hope that things show some improvement soon. I really would like to get on with my life. Though I constantly must remind myself that things move at a different pace here and that I need to be patient, I will get exactly what I need and desire.

May 20, 2009

Jag har ninton års erfarenhet av jobbet.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 9:41 am

The job search is discouraging at best.

I have 19 years experience on the job I work in IT, IP Networking, Information Security, and Operations. I have authored patents, taken a company to Initial Public Offering, sold off a few others to the titans of the industry. I have worked with a variety of compelling technologies and some of the industry’s best and brightest people.

In the US I have a great resume, ironically now that I am here, I receive messages from recruiters in the US seeking my expertise on a daily basis. Here in Sweden I don’t even receive notes acknowledging receipt of my application, let alone rejection letters.

I have been steadily applying to a minimum of 3 jobs per day for the past 7 weeks and I have managed to land one set of interviews with one company. This is, in its best case a 0.6% success rate.

My construction job is 25 hours a week at most, not nearly enough to survive on. Today I will go to look at a couple of apartments, and drop my resume off at a few bars, bookstores, restaurants, and a couple of IT consulting firms in the area in which I hope to move to. Perhaps I can find an “extrajobb” and work two jobs while I go to school and get my Swedish Fluency Certificate.

In addition to all of this, I really need to stop reading threads like this one at thelocal.se. The bile, and vitriol coming from those who have spent years here unsuccessfully obtaining work is an absolute morale destroyer and I shan’t fall into the same mental pit of despair that they have. It would seem that sometimes ignorance of others experience keep the cogs lubricated and morale up…

Jag har ninton års erfarenhet av jobbet, och någonstans i Sverige det är en jobbar för mig.

May 15, 2009

Hur gick detta till?

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 6:09 am

How did this all come about?

A great question, and a long story with nuance that no blog-post will ever do justice. Though in short I have lived here in Sweden on other occasions.

I first came here in 1999 for work and this is when I met my ex-wife.  In 2000, I came back to the US, and my then fiancé shortly followed.  In 2003 we had a child together. In 2005 we decided to move back to Sweden to raise our child there.  At the end of 2005 we decided to divorce. I have visited with our son many  times in the 4 years since his mother and I split up.

I moved back to cultivate a relationship with my son, something that was although possible from 10000KM away much less difficult from 100km.

I am no  stranger to Sweden, and Swedish culture, yet I can see clearly how foreign I am to many Swedes.

For example, yesterday I was taking the train back from my job to where I am living temporarily.  I am currently reading Neal Stephenson’s Anathem and the 18 years old-ish girl sitting next to me was trying to read it. To practice her English with my book.  She was far too shy with her spoken English to speak to me, though she was absolutely curious. In my broken swedish we managed to share a few nice words about nothing in particular before my stop.

Over the years I have been the first American many have met, and will likely ever meet.  The novelty is all theirs.

Jag är invanderar och lite nyhetens.

I am a foreigner and a little bit of a novelty.

May 14, 2009

Jag är invanderar och arbetar som bygg-jobbare.

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 8:18 pm


Originally uploaded by neitzert

It has been just more than a month since I arrived and I recently landed a job. A construction job, more specifically unskilled day laborer at a pay rate of 1/12th of what I am accustom to earning and grueling in every sense of the word. The photo is of a very large planter I am helping to build. This week I shoveled all of that gravel, cut, bent, and tied up all of the steel. To put my mind at ease I like to think of this particular job as geometry in action.

This construction job is not anything like what I am accustom to but it is a job and without it I would surely be begging the socialkontor (swedish social welfare) for help when my modest savings dries up.

I have applied for countless jobs in my field (IT), tapped my extensive social and professional network, and through the good graces of one former colleague, managed to have 2 interviews at an international firm in my industry. I am hopeful for this job, though, not too hopeful because psychically I would rather avoid being let down should they decide to pass on me for someone else. Yet things are slower here, the hiring process for any job is at best a two month ordeal.

When I first moved to Sweden in 2005, a friend drunkenly said the following to me “Invanderar in Sweden are niggers, and at least you are an American, you are a cool nigger.” As much as I loathe racism in its myriad of forms, I think I understand what he so crassly attempted to elucidate:

Because I am not fluent in Swedish, apparently I am not a full person in the eyes of many Swedish. This notion really brings to mind the way Americans treat immigrants from all over the world, and it discusts me. Since he told me that, I have never looked at immigrants to the US the same.

Every day I have to remind myself to hold my chin high, chest out, shoulders square, keep a smile on my face, and think only happy thoughts. I cannot let being invanderar defeat my morale. It will not break me, I am better than this, I have come too far in my life to allow something like this defeat me. I will become fluent in Swedish, and loose the thick American accent I have when I speak it, in addition to mastering the subtleties of idiom and culture.

However for today I am an invanderar and my employment is as an unskilled day laborer. I start Svenska för Invanderar in 2 weeks…

Jag är invanderar…

Filed under: Uncategorized — invanderar @ 6:10 am

The purpose of this blog is to document my experiences as an American immigrant to Sweden. Here I will write about the challenges, joys, fears, trials and tribulations regarding this experience.

Invanderar: A Swedish word used as a noun or adjective used in the following meanings: Immigrant, Foreigner, or Invader.

It is likely that this blog will offend some readers, though I will do my best to keep it safe for work, it is not my intent to offend but to accurately describe my experience.   Conversely I reserve the right to repost, redact and perhaps mock complaints.  If you don’t like what you see, please don’t read this blog.

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