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Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2017-12-17 15:27
Hi,

I asked myself if there are people on this board living in Norway who are willing to share some insights.

My girl and myself are considering to relocate to Norge. The country is just awesome and we like the culture and the people.

Of course our data points are assembled from the media and about 6 vacation/trips to the country.

I do have a finance background (electrity and energy markets), mostly IT and risk. I left the industry a couple of years ago and work as a freelancer in the fields of:

- software engineering (streaming applications and apache "big data" stack => spark, flink, kudu, hbase, hive)
- operations research (optimization, simulation)
- statistical modelling and machine learning (mostly regression and classification stuff, no NLP and image processing. Some reinforced learning) (mostly done in python)

Live is good and jobs and pay are nice here in germany. I most defenetly can't complain. Also managed to put some money on the side.

Hence we would only make the leap if it would improve the overall situation. "Overal situation" includes a lot of things like live-work balance, work environment, payment, finacial risks, interesting work, taxes, health-care etc.

I am aware of the fact that I may cut back on some things, but will gain on others. And will happily do so. Of course we are willing to learn the language.

So my question is:
does anybody here work in Norway? Any stories/experiences to share? Does it malke sense to work as a freelancer over there?

Just fire away if you have something that you could consider a valuable information.

Thanks

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

katastrofa


Total Posts: 420
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2017-12-17 20:02
How well can you handle lack of daylight in winter?

(That's a serious question.)

Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2017-12-17 21:06
Good point.
My experience with it was limited, but as long as we get our serotonin from working out, I guess we are fine.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

jslade


Total Posts: 1123
Joined: Feb 2007
 
Posted: 2017-12-17 22:56
I know lots of people there; most complain about the taxes and conformity (google "law of jante" if you don't know this term). This is probably sample bias -aka I met all of them in the US. I think live-work balance is going to be good. Plenty of natural beauty and outdoors activities. Might be more difficult to make new friends outside of Oslo. Will make intros if you like.

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."

Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2017-12-18 07:03
Regarding "Law of Jante": beeing the commi-leftist underachiever that I am, that is probably a good thingBig Smile

Kidding aside, I am not sure if this is will become a problem for me. But it sure can be a shitty attitude to have around you all day. Fact is, I heard and read about some similair things too. It was described to me as a "jealous society".

Thanks jslade. Will come back to you regarding the intros. Would probably be nice to talk to somebody with hands on experience.

Thanks and regards.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

campo_de_ems


Total Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2016
 
Posted: 2017-12-18 20:21
Hi Maggette - completely off-topic, but I "recently" relocated back home (Munich area) after a decade and a half overseas. Looking into freelancing myself also, but have no professional contacts here. Can I shoot you a private message for some tips? Cheers!

Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2017-12-18 21:51
Sure.
Edit: e-mail in profile, if you are wondering:).

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

campo_de_ems


Total Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2016
 
Posted: 2017-12-19 23:07
Yes, got it, thanks. Been a bit busy but will try to get in touch shortly.

gill


Total Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2004
 
Posted: 2018-01-07 19:47
Hi

I used to work in Denmark for a number of years. Travelled extensively on business in Nordic region. Oslo is a great place to be. Taxes are low, girls are simply stunning, life work balance is in a league of its own: it’s not possible to find anyone at the desk after 4.30pm. That’s being said I would think twice about moving there. The main challenge is a social integration. I remember what my German ex colleague told me about scandies when I moved there: it’s just one big phucking happy family and we are not relatives...

Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-01-11 12:33
Thanks gill.

At present our plan is to explore it in baby steps. I will probably try to get a stint as a freelancer there.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

TSWP


Total Posts: 395
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2018-01-18 14:55
Maggette,

I lived for about 2 years in Sweden, it's not Norway but I think they are similar in some aspects, so I can share some things, and my wife is scandinavian and we have been in Denmark and Sweden many times over the years, we know the area well and have local friends and families there.

I think what most people brought up is true and reflect also my experience, but there are various angles to it. For example the law of jante, called "lagom" in Sweden, it's not really a big deal. There are a lot of people that want to be successful and have a lot of money in Scandinavia, and so the law of jante does not apply to each and every single individual.

I would not focus on these things, they are not really important if you find your own circle of similar-minded friends you won't have problems, people is very friendly in these countries, they are "warm" in a way.

To me the biggest obstacle you may encounter in Norway is the fact that outdoor life is severely limited by the atrocious weather. You'll live indoor most of your life, with the artificial lights on, apart for the brief "summer" (if you want to call it a summer, not really a summer from a european perspective...).

You may not notice this when you go there for brief periods, but I can assure you will notice it if you live there for years.

If you are born and raised in northern Germany, you're probably used to similar life/weather conditions, although Norway is MUCH worse than Northern Germany, but again, if you like to live in a place where summer never comes, and you have very limited amount of sunlight and pretty much zero outdoor time without wearing a heavy coat on (picnic with the gloves, to make my point), then you'll enjoy Norway!

deeds


Total Posts: 378
Joined: Dec 2008
 
Posted: 2018-01-18 16:20
no one said: "Netflix: Lillehammer" ?

Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-01-18 23:23
Thanks to both of you.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

nsande


Total Posts: 620
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2018-02-28 14:47
I think the more serious question will be the abundance of daylight in summer, i.e. some people who are not used to it have difficulty sleeping in June/July when it is light all night.

"Det nya räknesättet Aggression: - Ett plus ett är jävlar i mig fem!" "Alcohol and Calculus don't mix - never drink and derive"

nsande


Total Posts: 620
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2018-02-28 15:04
I have worked in finance in Norway for 18 years.

First thing you should consider is the work/life balance. Although the salaries are probably below what you would make in a similar position e.g. in London, the workload will probably be less. The Norwegians value their leisure time. They love to spend time outdoors. On Monday they all talk about what skiing trips they took during the weekend etc.

I work on the trading floor (Risk management dep) of the biggest bank in Norway and by 5 in the afternoon the floor is very sparsely populated and if I come in on a weekend I am likely to have the entire trading room to myself.

The tax rate is high but not unbearable. You pay less than in Sweden and Denmark and you do get a lot back. The healthcare system is very good and almost free (adults pay a small fee for consultancy but it is free for children). Education is also free (even at University level) and quite good.

Learning the language is really not a prerequisite for working in finance. I have collegues who have learned Norwegian "on the job". You can get by with English. I am Swedish and my Norwegian still sucks after 18 years (perhaps because Swedish and Norwegian are very similar) but people seem to understand me anyway.

As for making a living as a freelancer, I cannot really say. I have never tried that myself.

"Det nya räknesättet Aggression: - Ett plus ett är jävlar i mig fem!" "Alcohol and Calculus don't mix - never drink and derive"

nsande


Total Posts: 620
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2018-02-28 15:12
"although Norway is MUCH worse than Northern Germany".

I would say that Norway is much better than Northern Germany. It is colder here so in winter we get snow instead of rain.

"Det nya räknesättet Aggression: - Ett plus ett är jävlar i mig fem!" "Alcohol and Calculus don't mix - never drink and derive"

Maggette


Total Posts: 1019
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-02-28 16:37
Thanks!

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

TSWP


Total Posts: 395
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2018-03-01 14:48
It was -40 degrees in some places in Norway, these days:
https://is.gd/njORkO

It must be really amazing to enjoy such awesome weather!

I am currently in a place that is +18 degrees, nice and sunny, kind of lovely, but hey! I am truly jealous of the folks up there in Norway right now... they're so lucky.

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 296
Joined: Jan 2015
 
Posted: 2018-03-01 14:56
Sure, but how many Winter Olympic medals per capita does your country have?

Good questions outrank easy answers. -Paul Samuelson

TSWP


Total Posts: 395
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2018-03-01 15:03
Good point, but I am not in my country at the moment Cool

But to your point: that is how people look at Norway and Scandinavia (and markets) - wrong benchmarks.

nsande


Total Posts: 620
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2018-03-01 15:48
Oslo is only -13 C.

If you want to work in finance in Norway you are most likely to end up in Oslo.


"Det nya räknesättet Aggression: - Ett plus ett är jävlar i mig fem!" "Alcohol and Calculus don't mix - never drink and derive"

panistefanin
Banned

Total Posts: 10
Joined: May 2018
 
Posted: 2018-05-22 11:15
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