Norway bound (not quite Finland, but that bit closer)..

So over the last couple of months I've been in touch with a company in Norway about a potential job there, & last week I was formally offered a permanent contract. I was originally applying for roles in Finland, & it wasn't until the person handling the recruitment contacted me about an interview that I realised the role was actually based in Oslo. But I thought there was no harm in filling it through & seeing how things progress - even if it didn't really go anywhere, it would be good experience interviewing with a Scandinavian company etc.

A telephone & Skype interview with the CEO followed & all seemed to go very well. At the end of the Skype interview the CEO said that they wanted to offer me a role, but first they wanted to meet me in person. They organised for me to fly out to Oslo a few weeks later & very kindly covered my flights & hotel costs. It was a flying visit - there & back in 24 hours - but went very well. I spent the day with the CEO & some of the other staff (including a fellow Brit - I think there are 3 or 4 at the company), & at the end of the day had a contract put in front of me. I'm currently trying to negotiate the salary (no harm in trying/asking), but yesterday handed in my notice to my current employers. Since doing that it all seems very real, very quickly.

During my visit I got to spend a few hours in the city. I've been told & read a billion time how expensive Norway is, but it really was. I may have to knock the booze on the head once I move! I paid £25 for a salad & beer at the hotel, & then paid approx £11 per beer at a bar/restaurant in the city centre. Despite that, it looks like a really lovely city. I enjoyed my brief wander around & couple of hours spent people watching. I have to also say that everyone was so friendly & keen to offer help/advice if I asked a question. I even had 3 different people ask me for info, & when I replied that I didn't speak Norwegian they switched to English & were still keen to speak to me & ask me about my visit & what I was up to.

So Norway isn't quite Finland (re: pretty much every previous blog of mine), but to me it's a step in the right direction & a great opportunity. It ticks a host of boxes, both personally & professionally. Being in Norway means easier/quick access to Finland. The airport is 20 minutes from the city centre & cheap flights are standard with Norwegian. It will mean my 8-9 hour door-to-door trip will now take just 3-4 hours & flights will be half the price of what I pay now. Professionally, this is also a good career step for myself. It takes me away from the operational/change BA roles that I've done throughout my career, & takes me in to a new area - software/business development & the more technical areas around this. This stands me in good stead for then applying for roles in Finland further down the line, as from what I've seen in my 2-odd years of job hunting there, there is a lot more emphasis on technical knowledge as opposed to business/operational knowledge (rightly or wrongly).

So, having handed in my notice yesterday, it looks as if I'll be moving pretty much 4 weeks today. The next 4 weeks are going to be hectic - current work commitments will keep me busy anyway, but I also now have to spend time researching various Norway-related things & sorting out all of my personal belongings & what I'm going to take/leave/get shipped over. I hope that I've already got somewhere to live sorted (with a friend of a friend who's based there), so that should hopefully make life a lot easier, but there's still all the admin-type stuff to do once I get there - register at a police station, sort out my ID/tax number thing, open a bank account, etc, & then trying to work out how I get to/from the office on a daily basis & in a timely manner! YIKES!

I'll hopefully post again before I go, but otherwise it'll definitely be when I get there & get settled. Until then, much love, & speak to you from Scandinavia!