Being a member of an unemployment fund is an important safeguard in the working life. You can already join an unemployment fund during your studies. As a student, you can join the unemployment fund if you are in paid employment. When starting a summer job, it’s a good time to check the status of your unemployment fund membership and join if you are not already a member.

When you are a member of the fund, you accumulate earnings-related unemployment security for yourself while working. If you do not find employment immediately after graduation, you have the opportunity to receive earnings-related unemployment allowance paid by the fund.

In order to receive earnings-related allowance, you must meet the employment condition, which means working for 26 calendar weeks, i.e. 6 months. However, the work does not have to be from one time period only: as a student, you can accumulate working weeks for several years, for example in summer jobs.

You can read more about the unemployment fund membership here.

Työkirja is the best and most well-known job-search and career guide for technology students. Työkirja 2021 contains advice, examples and experiences: we hope that it will help and inspire you to find great summer jobs, traineeships, internships or thesis positions. 

There are two reasons why there is content both in Finnish and in English on this website and in the printed Työkirja 2021. Firstly, we want to help our international talent studying in Finland to find jobs. Secondly, the jobmarket for technology professionals is global: we hope that the English language material will be helpful for our Finnish readers.

Työkirja has been published annually for the past 28 years. It is planned and written in collaboration with employers, recruiters, career experts from universities and other professionals. We are grateful for all these years of collaboration. 

Studying this guide carefully and combining its information with great attitude will ensure you are well equipped in launching your professional career. 

Printed Työkirja 2021 guides are available at your university’s career services, student guild or association activity rooms, TEK Lounges and TEK’s stands on campus events. The pdf-version of the guide is available on this website. Link to PDF

Good luck with your job-search!

Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK is a professional association and we want to support you in your career. TEK has more knowledge and data on technology professionals, their careers and salaries than any other organisation.  Based on TEK’s studies, we know that it’s important to acquire work experience and build a professional network during your studies.

Many students have had their resilience tested during this time of COVID-19. Remote studies and facing an uncertain future has been a rough ride, but everyone can learn to bolster their own resilience.

Each and every one of us needs resilience at some point during our lives. – We don’t always know what resilience is or that it may even exist within us, but resilience means our ability to survive and recover from difficult situations such as crises or stress.

– A difficult situation can be an unexpected event or a prolonged stressful experience. Resilience helps us function and recover so that the stress does not persist, according to educational counselling psychologist Sanni Saarimäki.

Some people are more naturally resilient than others, but we all have our breaking point.

– This involves a person’s personality traits such as flexibility and openness to new experiences. Resilience can also be bolstered through experience.

Building awareness of and identifying your own emotions, taking care of your well-being, maintaining social relationships and reaching out for help from others are all vital ways to reinforce and build your resilience.

– It is also important to think about the challenges that you have previously overcome and conscientiously learn from them. We are all able to develop our resilience from our own starting points, Saarimäki says.

A sense of belonging helps

Sanni Saarimäki emphasizes that resilience is not only a resource that is used in crisis situations.

– We also need resilience in our everyday lives, but especially when we are faced with unexpected challenges and difficulties.

University studies can be a source of long-term stress for many students, and in these situations resilience is needed on a day-to-day basis. Saarimäki notes that the coronavirus crisis has required additional resilience from us all.

– Many have experienced a lot of uncertainty. Resilience can help us process and tolerate it.

Communality, or supporting each other, can help and people should also seek out the support of others when needed. According to Saarimäki it is important to realise that we don’t need to know and do everything by ourselves.

– If you notice that a friend of yours is having a difficult time, it is important that you support them by being there for them. Listen to them and ask if there is anything you can do. However, you do not have need to be able to completely solve the other person’s problems.

If a friend of yours is struggling with their studies, for example, you can help them to the best of your ability. Saarimäki emphasizes that no one has to act as a therapist for for a friend. Instead, she hopes that we would give each other more positive feedback in our everyday lives.

– Positive feedback about our strengths helps each of us survive.

Resilience is not merely survival

Resilience can also be defined through a group or community. It cann consists of goals shared by individuals – the group supports its members in achieving the shared goal.

– At its best, a good student culture promotes and maintains resilience. It contains the belief that we can get through this together, Saarimäki says.

Optimism is also a key to resilience.

– If you feel that something is important and meaningful, then overcoming challenges becomes easier. Difficulties are easier to withstand when we know the purpose of something.

Every one of us comes across unpleasant situations during studies and in work, but resilience helps us tolerate them better and helps us to move forward.

– However, this does not mean that we just passively accept wrongdoings but that we also set out to fix things.

Academic associations and student guild activities in particular allow students to work for a shared cause and strive to affect change.

– This can generate a genuine feeling of meaningfulness but it can also be stressful, Saarimäki says.

She states that most people can cope with a stressful situation as long as they know that it will pass one day. The uncertain job market is a great challenge for many.

– If the continuation of one’s employment is uncertain, especially now with this COVID-19 situation, it is stressful. The idea behind resilience is not simply survival, but to genuinely strive forward in our lives.

 

Text: Michaela von Kügelgen
Photo: Getty Images

 

“I cannot remove cancer, but I can strive towards ensuring that cancer research and the development of new treatments receives more funding and that the children in the affected families receive the support they need”, says Heidi.

Heidi wanted to do her part and find a way to make the world a better place. It was important for her to find a practical way of helping, one where all of the collected money went straight to the intended purpose. “Cancer affects many families, mine included, unfortunately. I have also always enjoyed being active. These are some of the key reasons why Team Rynkeby – God Morgon felt like such a suitable choice for me”, Heidi says.

 

What is it all about?

Team Rynkeby – God Morgon was started as a Danish charity project in 2002. It involves teams of cyclists that come together for one year. Each participating team organises events, collects funds, acquires sponsors, visits children’s cancer wards and cooperates with local cancer organisations.

Finland has been a part of the project since 2013. The collected funds are donated to children’s cancer research, the development of new treatments and providing psychosocial support to children and youths with cancer and their families. In 2018, Finnish teams donated over 1.1 million euros. In total, the Rynkeby project collected and donated a sum of 10.6 million euros.

 

Yellowshirts in Paris

Each summer, the teams start from their home cities and cycle to Paris in just over a week to bring more attention to the project. “It is only when you get to France that you realize how big a thing it is that 2100 cyclists come together and meet at Place de la Fontaine-aux-Lions”, Heidi recalls.

Everyone can apply to join. Those chosen for the team not only commit to charity activities, but also to training together. “For a working person with limited time on their hands, this provides the opportunity to combine everyday exercise with a good cause”, says Heidi. The participants pay for everything themselves, including travel expenses, bikes and cycling attire.

 

Shared objective brings people together

The teams bring people together from all kinds of backgrounds, from students to senior citizens. Everyone has the same desire to do good and work towards a shared goal. “If it hasn’t already happened before then, the trip to Paris is sure to bond the team together”, says Heidi with two trips under her belt. Teamwork is also great for learning interaction skills and how to motivate and lead people.

The cycling routes run on small roads and take the teams through idyllic old towns and cities. In some towns Rynkeby cyclists are a familiar and yearly sight and they are given a warm welcome – not least because of the worthy cause.

“Even though there have been some tough situations on the road, you also come to understand how fortunate you are. Especially when you still remember what you have seen and experienced during the visits to the cancer wards”, Heidi says.

 

Text: TEK Career Services

Photo: Getty Images

Sources: Interview with Heidi and www.team-rynkeby.fi

The climate crisis, world politics and the rise of extremism can make us anxious. Sometimes our anxiety can leave us paralysed, but it can also be alleviated in various ways. Here are some tips for tackling anxiety from a study counselling psychologist.

Too many students today are struggling with world weariness and anxiety. Have I chosen the right career path? Can I have a big enough impact on the future – both my own and that of the world? Do I have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to meet the challenges of our global world? Studies have shown that the post-millennial generation, or youths aged 15–25, are worried about the state of the world. Their anxiety is not limited to worries about their personal future, but they also worry about global crises. “This generation was born and raised in a world saturated with social media and technology. The amount of information that is constantly available is stupendous and young people feel that they have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders. It is understandable that this gives rise to strong emotions”, says study counselling psychologist Sanni Saarimäki.

Know your worth and your strengths

Anxiety can be alleviated in many different ways. Everyone should start with their own values. Think about these issues: what do you want from your relationships, your working life or from your time off? What would you like to move towards?

“People fare better if they feel that they are doing things that line up with their values”, Saarimäki says. Conflicting emotions can form in the workplace, for example, if one feels that the work tasks do not align with their values.

Regulating one’s energy level is also important. “You shouldn’t make a huge number of changes all over the place. What kind of activity would help the most while ensuring that your energy reserves last? What would serve you the most?” In addition to thinking about your values, you should also know your strengths. Think about what comes naturally to you. What am I good at? How could I make use of my strengths? You should also avoid binging on things that make you anxious. Saarimäki advices people to set a limit: how much factual information can I receive right now? “You should not deny facts, but you can always give yourself a break.”

Cooperation is empowering

Study counselling psychologist Sanni Saarimäki hopes that in the future there would be less competition between individuals and more genuine cooperation between people. “Nobody needs to have all the strengths. Nobody can save the world by themselves, but together we have a better chance”, Saarimäki says. When people belong to a community, they are better equipped to nurture their creativity, which is important in technical fields when new modes of thinking are called for.

“But anxiety can also reduce one’s problem-solving abilities”, says Saarimäki.

According to her, many people would like to get rid of their anxious emotions, but this cannot be done. “You should think about what could help you accept the emotions. You must accept a great deal of uncertainty, but you are both allowed and able to live with this uncertainty. Never in your life has it been certain that everything will work out just fine.”

Saarimäki emphasises that you shouldn’t create false hope, but you shouldn’t give up hope either.

“Hope comes from coming together and striving to do things that align with your shared values. Students have a tremendous amount of creative energy. If it can be harnessed, this energy sparks action and hope.”

Assignment

Stop for a moment and write freely about your thoughts and feelings. What makes you worried or anxious? How are you feeling? Where are the feelings coming from? Do not censor yourself.

Which of these things can you do something about in the present moment? Which issues require more time and consideration? What do you need so that you can keep moving forward with your emotions? You should strive to learn to live with your emotions, not try to get rid of them.

Notice which issues are important to you right now.

 

Text: Michaela von Kügelgen

Photo: Getty Images

Public discussion regarding work has been changing drastically in recent years. In addition to salaries and career prospects, today we also place emphasis on how meaningful we feel the work to be. Organisational psychologist Jaakko Sahimaa, who specialises in the meaningfulness of work, has done his part to advance this conversation.

Even though the meaningfulness of work has been a more frequently discussed topic as of late, defining the term is no simple task. Meaningfulness in itself is a multifaceted phenomenon that manifests itself individually and is dependent on many factors.

“The meaningfulness of work is affected both by personal and social factors. You must be able to be yourself and utilise your expertise at your job to a meaningful degree. On the social level, a feeling of solidarity is important, and the values of the organisation and the employee must align”, says Sahimaa. “When these factors come together, the work feels pleasant and motivating.”

Searching for meaningfulness

Because of his profession, Sahimaa has had a front row seat in witnessing how the meaningfulness of work has become more and more emphasized. “At the moment people in western countries live in a kind of meaning vacuum. Societal institutions and values – home, God and country – no longer provide meaning the way that they used to. This is why many people search for it elsewhere, in their work, for example”, he says. “The big questions of our age are also a factor. Environmental crises have shown that material well-being no longer adds to people’s mental well-being. It is therefore only natural to think about what we should strive towards next.”

According to Sahimaa, the search for meaningfulness begins with self reflection. Landing a meaningful job by chance is always possible, but often it requires charting one’s own values and goals. “Recognising your values plays a very central role. It is good to stop every once in a while to think about what you want out of your work and your life. Here you can make use of the literature about the topic and different tools, such as the value compass”, says Sahimaa. “You should also remember that often a person’s career is shaped by working – through trial and error.”

However, students are often hard-pressed to find work that completely matches their values or expertise right from the start. At first they might have to compromise on their goals. Here Sahimaa reminds us that meaningfulness can be found in any kind of work. “You can always fine-tune your own work and its aspects to be more to your liking. In practice this means pondering on and adapting your work methods, attitude and the social relationships in the work community so that they serve to increase your motivation. By putting in personal effort, any job can become meaningful.”

No reason to worry

Work doesn’t always have to be meaningful. The role of work can change over the course of one’s life. For example, a student may take their first job simply to make some money – and this is perfectly natural. Sahimaa also has encouragement for those who feel that meaningful work and clearly defined values are merely distant dreams. “If you feel that your thoughts are a complete tangled mess, you should work on them with another person, such as a friend or a professional. There isn’t a knot that cannot be untangled.”

Sahimaa also has some other tips for those looking for sense and meaningfulness. “At first you could try to identify at least one thing that brings you joy. Recognising and maintaining little joys is one aspect of finding meaningfulness in life. It is also important to remember that you are in no hurry with these things. Life is a continuous journey of learning, and you are allowed to get totally lost every once in a while. It happens to me too, even though I am an expert in the field”, Sahimaa says with a laugh.

 

Text: Lassi Linnola

Photo: Getty Images

 

I tried to have a chill hobby but ended up developing myself, by accident!

When I was 16, I let my hair grow long and bought a guitar.

The album Luihin ja ytimiin by the metal band Mokoma was the crucial point: I had to start composing metal music and enjoy the benefits brought on by being in a band. One of the most important benefits was the opportunity to hang out in the band rehearsal space located in the city centre.

I never knew that, in reality, I was every employer’s dream employee: the embodiment of efficiency who ruthlessly developed himself into a better employee.

***

As a band leader, you learn leadership skills when managing a team of six people, I aimed to encourage my troops towards the next gig or recording session. It improved my project management skills when I had to anticipate the ongoing projects of other team members when creating the schedules (going to the gym, hanging out with girlfriend, a world championship ice hockey game that can’t be missed).

On Sundays, I had a chance of training my skill of giving motivational speeches when the band’s only member from out of town was the only one at the rehearsals when all the local musicians were still catching Zs.

I learned about the results of distinguishable marketing, however false it was, when our friends’ band told me that they got a gig at a bar in Seinäjoki by writing “Free beer” in the e-mail subject line. Other things I’ve learned: video editing, basics of recording technology, social media marketing, organising events and so forth.

***

Well, during this era of maximising efficiency, I want to emphasise this, above all: The main purpose of a hobby is to relax and empty your head.

Surprisingly often, a hobby can make you more relaxed and also turn you into a more interesting employee for an employer. I also recommend bringing out the skills accumulated during hundreds of hours of hobbies in your CV and job interview.

Text: Jarmo Panula – The writer has worked as a journalist at Yle and Helsingin Sanomat.
Photo: GettyImages

A student starting out their studies at a university is facing many new things. Moving to a new city and learning the academic study pace may burden the student’s mind.

According to Pia Partanen, Study Psychologist at the University of Oulu, many great variables enter the life of a young person at once, which may be confusing and stressful.

“Even when the changes are interesting for the student, they are also stressful. Not all students understand that. However, you should keep in mind that routines are created and after the first year, many new things don’t put such a strain on you anymore.”

One big change for a student is finding a new group of friends, and befriending new people may be socially challenging for many. Partanen feels that tutor activities in small groups are a great way of entering the social circles at the university. Tutors can tell the students about different clubs and associations available for students at the university.

“Integrating in the student community and identifying with your field of study is not easy for all, and loneliness may be a great challenge at these times. Fitting into the crowd is a big thing. One factor promoting studies is that a student feels they are part of a certain group.”

When summer or graduation approach, moving on to a professional career may be nerve-racking for students.

“It’s good to be aware of the workplace etiquette and the operating culture of your own field. The workplace may have expectations when it comes to dress code, for instance. But always keep in mind that you have been selected as you are.”

 

Students spend more and more time online.

In the Finnish Student Health Survey of 2016, 25 per cent of students said that using the Internet hinders their studies.

However, online and social media form a big part of modern interaction. Partanen states that students must be able to take control of their own use of the Internet,if too much time is spent online.

“Finding a balance is crucial for a student managing their everyday life. Many students work first and play or use social media only after that, as a sort of reward for completed work. If you spend too much time online, it easily transforms as not getting anything done in your studies and everyday life.”

 

Text: Ville Perttula
Image: Gettyimages

It’s again that time of the year when students are cramming for the final exams of the term, the first flowers are starting to bloom and everyone’s digging out summer clothes from their wardrobes. May, at the latest, brings with it spring and thoughts turn almost compulsively from studying towards summer and summer jobs. Summer will be here surprisingly quickly, and many start their summer jobs already in May. The atmosphere in late spring is often a little tense but, above all, full of expectation.

A summer job is an excellent opportunity to develop your own skills and competence as a future expert. It’s good to take a moment think about the related thoughts and expectations in advance. A summer job is also an opportunity for employers to meet students and offer an opportunity to get to know the industry, its professionals and working environments.

TEK conducts an annual student survey that maps out what kinds of issues are important for students in questions related to studying and summer jobs. The survey from 2017 shows that 83% of students of technology had a summer job. Students succeeded primarily in finding summer jobs from their own field as only 12% worked in jobs that were not related to the field of their studies.

In all, 37% of the respondents found it easy to find a summer job. However, finding a summer job is not always a piece of cake and it takes patience. As a result, a third of students of technology experienced that it was difficult or extremely difficult to find a summer job.

What to expect from a summer job?

Summer jobs have many benefits but students experienced that there are few noticeably beneficial factors above others. The most important reasons for working were financial factors, developing own competence and advancing career goals. A large share of students have had their expectations met when it comes to summer jobs, as more than 80% feel that working in the summer was an advantage for reaching their career goals. The results clearly indicate that summer jobs are experienced to be very significant and most should be made of them.

It’s good to think of your own expectations before starting a summer job. Set yourself objectives for your summer job in order to get as good an experience as possible. Also remember that all work is meaningful and important. Teekkarin Työkirja recommends an open and positive attitude as the best tool of a summer employee. If you have not yet scored a summer job, keep your eyes open and look around for last-minute summer job opportunities. Also remember that you can always develop your own skills and competence also outside of summer jobs!

All work is beneficial

A summer job is an important experience for a student, and it often comes with many expectations. Although students hope for summer jobs corresponding to the field of their studies, you should keep in mind that all work is significant. Some of the students are lucky and score a job in their own field but unfortunately, there aren’t enough jobs for everyone. It’s good to understand that the modern world values different kinds of work experience, and that this kind of experience and understanding of different jobs is a great strength.

Payday, experience and learning new things

Työkirja conducted a quick poll for students at the end of April. We charted their expectations related to summer jobs. The poll gave similar results as the student survey. The respondents await payday the most, which is completely understandable, as it’s important to receive compensation for your work. However, salary is more than just compensation for your work. With it, students can pay their rent and, in the best case scenario, a holiday abroad or the expenses related to hobbies.

The second most-awaited thing was accumulating work experience. Work experience is an essential part of your competence, and students feel that gaining it is very valuable. Learning new things, challenges and responsibility were also expectations related to summer jobs.

Students hope that summer jobs offer a good amount of challenges and experiences of being responsible, but also finding new working life contacts is important. In your summer job, keep in mind that it’s an excellent opportunity for networking in working life.

Text: Eetu Viitasalo
Image: GettyImages

Third-level education allows you to learn and practice skills that are needed to tackle the constantly changing demands of modern working life. What kind of skills are required from future professionals? What kind of skills can you learn through your studies to help you succeed in working life?

The jobs and careers of the future are often depicted as fragmented and the labour market is expected to be divided into tasks that are performed either globally or locally. In the future, experts will be aided by automation, and they will carry out their tasks in the constantly changing and often uncertain world of project work. Members of multidisciplinary teams will combine their different competencies to solve various problems, and the development of working life and modern working environments also require new additions to the skillsets available in the workforce.

“When we are no longer able to solve the questions related to work while sitting alone by our desks, we will need collaboration, which requires communication,” states Tarja Valkonen, senior lecturer at the University of Jyväskylä.

The studies provide students with a foundation for developing their skills further, and Valkonen considers it particularly important that education offers a good basic understanding of the significance of communication competence and skills in working life. Valkonen regards communication skills as an essential part of professional competence.

Listen, and don’t be afraid of conflicts

Experts work in teams every day and problem-solving is an essential part of the job. To ensure that your expertise is more than just invisible capital, you need argumentation skills, i.e. the ability to express your thoughts in a clear and well-grounded manner. In addition, you need to be able to ask the other team members to state their views, even the most critical ones. When trying to discover the best possible solution by taking advantage of multidisciplinary knowledge, the ability to ask questions is essential – not to mention the ability to listen to the answers.

“Working life requires high-quality listening skills that enable you to listen intensively and attentively while keeping an open mind to what the others are saying. You can also ponder whether you could learn something from their way of understanding things.”

According to Valkonen, even challenging situationscan be faced with the right attitude.

“Conflicts are an essential part of all human interaction. We have to deal with small conflicts and problem-solving all the time. It’s just a matter of how we view them.”

“In working life, when something is wrong, you often hear people casually refer to communication like it’s some kind of mystical personal chemistry. But usually it’s about lacking some aspect of communication skills, and that’s definitely something you can improve. Education is one of the best tools for that.”

 

Text: Suvi Mononen
Picture: Getty Images