As a newcomer in a foreign country, language is the first barrier if you want to get a job. Still, there are many ways to make an extra (and even a regular) income as an English-speaking person in Sweden without knowing any Swedish words besides tack and skål. There are plenty of jobs in Sweden for English speakers. However, we would like to warn you that it may take months to land your dream job. In Sweden, the recruitment process consists of several rounds, often starting with an online assessment test. But you have other options…
Here comes some help to find work in Sweden without Swedish
It’s one thing to get a job in Sweden, surviving the winter here is another.
Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash
Jobs in Sweden for English speakers
A few recruiters suggest that one should grab her or his one-page-long CV and personally present themselves. However, if you find it challenging to approach people with your CV, the Internet is your friend. Are you interested in working as a bike messenger, a handyman, a cleaner, a local guide, or do you have any talent you’d like to exchange for money? Start here on AppJobs.com. You’ll find all the app- or web-based jobs in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö. This way you are not only enter the labour market by not speaking any Swedish but also manage your time as you wish. What else do you want from life? Check out 8 jobs in Sweden for English speakers!
1. (Food) delivery jobs
A job that doesn’t require any specific skills, you just need a bike, moped, motorbike, or a car. Get ready for the Swedish winter, though. Of course, as a Swede would say: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. As a delivery driver, you could expect to make more deliveries in city centres. Apart from food, clothes and books, many other types of goods can
land in your delivery bag. With some on-demand delivery apps, you might be required to work a certain number of hours a week – but in a flexible way. You can still take your SFI classes in the morning or the afternoon.
You may find this interesting:
What Is It Like to Work As a Delivery Driver? A Foodora Rider Answers!
2. Driver jobs
If parcels cause you headaches, opt for driver jobs. You meet new people and could even practise your Swedish with your passengers. But you can easily get by speaking only English. To join Bolt for example, you need some official documents that is a taxi driver’s licence and taxi operating license. Due to distances in the city, we believe you’ll receive more ride requests in Stockholm. The main airport in the Swedish capital is situated quite far from the centre.
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3. Handyman jobs
Despite or because of IKEA, handymen always find something to do in Sweden. Those pieces must be assembled! When Emir arrived in Sweden he started working with TaskRunner around 5 to 10 times a week. His flexible working hours allow him to study Swedish while ensuring him a safe and steady pay. As a runner, you will pick your own schedule and browse tasks in the city, according to your own skills and desires. From gardener to handyman, there is a task for everyone on this large platform. After accepting a task, you will travel to your client, complete the task and get paid online.
You may find this interesting:
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4. Cleaning/Housekeeping jobs
Another easy app job to do is cleaning and/or housekeeping. You may never meet your clients since you’re more likely to clean their homes while they’re at work. Many people start out as a cleaner in a foreign country regardless of the number of degrees they have earned. Especially if they can’t find any jobs in Sweden without Swedish in their own field. Embrace all opportunities, and attend as many Swedish lessons as possible to reach the level required in the type of white-collar job you’re looking for.
5. Local guiding jobs
A job where you not speaking Swedish but other languages can come in handy is local guiding. Betsey, who is an Argentinean expat with a love for Instagram and photography, uses Triple to give guided tours in Stockholm, meet new people during the weekends and pursue her passion as a photographer. With Triple, you can host an activity off the beaten track. Wine tasting, bike tour, outdoor yoga, vintage shopping and more. Your imagination sets the limit to lead tours in Spanish, English, German, Italian, Korean, etc.
You may find this useful:
How to become a tour guide? Meet Stefani, local guide in Stockholm
6. Creative freelance jobs
Are you a copywriter, a journalist, a blogger, a graphic designer, a UI/UX designer currently studying in Sweden? Fortunately, creative freelancers can work from anywhere. In Sweden, you can also join numerous sites. Of course, if you plan to pay taxes in Sweden, you need the personal number. You earn money completing various tasks for clients and declare your taxes during spring. The other way is to sell your work (like paintings, illustrations, etc.) as a hobby (Hobbyverksamhet in Swedish). A hobby is something that is not your main occupation or commissioned by someone, and you do it in your free time. You only pay taxes if your income exceeds 50,000 SEK. If your clientele is comprised of mostly Swedes, learn some easy sentences in Swedish even if you don’t plan to become fluent in the language.
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7. Scooter charging jobs
You’ll find several companies’ electric scooters in the streets of Malmö and Stockholm. At the end of the day, all these scooters need to be collected and charged – to make them ready for the next day. Without a car or a larger vehicle, scooter charging is one of the best and easiest jobs in Sweden for English speakers living in the central areas of town could make some money by charging scooters at their home. We’ve seen a cyclist near Slussen transporting about 4-5 scooters but we won’t recommend this for safety reasons. The scooters must be taken to a designated area before a 7 a.m. probably. It’s a job for early birds.
You may find this useful:
9 Hacks to Make More Money Charging Scooters
8. Home rental jobs
Airbnb has become popular in Sweden as well, however, you need to be careful with home rentals if you live in a flat. Most of the buildings are run by associations and many of them don’t allow owners to engage in short-term rentals. For example, a homeowner has lost its first-hand contract in Gothenburg because of this. If you can’t earn money by renting out your home to tourists a few times a year/month, follow in the footsteps of Konstantinos, who is a Greek student in Stockholm. Besides his studies in environmental engineering, he works as a local agent with Renthia helping to connect landlords with tenants. Renthia will pay you to show apartments to potential tenants in Sweden. You will also inspect, take photos and write descriptions of Stockholm properties in exchange for mission-based pay. The best part is that you can work whenever you want and you don’t need any previous experience in real estate. The only requirement is that you work at least 10 hours a month.
You may find this useful:
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Even if Sweden, this lovely and amazing Scandinavian country, proudly promotes equality in all aspects of life, it is really not an exception when it comes to hiring people. 3 out of 4 people normally get their job through contacts. However, don’t be terrified if you don’t know anyone in Sweden. You will have plenty of occasions to attend events where you can meet people whose friendship will be worth gold. Swedes love networking, and therefore this is another way to find work in Sweden without Swedish.
Unless you are an introvert
There is a probability that networking is not your thing because you either too shy or just not into talking to strangers. But give it a shot. You can start it by becoming a member of different Facebook groups. Many of them are specifically for people looking for jobs without sufficient knowledge of Swedish. Don’t forget to request membership to groups for expats as well. They meet regularly at different venues to share their experiences.
Work for the next Skype or Spotify!
If you’re interested in the start-up scene, you probably end up spending your Saturdays in bed due to a large number of events arranged every week. Whether it’s the Stockholm Impact Hub, the Norrsken House, the SUP46 or The Park you are keen to explore, you must be prepared both physically and mentally. Start-up people are always in motion, so you should definitely do research before attending events to perform an elevator pitch about your skills and competence. While many Swedish start-ups use Swedish as the corporate language, you can easily get by with English.
Traditional online job boards
The third option to search for jobs in Sweden for English speakers is browsing traditional online job-seeking sites. There are plenty of them. Nonetheless, if you speak a language that is not that common, you might want to visit Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish Public Employment Service. They often look for people speaking languages like Lithuanian, Spanish, Arabic, etc.
Do I need a work permit in Sweden?
You may find work in Sweden without Swedish but not without a personal number (personnummer in Swedish). You can apply for it at Skatteverket (the Swedish Tax Agency). If you are from the European Union and come to Sweden to study for at least one year, you won’t have any issues. However, if you don’t study or have your own company, you can only get the number if a company hires you or your partner (in case your partner is not Swedish). Your chances are higher if your profession is on the labour shortage list. For non-EU citizens, a work permit is a must-have. The requirement may vary from country to country, so read up on this before setting a foot on Swedish soil
Can I get a job in Sweden without speaking Swedish?
The short answer is yes. Numerous multinational companies have offices in larger cities in Sweden, and even some originally Swedish companies have adopted English as their corporate language. Visit Appjobs to browse among companies hiring English-speakers. But we can’t emphasize enough that Swedes want you to learn their language. While Swedes speak fluent English, they tend to switch to Swedish whenever they can – and then they fill their sentences with English words. (They call it Swenglish.) So, it’s highly recommended to start learning Swedish as soon as possible. The Swedish state funds a programme called Swedish for Immigrants (SFI: svenska för invandrare in Swedish). With the personal number, you can attend lessons in the nearest centre to your home and/or workplace. It’s free of charge.
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