-«Social welfare, and family benefits convinced me to move to Norway.»-

cris_familia2Cristóbal Molina, hydrologist engineer working and living in Norway since January this year, says that social welfare, labor market integration and family benefits convinced him to move to Norway.

-  The Norwegian companies are much more efficient than the Spanish, and the manager is not the person you have to justify your work to. Your manager is rather the person that makes sure you work efficiently, he says.

Nowadays he is working in the Norwegian company Nortek A.S. and he and his girlfriend decided to move to Norway during the pregnancy with their second child. She worked as a self-employed in Spain and it would have been very complicated to return to work after maternity leave. While in Norway they receive support for maternity leave during 1 year. This includes 14 weeks for him. Due to the ongoing crisis it is also easier to return to work for a mother with two children in Norway than in Spain.

Main differences between working in Spain and Norway

cris_familia-   Generally in Norway the manager trusts his employees much more than in Spain. The terms “warm up the chair” or “killing time” does not exists (typical Spanish expressions for killing time at the office). If you fulfill your work tasks you will achieve a good working environment. Compared to Spain, in Norway everything is more flexible, and they focus more on the productivity of the company, while in Spain you work in a frame of the hierarchy, with very specific functions assigned.

He continues telling us that the schedule is also very different, and much more flexible in Norway.

-  The most important thing is to have time for yourself, to do sports, hang out with friends and family. In Spain when you leave the office at 20 or 21 this is not that easy, he says.

-  The relationship between manger and staff is also very different from what we are used to in Spain. In my company we are 45 people, and we all eat together, at the same table, regardless of your position. In addition, once a month the manager meets with the staff to explain how the company is developing, to motivate us and recognize our achievements. In my first meeting I got the impression that the manager was doing the same amount of work, or even more, than the rest of the staff.

Integrating in Norway has not been difficult for Cristobal, Spaniards have a good rumor and the Norwegians associate them with sun, beach and football. The hardest things to adapt to have been the weather and the lack of “cañas”, people don’t go out as much as in Spain, they meet more at each others houses. (Going out for cañas is very common in Spain, and it refers to meeting friends or family over a small beer). However, if you love nature, this is the perfect country to live in. Regardless of where you live in the country, you easily have access to the nature and the great outdoors.

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