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Expat Advice: Working in Copenhagen, Denmark

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Copenhagen

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

It has been very hard for foreign professionals to get jobs in Denmark for a variety of reasons I don't need to go into. The government is slowly streamlining things and relaxing the requirements for professionals, but there is still a lot of resistence.

Chemical, pharmeceutical and biotech companies seem to have a big need for well-educated (Ph.D.) scientists. I am talking about places like Novo Nordisk.

I don't really know the trends. The professionals I know who came from America all have a different story: this isn't Ireland.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

My background is in contract research and consulting in the area of development economics and natural resources and environmental economics.

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How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

I networked in Denmark for about 3 years prior to being offered a position. I came into Denmark as a researcher for a 2-3 year stint. Only I never left.

Work permits to Denmark - the law has gotten so complicated; the process appears to be so discouraging these days.

Be an American! Stay focused. Try everything. Be Flexible.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

I have learned to speak and read and write danish on my own.

If you were transferred abroad by your employer, were you guaranteed a job upon repatriation? What type of mentoring programs does your employer offer?

I was not.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

Be flexible. Never give up. never expect anything to turn out the way you planned it. Take chances, calculated ones.

Marry a danish woman. (I had to get that in)

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