Working conditions in Norway are heavily weighted in favour of the employee. Once you have a permanent contract and have completed a probation period, usually three months, it is actually very difficult for a company to fire you.
Culture in a Norwegian workplace can take some getting used to. In very general terms, there is often a flat organisational structure in which decisions are discussed and a consensus taken. This means decision-making can often be a slow process.
It’s also fair to say that Norwegians work to live, not the other way around. This is most obviously demonstrated on Friday afternoons. By 2pm, most offices are empty as workers head to their mountain cabins for a long weekend. Although working hours are short – you’ll rarely meet a Norwegian in an office after 4pm – you are expected to be efficient during the time you are in the office.
Business attire is casual.
How to find a job in Norway
The first and most important way to get a job in Norway is to be living in Norway. Prospective employers want to be able to interview you in person and check that you will be a good fit for the team. This is just as important a part of the selection process as previous experience and qualifications.
Running a close second is ability in Norwegian. It’s a matter of fact that Norwegian employers will prefer Norwegian-speaking employees, and will often employ someone with lesser skills and experience over a more qualified foreigner with little or no language skills. The only real exceptions here are in the energy industry and other engineering and construction based jobs, for which skills are in a relatively short supply in Norway.
Education is considered by Norwegian employers to be just as important as your work experience. The Norwegian workforce is a highly educated one and you will struggle to be considered for a professional job without a master’s degree.