When I heard this, I started thinking of myself and how true it was. Or is it more correct to say that I'm becoming more like me because at the end of the day, I'm an introvert after all? Whichever is the case, these days there are times when I just don't feel like talking to anyone. Interacting with people can be so exhausting. No wonder I feel so at home with my hubby who can be categorized as a silent type. The longer I stay with him, the longer I stay in Finland, the more I value the sound of silence.
During the time when I was doing translations at home, once an uncle of mine suggested to my mom to try to encourage me to join a club or something like that. He just wanted me to get out of the house and mingle with people. Funny how he didn't say it directly to me, but to my mom, but anyway...I didn't feel like I needed to join any club and I was quite content with my life, but it seemed that he thought I was becoming a hermit or something? I feel that Finns understands the beauty of silence more than Indonesians so to speak, even though on the other hand it's understandable why many people say that (in general) Indonesians are warm people, whereas Finns are rather cold.
I remember trying to find as much information about getting married and getting my paperwork sorted out before moving to Finland from a Finland forum where many expats could share anything, including useful links about how to find a job and how to write an application letter. I think it was someone from USA who wrote that article on how to write an application letter, because the writer strongly suggested that applicants must NOT brag about the things that they had done, which was something that was considered normal or even expected in the writer's home country.
I feel that the Finns love it more when people tone things down. Simplicity is considered more of a virtue here compared to grandiose. Toning down is preferable compared to selling yourself (and I don't mean selling your body, but the ability to convince people to hire you by letting them know passionately about your strengths and your experiences/abilities). I even feel that over here having the necessary papers (certificates/diplomas) is more important than however much hands-on experience and knowledge that you have learnt along the way without any papers to show. I don't know if this happened way back in the old days, but this is what I feel like for today's Finland.
Speaking of selling yourself, I had a very intense job interview once in Indo. There were two interviewers and I still remember clearly two of the questions. The first question was: "Sell yourself to us. What do you have? What are your strong points? Convince us to hire you!"
And when I stated the things that I considered my strength, you know what they said? They said, "Anyone else can say all the things that you've said. What else have you got to sell to us?"
Blimey! I was really cornered and I knew right then and there that I wouldn't get the job because I got stuck and it was like seeing myself stumble on a rock and falling down in slow motion he he he...
Anyway, the second question was: "Imagine yourself 5 years from now. What do you want to do then?"
That was really tough to answer because what I had in mind wasn't exactly the kind of job that I was interviewing for and I felt that they really saw through me. The only thing that made me applied for the job was the thought that I would be challenging myself and I'd be out of my comfort zone and who knows how much I could grow there. Long story short, I didn't get the job, but I appreciated the fact that they sent me an email to thank me for coming and to let me know that they had selected someone else. One expat friend of mine once told me that Finns didn't let applicants know if they don't get a job, which she found strange (probably because it was a custom in her home country).
Have you ever experienced any kind of tough job interview? If so, what happened during the interview?
I don't remember anymore if I've shared it here or not, but this is a really beautiful talk on The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. I bet many of you have listened to it or at least heard her name, but I'm going to listen to it again, so I'll just share it here just in case you've missed it: