HOW TO ESCAPE FROM THE WAR AND BECOME AN IT RECRUITER?
Like many Ukrainians, Olena came to Estonia because of the war. Not long ago she lived in Kiev, raised a child, believed in family happiness and was very excited that she had managed to overcome some of the family patriarchy and go to work. With the help of a career consultant, Olena made a plan for professional development and even began to implement it quite successfully, gaining her first experience in recruitment. Then the war broke out in her life.
She had to flee from the war by a circuitous route - through Russia. All of Olena's relatives decided to stay there, but she and her son went on, making their own choice. "I had a lot of help from Russian volunteers. I know that these dedicated people are still helping Ukrainians, giving away most of their resources, - Olena says. - I guess there is something similar about people who volunteer all over the world. I got to the hub on Niine street in Tallinn on Sunday at 5:40 AM, and the local volunteers were already there. They showed so much concern! They listened to us, explained how to proceed - despite the fact that they have their own families and things to do, they were there for us".
After coming to Estonia, Olena applied for Temporary Protected Status, which allows a person to register for medical care, go to work or get help as an unemployed person - in general, to have the same rights as any other resident of the country. But until the moment of receiving this status, a person has to cope by his own efforts and with his own resources.
All the bureaucratic procedures took two months. During that time Olena was not allowed to work. "I had some savings from my last job. According to my calculations, that was enough money until May. If I spent even less, I'd have enough by the middle of the month. I was very lucky that just then I got official status and was able to get a job".
How to find the dream job
Enterprising and motivated people can't sit idle. If a career development plan is at hand, as well as a small but inspiring experience in recruitment, why not strengthen your professional competencies in a local setting? Olena started collecting information about the courses and their feedback, asking questions on social networks, figuring out the details. Finally she found something that suited her one hundred percent.
"To be honest, I even went through a stage of despair when I thought I was going to run out of money and have no job. I was ready to work as a cleaner, a nanny, whomever... but I still wanted to be a recruiter more than anything else, - says Olena. - I found out about IT Talent thanks to my publication in the group "Ukrainians in Estonia" about seeking a job. Julia Jolkin, not only the organiser of the IT Talent modern recruitment course, but also a practicing recruiter herself (and overall a very energetic and motivating person), responded in the comments there. She offered me a free training course for two months! When I found out that the course had a lot of practice and the homework could be used as a test for the hiring process, I was eager to do it all. I imagined that the course would be very technical, but in reality it exceeded my expectations. There was so much practical information in it. Actually, I'm even sharing some of my findings with my colleagues now.
According to Julia, when she met Olena, she was struck by the young woman's determination and capacity for work. "She seemed ready to ask a million questions and immediately try out everything we were doing. Although Lena was worried about her future in Estonia and how the child would adapt, how they would handle some of the everyday issues that we are all used to, she impressed the entire IT Talent team with her activity and willingness to work. We keep a tradition of awarding the most brilliant student with a free place on the next course, and this prize went to Olena," - says Julia Jolkin.
After completing the course Olena had not only an official certificate, but also practical cases and results that could be presented at an interview. Since the profession of an IT recruiter is in high demand on the market, it is not always necessary to know Estonian to get a job. Olena has a confident level of English, and with the whole package of new skills that was enough to find a job at one of the Estonian IT companies.
Olena is very grateful to the IT Talent team who offered her to use an office with good Internet access during her job search - in this way she felt much more comfortable at the interviews and various online courses.
"For those who find themselves in another country and are desperately looking for an opportunity to adapt, to work, to live a normal life, I would advise you to do everything in your power. Do it as well as you can. Use absolutely every opportunity, don't say "no" to any chance. In my case it worked".
The most important thing is support
It's been five months since Olena and her son crossed the Estonian border. Is that a lot or a little? Olena says that all the recent events have merged into one long day, which she is still living through. She continues studying, works as a recruiter in an international team, goes to museums with her kid, learns something new about Estonia every day. Her nearest plans for the future are tied to our country.
"I feel like I'm getting settled in a bit, - says Olena. - I tend to ask people who were born here or emigrated to Estonia a long time ago about different nuances. I participate in webinars on adaptation. I really like the fact that I can safely let my child ride the bus alone in Tallinn. I would be lying if I said that everything was easy with housing and school, but these difficulties are manageable".
The biggest challenge for Olena, as for any person who has moved to a new country, is to deal with the bureaucratic system. Where to go for information about benefits? How to find a family doctor? Is it necessary to have a medical exam before school and how to register a child there at all? Different terminology and language barriers also cause some inconvenience, but Olena is optimistic. "At work and in everyday life, English is enough for now, but I like the sound of Estonian, and I want to learn it. I also have people around me to ask for advice. The community of Ukrainians in Estonia, volunteers and just people who respond to requests for help - without them I wouldn't be able to do anything. The people here are very warm. I am amazed at the scale of support the country gives to refugees, - says Olena. - It has also taught me to help without waiting to be asked. This is not the time to leave someone alone to deal with their problems. Even just the thought of someone supporting you helps you believe that tomorrow will be better".