Lifestyle

Improve your chances of getting a job in Denmark

In one of my previous blog posts, I wrote about how to easily save money when you are a student. One of the tips I gave was to try and get a job. However, I understand that ok – maybe it’s not the easiest thing to just go out and do.

That’s why I decided to write this entry with 10 helpful tips to help get a job in Denmark. This post was originally intended for students, but I actually think a lot of these tips apply to any job seeker!

 

Know the rules

First and foremost, you must know the rules and figure out if, or to what extent, you are eligible to work here. Generally, if you are from within the EU, all you need is a registration certificate. However, people from outside the EU will need a work permit and – if you’re not a student – a residence permit as well. That might be a little extra work before you can get started, but it’s far from impossible!

Consider your job seeking methods

It’s not always about writing job applications and going through the “official” channels. A lot of jobs in Denmark – especially the ones for students – are filled through networking and word-of-mouth. Why is that? Well, I guess there’s nothing like making a nice personal impression!

Work on your CV and job applications

With that being said, there is still a lot to be said for a traditional and well written job application. I found a lot of good tips for improving your applications and CV on this Danish site called Jobline.dk – sadly they don’t have an English session, but I think it’ll be invaluable for people who do understand at least some Danish.

Say yes

As basic as this tip sounds, you will be amazed at how many people see obstacles in their path rather than opportunities. It’s all about attitude! You just never know which situations can lead to employment down the line. The same goes for voluntary work.

Consider temping

Temping might be for the short term, but it’s a good option when you need money quickly. Lots of students and internationals are doing temp work. And while the work itself might be a little boring, at least most of it does not require a huge commitment, long hours or overtime.

Upgrade your skills

A friend of mine who was out of a job was able to apply for a 6 week course at Kursusfabrikken and upgrade her skills in marketing and making websites. It was really perfect for her, as she had a dream of making her own webshop. Even if that’s not your goal, I think the idea is really good – learn to do something you love and put it on your CV!

Write down your skills

If you’re searching for a job, you could be limiting yourself to what you’ve already done. So my advice is to take some time and write down the skills that you have. Not just in a job related way, but generally. It could open your eyes to new opportunities.

Apply unsolicited

You don’t have to wait for a company to put out an ad for a job opening– you can apply there even if they’re not looking for employees. Of course, with this tactic your chances of getting a no are higher – but look at it this way. If you apply at the perfect moment, you’re the only candidate for the job!

Get feedback

If you applied to something and didn’t get the job, don’t be afraid to ask them why. Not in an aggressive way of course, but even if it can feel weird, you can get a lot of feedback for things you can do differently or improve.

And finally: Once you have that job, get some job security

If you plan to keep your job for more than a year, you can get job security in the form of paying money to an A-kasse, which is kind of like an insurance policy in case you lose your job. The rules are more or less the same for Danes as they are for internationals, so check out the rules to see if it’s something for you! For more information take a look here.

 

Good luck with the job hunting!

 

//Louise :-)

 

Easter 2014

Easter, also called the Pasch or Pascha is a holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The holiday celebrated are Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. For many(including me), Easter is a symbol of the end of Winter and therefore they use their Easter holidays to begin Spring and Summer by opening up their holiday home, gardening, planting, getting the garden furniture out etc. This year I decided to invest in some new garden furniture.  I bought my new garden furniture’s at Cane-Line.dk. Cane-Line has a wide selection of outdoor patio furniture including garden chairs, lounge and modular sofas for outdoor use. There really is something for everyone’s garden.

Danish traditions 

Many homes are decorate for Easter in yellow, especially with daffodils, coloured eggs and Easter chickens or hare etc.

There is also a unique Danish Easter tradition where we send a Gækkebrev.  And what is Gækkebreve, you might ask!? Well that depends, but in my world a Gækkebrev is a decorated letter – often cut with scissor. Gækkebreve contains a verse and a riddle and some snowdrops. Weeks before Easter (especially children) cut out letters and then they write a riddle verse. The letter is anonymous but signed with a number of dots (The number of dots corresponding the letters in your name). The pledge is a chocolate Easter egg. If the person who receives the letter guesses whom it comes from, you have to give him or her an Easter egg. So disguise your handwriting and be creative ;-) .

The classic verse on a Gækkebrev are

Gæk, gæk, gæk – Mit navn det står med prikker pas på det ikke stikker (Riddle, riddle, riddle – My name is written with dots, watch out they will not pegs)

Sorry for me, I did not received any Gækkebrev this year – maybe it’s caused by my age ;-) . Instead, I got a new wonderful summer duvet and pillow from Dynefabrikken.dk – much better than an Easter Egg! A good night sleep is very important for me and therefore it was the perfect present from my sweet parents.

My Easter tradition

Easter is also the time where you visit your family and friends. Lots of eating and drinking is high on the priority list in Easter – especially in my family :-) .  We have this tradition that the whole family meets for a big dinner where we eat an ordinary Danish lunch with tarteletter (tart cases), sild (Herring), tærte (pie), rejer (Prawns), laks(salmon), rye bread with rullepølse(rolled pork) and hamburgeryg (smoked saddle of pork), fiskefilet (fillet of fish) and drink schnapps and påskebryg (Easter brew, which is stronger and therefore tastier than ordinary beer). Year I know, Danes eats a lot ;-)

Normally Easter food consists of eggs in many different versions, but otherwise people eat what is generally regarded as spring food – lamb, vegetables, chicken etc.

Psst: If you plan to go shopping in a new country in the Easter – don’t visit Denmark! Denmark is closed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday :-) .

 

How do you celebrate the Easter holiday?

 

// Louise

New Blue Foundation Video for ‘Describe’ Premiered at Noisey/VICE



Watch ‘Describe’ at NOISEY here

“The two danish filmakers Cecilie Evert and Simon Lundsgaard directed this video together for our song ‘Describe’.
We wanted to show that us people can be very judgmental. On the surface things that we do not know might seem repulsive, but if we look deeper it might not be that alien. That is what the viewer should see in this video.

Sometimes you can be afraid of things that you can’t define or describe. But if you look beyond the surface you will find something you recognize in yourself. That is what this video is about.

Stylistically they were very inspired by film director Carl Th. Dreyer, the minimalism of his universe; the use of light, shadows and space in black and white, the long shots and slow camera movements.

For the story Cecilie and Simon were inspired by my lyrics.
“… I can describe it all for you, if you got the nerves/guts to look into my eyes.”

The two actors in the video, Louise and Martin, both have Down’s Syndrome. That was of course a challenge for them as directors.

Martin and Louise are a couple in real life as well as in the video. they chose them because it was clear to them that they have a very unique relationship. They saw a certain chemistry between them. Their love for each other is very strong and unique, and we expected it to shine through the lens, which we think it did.

The video was shot in Denmark. It was very important to find a house that was isolated in the forest to give the viewer an experience of entering a special world.

Enjoy” – Tobias Wilner

10,000 hour rule – and how us Danes are looking at it wrong

You’ve probably heard of this rule before: In order to become exceedingly good at something, to become a true expert, you have to spend 10,000 hours practicing, which means 10,000 hours doing it.

Christiano Ronaldo did 10,000 hours of soccer training, Sergei Rachmaninov did 10,000 hours of piano playing, and Caroline Wozniacki has spent summer after summer playing tennis.

Recently, I decided to learn to code. Everything currently happening with my company JUF.dk has something to do with coding; we’re creating new platforms. But I can’t code, and am thus not a part of the current evolution. I can’t have that.

I can’t currently spend 10,000 hours learning to code,  so I decided to “just” spend  1,000. Following Pareto’s principle, 80 % of the outcome is produced by 20 % of the input, if not even more skewed. I expect to be a 90 % skilled coder by spending 10 % of the time.

I’ve bought a new computer, a few licenses to the necessary software, and have begun.

Now, here comes the interesting part. What my friends said when I told them about this.

“I don’t have a thousand hours”

I told one of my friends that I planned to spend 1,000 hours over the next few years to learn how to code.

He seemed rather surprised and said:

Good idea, but you don’t have a thousand hours, do you?

Partly, he’s right. I don’t have a thousand hours over the next year that I don’t know what to do with. I have no problems filling out my time – rather the opposite, actually.

But I told my friend:

I have a thousand hours; it’s just a matter of how I choose to spend them.

This is the interesting part.

We have all the time in the world; at least 10 hours each day of productive time where we can do what we want. Want to build a company? Do so. Rather go swimming? The pool can’t be far away. We have these hours at our disposal, and it’s just a matter of how we spend them.

According to this article on information, Danes watch more than 4 hours of television every single day on average (!!).

You’ll hit 1,000 hours in television-watching in less than a year, which just proves that we have all the time in the world. It’s happening. But what do we want to do with it?

We use too much of our life looking like this:

Cut away time-consuming tasks

Since I moved in with my girlfriend in Copenhagen half a year ago, I’ve cut down on some of our time-consuming tasks.

As an example, every 14 days we have a lovely lady from the Philippines come over and clean our apartment.

We don’t have a TV. We threw it out. We do have a few computers though, so we can watch what we want on Netflix and YouTube (but when we come home we try to spend time with each other instead).

And commuting is really not our thing. I use 25 minutes every way to bicycle to work and thus get my daily cardio in too.

I used to train a soccer-team of 11 year olds; now I don’t. I used to have a part-time job at a law company in Aarhus. Now I work as a consultant for half my weekends instead. It’s just a matter of prioritizing.

Become more effective

Let me start with this great video:

I think the subject of getting more effective – getting more done in the hours that you have, not mindlessly spending more hours – is incredibly interesting. This is especially because I’m trying to complete a law program, usually full time, in the evenings.

I’ve tried a few things here.

One thing that I’ve come to realize is that cutting away either exercise, sleep or proper food will backfire incredibly. You need those three.

On the other hand, I’ve found things you can add which works well. I’m currently trying out Lecithin at the moment which is supposed to improve memory, and I try to avoid sugar as much as I can (you’d be amazed what something simple like not drinking soda can do for you!).

The important thing is more what you don’t do.

If you don’t eat fast food, don’t skip sleep, don’t skip exercise (just doing it J), don’t drink excessive alcohol on the weekend and don’t do drugs, things will happen!

You know you are in Denmark when unmarried Danes get KANEL (cinnamon)

This weekend I went to my friend 25th birthday in Aalborg (The girl you see at the picture below). Every year I look forward to this birthday party because it is a close friend. This year was a little bit more special than the other years because, it is Danish tradition to pour cinnamon over a person at her/his 25th birthday if they haven’t been married yet.

Days before the birthday I went to my local hairdresser, The-look. As always, I got my hair blonder. I’ve had the same blond hair-color as long as I remember, so why change ;) . My dress for the night, I found in “Message” in Aarhus, which is a Danish-based international fashion company that designs and produces womenswear under the following brand names: Message, Mbym, Samsøe & Samsøe etc.. I didn’t bought the dress in the first place because every time I find something, I’m always looking for cheaper alternatives online. Lucky as I was I found the exact same dress at StarFashion.dk on sale (See the dress below).  In Message, the price was 1300 DKK and on StarFashion.dk I got it for half the price (559, 60 DKK). Another advantage was that, they offer free carriage and one-day delivery. What’s not to like?

Black dress from Pieszak! Starfashion.dk. 559,60 DKK.

Black dress from Pieszak! StarFashion.dk. 559,60 DKK.

Besides the dress, I also purchased some new stilettos which I found at Eshoes.dk. They are so comfortable and beautiful at the same time. They are useful for everything – even though it’s for a colorful dress or some jeans (See the stilettos below).

Black stilettos from Mentor! Eshoes.dk. 710,00 DKK.

The birthday(cinnamon) party

Well, back to the birthday. For my friend everything seemed to be normal, until it was time for her to get cinnamon. (You should see her face :-D ). My friend thought that, she was going out with her boyfriend but it was a big lie. When she came out of her apartment, we “attack” her. First, we pour a bottle of cold water out of her and then we throw cinnamon at her. (See the picture below – it looks so funny). In Denmark, especially Jutland, we have this tradition, if you reach the age of 25 and are still single, you get doused in handfuls of cinnamon. (Sometimes it’s much more than handfuls, as you can see at the picture below.)

If she aren’t married when she turns 30 we will do the same thing, but we will use pepper instead of cinnamon ;-)

In spite of the cinnamon, we all had an amazing and memorable day and night. We got excellent food, wine and drinks made by the host (birthday girl) – everything was perfect and we couldn’t have asked for more. Moreover, the party last all night.

What do you think about this tradition? Is it too much? Alternatively, do you think it is a great idea to make Danes consider marriage earlier? :-)

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights

Have a fantastic Monday everyone

//Louise :-)