We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

Which Stockholm hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Garden Grove
posts: 3
Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

My name is Gabrielle and I am a bartender from California. I have five years of bartending experience and will be moving to Stockholm in a month or so to live with my Swedish fiance. I want to see if I can find work anywhere in Stockholm as a bartender even though I don't speak Swedish very well. My English is very good though and I was told that it would be best to work somewhere with lots of English-speaking tourists but I'm not sure where I can find such places. Can anyone give me some advice? Please e-mail me at ravenstar81@yahoo.com. Thank you!

Stockholm, Sweden
Destination Expert
for Stockholm
posts: 427
reviews: 114
1. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

It's very hard to get a job here without any Swedish at all although I've heard some stories of people managing it through lots of networking and persistance e.g. walking around all the bars and hotels. If there's one thing that you will hear ex-pats stress over and over again it's that Swedish is the first language of the country and you have to be prepared to learn it if you want to be happy here in the long-term (unless you're lucky enough to never need a job). Those that don't speak Swedish tend to have niche skills e.g. IT, graphic design, specialist finance. You need to factor in at least 1-2 years to have any level of proficiency although you might get bar work more quickly if you pick up the basics. That's the negative bit over.

The best thing to do as soon as you get here is to sign up for the free SFI classes that are on offer to all new immigrants (Folkuniversitetet might be quicker and more professional but you have to pay for it). Passing this course at level D gives you access to other levels of the Swedish education system and will make to possible/easier to apply for jobs advertised by Arbetsformedlingen which is the government run employment service.

For detailed advice on living here register with the following English speaking ex-pat forums - amerikanska.com, thelocal.se, lostinsweden.com. The first probably contains the most pratical advice and serious conversation although the other two are good as well.

Garden Grove
posts: 3
2. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

Thanks for the advice; I do intend to learn Swedish as best as I can. I just want to know if I can earn a living off of bartending in Sweden like I can here or if I have to take a second job to manage. I was told that people in Europe don't tip as much as Americans because everything is so expensive...

Stockholm, Sweden
Destination Expert
for Stockholm
posts: 427
reviews: 114
3. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

Tipping is definitely less common (or at least the size of the tips are lower). On the plus side the level of wages tends to be higher in the first place. Not sure what the cost of living is like in California but when I compare London and Stockholm I always say that public transport and housing are much cheaper (at least 50%) whereas day to day costs such as food, eating out, clothes, household bills are dearer. Sales tax of 25% is one reason for items being dearer.

Stockholm, Sweden
posts: 110
reviews: 80
4. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

It is true that we don't tip as much as Americans, but that is due to the fact that we have minimum wages and believe people should have a decent basic salary, and not be dependent upon other people's goodwill.

I think you will find the service sector in the US and in Sweden quite different from each other. But you will certainly be able to live off your salary here, if you get a job as a bartender (and have all your papers in order, so that you can work legally).

I am also a little bit more optimistic than Blackeberg above; I think you can find a job even without a lot of Swedish from the beginning, if you have a work permit and experience. Why not try at the hotels? Clarion is for example opening a new one and recruting right now: www.clarionsign.com/job_opportunities.asp

And be certain of yourself: tell them that they will not survive without a cool Californian girl as bartender! You can get a long way with the right attitude, and in Sweden people tend to be a bit shy, so here you might have a social advantage being American (which they need in the travel industry).

Good luck!

Stockholm, Sweden
Destination Expert
for Stockholm
posts: 427
reviews: 114
5. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

"And be certain of yourself: tell them that they will not survive without a cool Californian girl as bartender! You can get a long way with the right attitude, and in Sweden people tend to be a bit shy, so here you might have a social advantage being American (which they need in the travel industry)."

Completely agree with this. One of the main problems you will face is that you will be going for exactly the same jobs as the dozens/hundreds of Brits here that are in a similar position to you (hence the negative outlook). A couple of more downmarket bars that are worth trying are Southside and Dubliner both of which have a massive ex-pat customer base.

Just to be absolutely clear as you don't mention what the visa situation is - compared to most EU countries it is relatively easy to get a visa on the grounds of a relationship. However, you must apply for this and attend an interview BEFORE you get to Sweden. A lot of people have moved first and then had to move back to their home country in order to apply (which can take months). The visa that you get is normally good for a couple of years and will entitle you to work, attend SFI etc. Once you get here make it a priority to get a Personnummer as you can't easily function in Sweden without one. It's needed for bank accounts, bills and most things you might want to register for.

It's a wonderful place to live just in case that doesn't come across in any of my posts :)

Stockholm
posts: 317
reviews: 6
6. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

Sorry, I have to be a lot less optimistic than the previous poster, based on my own experiences of being a native English speaker looking for work when I first arrived in Stockholm. I'll send you a private message with more info.

7. Re: Moving to Stockholm and looking for work; need advice!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 4:21 am, September 11, 2009