Sunday, March 25, 2012

On the (job) hunt

My interview at Maihaugen back in February apparently went pretty well, as I received a phone call on Thursday from a Norwegian-named woman speaking Norwegian who apparently works at Maihaugen, offering me a summer job! It is not terribly exciting; in fact, it starts out pretty grungy--"spring cleaning" for one to two weeks in April. I don't know what this involves--pulling up bushes, washing windows, cleaning fireplaces, all of the above? But come summer, I've been offered a position in the museum shops. One of the shops is a pretty typical museum shop, filled with tempting and expensive Scandinavian-designed houseware items, books, clothing, jewelry and the requisite trolls. The other shop is located in the byen, a representation of main street Lillehammer from around the 1900s. In that shop, I would be wearing a costume of some sort. As some of you may know, growing up in Minnesota I was a little obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder, and wore pretty much nothing but long calico dresses and bonnets from the age of 7-11, so wearing a costume from the 1900s. . . well, that actually sounds like it could be kind of fun.

I have not completely made up my mind if I will be working in the shops or not. I have applied for a few other positions through the city--namely nurses' aide positions at the nursing homes and home health aide positions. And, if I can work up the nerve and get my rumpa i gir, I'll visit the local nursing homes personally and drop off my CV. I have been told over and over again, from people not in the know (and where has that gotten me in the past? In Norway, based on uninformed opinions that Norway needs nurses, and it will be easy to get a job!), that the nursing homes always need help. Does that sound appealing? No. Does that sound like they are short-staffed and over-worked? Yes. Reassuring, when it comes to actually getting a job? Maybe.

In the end I think it will come down to money and guaranteed hours. Where can I earn the most. The nursing-aide type positions would probably be much more helpful in terms of language development that  would be most relevant to my field. But, one way or another, I will be working this summer.

On a related noted, we were recently notified that my nursing and midwife cases will likely be reviewed by the license appeals board in late May. (A 3-month turn around. Not bad). On an even more positive note, Erik has been in contact with the head of the Norwegian midwife organization, and she is shocked at the handling that my case has received and has asked him for all the paperwork that we have submitted to and received from SAFH. She could be a really good ally to have.

As much as it's hard to believe. . . life is looking up. And with it brings change, and along with that uncertainty. So although these new developments are good, I'm still feeling a little uneasy about it. As unhappy as I may have been with the state of the world as I knew it in Lillehammer, at least it was familiar.


  1. I have never met an over-worked Norwegian, but I really hope you find a short-staffed somewhere that needs your expertise. Maihaugen is beautiful though...might be a nice place to pass the summer months and make a few bucks too. Maybe we'll come meet you--we're headed that way in May!

  2. Such great news, Emily! And don't discount what the job can lead you further to ... I've been very surprised at how the jobs I've done that were not exactly in my field got me recommendations for work that WAS in my field (the whole getting to know Norwegians thing pays off). You'll be meeting people and maybe even having fun -- sounds great!

  3. Even in my despair about my own unemployment issues, I am happy for you, Emily! ;-) Whatever job you end up with, the most important thing is that you feel you're moving forward with your life here, right? Without that, we end up wallowing in our hopeless immigrant status and that's just too depressing to face. So here's to a new summer job for you! Så bra!!

  4. Well done Emily!
    You should go for it, it may not be the job you were trained to do but it will be great to get back into the workforce, earn some money and speak norwegian. Working has made me feel human again (even though it's not my ideal job!)