The We Work-Series

Failure is learning a lesson, not the outcome

3 September 2020

More than 400 000 people with an international background live in Finland. In Helsinki alone, every sixth person has a background other than Finnish. The We Work-series shares glimpses of the real-life stories of international professionals living and working in Finland.

Abadi Macharka was born and raised in Homs in Syria. After having worked in many organisations, Abadi needed to start his life all over again after losing everything. Now he works as a Sourcing Planner at S group.

How did you end up in Finland?

I lived in Syria until I was 21, where I studied business administration. After the situation in Syria got very bad I then had no other option but to flee to Lebanon. Over in Lebanon, I worked in coordination and data management in many organisations over about 4 years while studying banking and finance. In 2016 I ended up in Finland through UNHCR as a quota refugee.

How did you start to set up your life and your professional career in Finland?

It did take me a while to settle in after all that had happened in my life. However, I fairly soon started meeting new people in Finland, who helped me change and set up my new life. I felt welcomed and very happy that I could trust people again, so I slowly started to build a network of positive and inspiring people around me. I also started to focus on myself and on improving my skills and develop my competence. I took a small step towards that goal every day. Even if the door you open does not bring you the opportunity you were looking for, don’t give up, it may bring you many new doors for bigger opportunities.

What main obstacles have you experienced?

The language is the first challenge you encounter. The Finns are very hard-working people and the majority are professionals and extremely experienced at what they do. Even education which may be luxury in some places is available for everyone in Finland, so the standards are high. To be competitive in the job market, you have to give 100% and bring something new to the table.

What do you see as the main value of international professionals working in Finland?

Through globalisation, the world has become a very small place. An idea on the opposite side of the world can very quickly have an impact on us here in Finland. To live with the rapid changes happening around us, we need to enrich our understanding, perspective and ideas. Increasing diversity can help bring that enrichment and provide different perspectives which are necessary to get new dimensions on any matter.

What is your message to international job seekers in Finland?

I have three messages.

Failure is not the end. For most people the concept of failure is scary, but failure is actually part of the process. From each time you fail, you gain new learning. When you do succeed, you will have learned many ways how to not succeed. Failure is learning a lesson, not the outcome.

It is so easy to give up. Your circumstances may give you a million reasons to give up but you need to give yourself that one reason to keep going. That one reason is your conscious decision to go after what you want because, in the end, it is your choice. The other option is that you let the circumstances dictate your future, it’s up to you to make that choice. Believe in yourself and give your all.

The worst thing you can do is to do nothing. Any small thing may lead you to your goal, or at least a step closer. Dare to go after your dream. Over two years I was an intern and volunteer to try to open new doors and in the end, it turned out to be worth it, every single second of it.

What is your message to companies employing people in Finland? Why is diversity important in your opinion?

To do better business, we need as many perspectives and ideas as possible. Getting international professionals on board will definitely take your business to the next level. It may surprise you how talented, skilful and dedicated some of the international professionals are and what they can bring to your business. You will probably get way more than you were looking for. It’s an obvious win-win situation.

#WeWorkFinland


If you are an international professional living in Finland, you can register your CV with Pointer Potential here.