Mariette here. I thought I would write some of the post today. It just hit me today that Dan and I have basically completed a 1.5 year long project of getting re-located and established here in Sweden. It started over in the US in August 2010. We got all of Dan´s permits, got married, “evacuated” our old apartment and sold off everything and I ended my 7 year long job (through lots of tears). Since we arrived here in July we have been doing the work to get into the Swedish system, set up our house, Dan´s studio, office, dental & medical and I finally got permanent employment this week!! That was pretty much the last step. It feels like we are in place now and that the stage is set for a fabulous 2012.
The job-hunting has been something else. I had concluded that it would be logical for me to work in preschools, since there aren´t many nanny positions in Sweden. There are about 75 government run preschools in Halmstad and approximately 20 private schools (including Montessori). The government run schools are run by one unit. They hire trained preschool teachers only. The private schools can make exceptions based on experience and simply showing that you can do good job. Therefore I wrote a letter in 2010 to all the private schools with a photo, my recommendations and CV. Once we arrived here in Sweden I visited the schools and introduced myself. This resulted in a bunch of hourly substitute work that I did all of August, September and October. I had more work than I could handle and got good insight into the different schools.
However, I was really disappointed in most preschools. They had a lack of teachers resulting in neglect of the little ones. There was only one school that I really liked. Great location (right at the beach and a 10 minute bike ride from us), nice staff and wonderful kids. However, they had told me from the start that they needed no staff, only someone to step in now and then when people got sick.
So I decided that I did not want to work in the preschools after all. I then put up an ad for myself as a nanny and got 2 jobs right away. (I work for two different families part time). This has been working well but I soon realized that I need the benefits of permanent employment here in Sweden (paid vacation, paid sick-days, pension, etc). So last week I was at my wits end on what to do to find a happy job situation. It was virtually the last thing missing to complete our little establishment program here. And then — out of the blue — the woman who owns the private Montessori School that I really like called me and offered me employment at the start of next year. Just like that! The school is getting an influx of new kids and need me to work with the small ones. I guess the lesson learned is that doing an honest, high quality job really does pay off. It has been a happy week for me indeed! So now I am going to focus on getting Dan introduced to a REAL Swedish Xmas with all its events, food and festivities! More to come on that. Mariette