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Expat Advice: Working in Kristiansand, Norway

Submitted by Jonty


Kristiansand, Norway

An expat in Kristiansand, Norway discusses the challenges working there. Foreign workers are generally disliked and the taxes are unbearable. Despite this, Kristiansand is a great place to come for a holiday.

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

Kristiansand

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

I have worked all over Norway from Tromso to Sarpsborg to Kristiansand. Most career opportunities for foreigners are doing the jobs the Norwegians don't want to do, much the same as the UK and many other places. This can make learning the language difficult since a) The Norwegians generally speak good English and b) You are mainly speaking English with non-Norwegians

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

I have worked as a musical entertainer in Norway since 1989

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Expats living in Norway interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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

I got my work permits by applying to the Norwegian Embassy in London from about 1990 to 1995 when the rules changed for EU citizens. Advice? Do the maths and learn about the system before you come (so you will have a chance of finding out if your tax deductions are being stolen and/or mis-administrated as was the case with me .... and I CAN prove this so go ahead and print this out!)

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

These have not been available to me due to the cumulative (and getting worse) pressures of having to work and finance the double payments plus interest of tax deductions stolen by the Norwegians administering my contracts. There's only one of me. If I take a Norwegian course, I can't work. It's THAT simple. If I could clone myself, I may stand a chance.

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 have been self employed for 26 years and escaped Thatcher's destruction of the UK's manufacturing base. No mentoring. No guarantees and, after 22 years in Norway, the UK looks attractive because I AM at least allowed to be ill in my native country.

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

Sadly, and briefly, don't think of coming to Norway. Come for a holiday. It's great and the people are wonderful. The rest of the world? I'd stay where you are unless you're in a war zone. No-one likes migrant workers. They're perceived as taking jobs wherever they go. How do YOU view migrant workers in YOUR country? Wherever YOU go, natives will see YOU the way YOU see the migrant workers you may feel are taking YOUR job at home.

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