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Finding a job in Norway

Entire books can and have been written about how to find a job in Norway. Ideally, you already have a job lined up before making the move to Norway. Truth be told, as a foreigner (especially from a non-EU country), having a job will typically be required before you can even consider relocation. If you’re immigrating from an EU country, you have a bit more leeway in getting started in Norway because you can stay for six months while finding employment.

For everyone else, it’s actually an uphill battle finding a job in Norway. In a small country, there are not that many open jobs available overall. At the same time, Norwegians tend to hire other Norwegians over foreigners. This is partly due to the language barrier, even though most Norwegians speak English very well.

But it really comes down to the fact that Norwegians simply trust other Norwegians more than other nationalities. It’s not to say Norwegians aren’t inclusive, because they are. It’s just that in Norway trust is everything, and this can only be built over many years. As a newcomer, you are essentially starting at a negative trust level, so your first job will be difficult to obtain. Each job role after that will be progressively easier to find.

Finding a job is a complex topic and heavily dependent on what type of work you’re ultimately looking for. So I can only give you three pieces of advice to get you started:

  • Finn.no is the largest job site in the country and worth browsing to get a better understanding of what types of jobs are available. For foreigners, jobs in the area of IT are typically the easiest to find a match with and don’t come with much Norwegian language requirement.
  • It’s recommended to also locate Norwegian companies of interest and check their websites to get the most up-to-date job postings.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, referrals are how many Norwegians find new jobs. If you can get a referral from a friend or previous colleague into a Norwegian organization, you’re much more likely to make it to the interview stage.

Good luck!

You’re going to need it.


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