That was one of the darkest days in the year, December morning with no snow but clouds hanging low and total blackness at seven, eight and even nine in the morning. One of those December mornings was also my first day of internship in the Marketing and Communications unit at Laurea. I was going there with all the excitement, enthusiasm but also worries. Why worries?
Do I know the languages?
It was going to be my first job in Finland. I was supposed to train my Finnish language skills, because this job placement was part of my Finnish language and integration course. And believe me – I didn’t feel like I can speak the language even less so understand it.
The good part of my work arrangements was that I was supposed to do my tasks in English. But here again – this is not my mother tongue either. Are my English skills advanced enough? I used to work with that language and this is the main language I have been using in everyday life situations for years, but… Well, there are always some “but”.
No more freelance
There was yet another aspect: everyday work in the office. Am I still capable of doing this? The question was justified, because for the past 13 years I used to work as a freelancer – a freelance journalist. Freelance job means working from home, being to some extend your own boss and not meeting your colleagues on an everyday basis. Because for all those years I have been leaving abroad, first in the US and later in Finland, my contacts with my bosses or supervisors located in Poland, my home country, were exclusively by email. Being a freelancer gives you some freedom. If there is work to be done, you work long hours, but other days you might be free. Over those years I’ve learnt how to manage my time and how to efficiently use the so called “in a meantime”.
All in all I was worrying how I would adjust to my new schedule, a new way of life in some sense. It meant also a small revolution in our family life. With two kids, one in a daycare, me and my husband had to draw a new plan. The relieving part was, that I’ve got a lot of support from everyone. My 9-years-old daughter kept repeated: “don’t worry, mommy, we’ll manage, we are already big”.
Hence, on that one dark Monday morning with mind full of thoughts, excitements and worries I stepped in the Marketing and Communications office at Laurea greeted with warmth and smiles and the Finnish language.