Our ”adventure Sweden” started in October 2016 – a year before the move – and the Swedish colleagues responded quickly to the request: A German colleague wants to move to Stockholm for a while. At the beginning of 2017 I got to know a few colleagues from Sweden at the Acando Skiing in Saalbach, including my new Swedish Area Manager. Without hesitation he agreed, that I can start in his field in October 2017. Because of this fact I know very early where I will be going and what I will be doing.
Now the actual planning started. There were several options:
- Option A – Sending: I keep my German contract, continue to be paid by Germany and work for Acando GmbH in Stockholm.
- Option B – A Swedish contract: My German contract is suspended and I am getting a new Swedish contract.
Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. Initially, Option A was preferred. However, when it turned out, that it entailed considerable extra time and money, we choose Option B on short term. Thus I have a Swedish contract with all the advantages and disadvantages.
It really got serious for me and my wife at the end of September: The fact that we did not had an apartment at the time of the move made the planning much more difficult. It quickly became clear, that we would first drive to Sweden with our private car and only the essentials. Everything we could not take with us, had to follow later. Fortunately, my aunt and uncle agreed to travel to Stockholm with a van to bring our belongings at the end of October.
On the 21st of September it was time. Early in the morning we left for Stockholm. The first destination was Rostock, where we took the ferry to Trelleborg at 11pm. After a short night we drove from there about 600 kilometres with comfortable 100 km/h to Stockholm. Once there, I went directly to the Acando office. My new employment contract had to be signed.
For the first ten days we had rented a small Airbnb apartment. Acando Germany agreed to book an estate agent for us to get an apartment. Shortly before our departure, I had lively contact with one of our colleagues in Stockholm regarding the apartments. We really liked especially one of the given suggestions: ”Oh, there is a climbing gym nearby,” were nearly the first words my wife said to the proposal. This reaffirmed our good interest in this apartment as well as the good connections and location. After visiting it, we were still excited and agreed. We were able to move in punctually on the 1st of October. My Swedish colleagues were very surprised, how quickly we found something. Many thanks to Acando Germany and Sweden for the great help!
The almighty ”personnummer”
Of course, when we were still in Germany, we researched what to organize and to do when immigrating to Sweden. We already knew that one of the first things to ask for is the so-called „personnummer“. A number that uniquely identifies every person living in Sweden, similar to our social security number in Germany. So we went directly after the housing commitment to the local Skatteverket (tax office) and requested this number. It was only there, that we realized how important and omnipotent this ominous person number really is. Because without them you will not actually get an apartment in Sweden, at least not without an estate agent. At the same time you only get the person number if you have a swedish residence. Therefore, thanks again for the great support in this case!
No matter what you want to apply in Sweden, you need this person number. Be it a swedish banc account, an annual pass for public transportation, a monthly ticket for the climbing gym, re-registration of the car, registration with the health insurance company or renting a garage. As we learned It normally takes around 12 weeks to get the person nummer. After the help of my swedish team manager, Charlotta Medin, we received our numbers a bit faster. At the moment we are clarifying everything previous mentioned and more with the various offices.
On October 2nd, I started at Acando AB in Stockholm and have been working on a project with the customer since day one. There is still a lot to do and organize. Apart from that, we like it very much in our new adopted country. We will see how the first real Swedish winter will be ;-). In any case, I keep you informed on this topic with the one or other article on this Blog.
I hope some of our colleagues will follow me – the Swedes are looking forward to another visit from Germany. And as well the Germans are looking forward to visits from Sweden or any oft he other „Acando Countries“.
There are already some Swedish colleagues, who might like to come to Germany for a while. I hope I could kick start a lively exchange.
With best regards from Stockholm or as they say here: Med vänliga hälsningar från Stockholm
At this point I would like to thank a few people, without whom this adventure would not have been possible.
First of all, I thank our Management in Germany and Sweden for the support from the first day. Both where strongly committed to my project Sweden and worked a lot to implement it.
I also thank the German HR Department for their tireless consultation, organization and planning. They finally facilitated the move to Sweden through their coordination with the HR department in Stockholm and various other stakeholders. Whenever there were questions about contracts and relocation, I could count on them.
Last but not least, my thanks go to my German boss. It was he, who mentioned Sweden as a possible country at all. When he hired me three years ago, in October 2014, I already told him, that we would like to go abroad for a while to gain experience there. At that time we did not know which country, only the approximate time. Since he wanted to keep me in the Acando group, he suggested Sweden. My wife and I agreed directly. We owe it to him, after all, that we were able to go to such an exciting country and not, like many others, to Austria or Switzerland.