Episode 73

Dealing with Unfulfilled Expectations & Frustrations in Finland: Raysa França

In this week’s episode, Petra meets Raysa, an old guest from episode 20. Raysa was invited back for another episode due to an interesting post she made on Linkedin, which Petra and her will discuss in this new episode. We believe that this episode discussion may resonate with many of you who are trying to find a job in Finland or, in general, are trying to find your bearings in this country.

Since the last time both Petra and Raysa had met, Raysa accomplished some things in her life. She graduated from the University with her Master’s degree and started working in a very exciting international NGO based in Canada focusing on nature and climate projects. Additionally, she co-founded an association called “Symbiosis”, which focuses on the ideas of diversity for the future campaign.

Regarding the association, Raysa says that its creation resulted from the frustration she was experiencing as an international.

“I think this is important to talk about, because many times people think that good ideas – and I am not claiming this is a good idea, I am not being so self-centred here – but that good ideas come only from positive feelings and positive thoughts… But this came out of frustration, to be completely honest, and the frustration was of seeing so many incredible people doing amazing work and not finding a meaningful opportunity for a job, for opening a company and so on.”

Raysa realised that she and her peers had a significant network created by the volunteering project for diversity in a sustainable future and that they have already established a structure of how they work. Considering these aspects, she felt that combining sustainability, a concept she has experience in, with the integration of internationals, a critical issue within the Finnish society, would be a fantastic concept to explore. And this was the basic idea of how she and her peers created this organisation last May.

Concerning the LinkedIn post, Petra focuses on the part where Raysa writes that she felt she was not enough for the entire duration of her master's degree. Raysa shares that even before landing in Finland, she had already started in Brazil to browse the job market in Finland. Raysa wanted to experience the local job market, have practical opportunities and use her existing skill set in Finland. She tried to follow the advice given related to improving her CV and her skillset– advice that she finds undoubtedly valuable – but still, she went through a grieving process thinking that she and all her skills were not enough. For her, though, the guidance problem many people encounter doesn’t have to do with the guidance per se, but with the way one follows it. She highlights that the issue with the integration process is that it should not focus on formulas but on encounters. The integration process does not have to do with guidelines but with experiences. As for the feedback she received on her post, Raysa mentions that overall it was positive.

Additionally, she clarifies that the message of that post was to stop the toxic narratives that promote the idea that you have to be a hero to get a job in Finland. Integration, or living in a country other than your home country – we would also add “being an adult” – is undoubtedly not a piece of cake. Individuals should set their boundaries, rest themselves and not overdo it.

For Raysa this journey of moving and living in Finland was one of her best experiences, as she realised many things about herself. Raysa highlights that none deserves to be in a survival mode. People have to recognise that they are safe, that they just have to be themselves, be happy, and find joy in the things they like!