Studying and Living in Finland LUT Alumni Experience by Aisulu Harjula

Professional habits of Finns at work

Today on Monday’s post based on material of workshop “Applying for a job in Finland” I’d like to show some outlines I learned from it and reveal curtain of professional style in Finland!

What is to be professional in Finland

What is it to face with a challenge where you have to solve it independently showing a professional behavior from your side?

One can say, first need to be employed and then talk about work related issues. However, of course, being a student means to be on the way of professionalism and even everyday student assignments, actions in some projects and working as an intern – all of these tasks are already create a profi portfolio.

So how is it to be integrated to Finnish professional society and do international students feel comfortable acting in such environment?

Comments are given by Mirka Kristiina Rahman, a lecturer at LUT & Saimaa University of Applied Sciences: crosscultural issues, management, communications.

“Working with Finns means that one has to be punctual, be very good at time management. It means that working hard is a must but also an individual should be careful and thorough. In Finland people start working as early as possible before deadline and end up with having qualified work on time.”

Maybe that’s why Finnish society value its labor at high level, so that even the minum price per piece of work is higher than in other EU countries?

However, for those who come to Finland for the first time it seems that the speed of work is very slow and it takes so much time until someone gets something in business. In reality working society overall is very well organized: document flow is organized, employees follow the rules of  company’s, keep the records in time and get the signatures when required.

Finns always do what they have promised, so it’s necessary to gain and keep trust!” – Kristiina Rahman continues her explations.

Culture iceberg and facts


Finland is highly individualistic feminine culture that  appreciates quality of life and believes in equality

  • Country is not too social or too outgoing.
  • It becomes hard to do sales, telling that product  is the best in the world is rather difficult even if it’s true.
  • Education is very well apreciated and of high value. For instance, almost everyone (young or aged individual) knows English.
  • Finns trust their subordinates and their partners.

But what usually Finns tell about themselves once there is a contact between you and them? Nothing.

“How does the fish describe water? It cannot.  It is the only thing it knows. We are all products of our own aquariums.”- says Kristiina Rahman.

Finnish proverb therefore says, ”Speech is silver but silence is gold.” So the main way to get to know Finnish workstyle better is to dive into work – it can be any – also a student work, a project, etc.

Kristiina Rahman adds, “But basic rules to follow is to do what is well-known and appreciated in the world: to be on time on every appointment, handshake people, keep eye contact, speak clearly to be understood, be neutral and polite. Finns do not like too aggressive people. Finally, smile! =) And use some Finnish.”

Not agressive but active and initiative people re always welcome. Lea Hirvonen, development manager of career guidance, “You need to be active since Finns are quite calm and rarely take initiative. They appreciate those who behave actively and at the same time very polite respecting the professional attitude.”

And few words about professional distance: generally, there is no hierarchy among people in Finland, some hierarchical issues are only for convenience. Finland is country of equality.

About The Author

Researcher at LUT, Master of Economics, LUT & GSOM Saint Petersburg State University. Focus on Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. Background in natural sciences.


  1. owusu bright 12.2.2014 at 15:25

    please how do i apply and whats are closing dates for the admission

    • Aysulu 15.2.2014 at 17:07

      what do you mean about submission and application?

  2. Kristeen 28.2.2014 at 08:27

    Hello, ӏ log on to your blog daily. Your writing style is witty, keep up the ɡood work!

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