Saturday, April 24, 2010

Colors of Spring

Flowers are blooming outside the house, and the sight is beautiful. Bellow are the photos i took to some of these flowers (by the way,  everything is real, no Photoshop effects or color correction).


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Searching for engineering jobs in Norway

Searching for an engineering job in Norway can be quite a challenge. At first, I thought it would be easy because I got the idea that Norway needed engineers very badly, so this could be a quick process. After 2 months of job searching and dozens of CVs sent, I have learned a little bit about Norway’s job market and its needs. One of the things that surprised me was the possibility of importing your CV from another company’s database. So, instead of filling out forms with the same information over and over again, if you already filled a CV form, depending on the company careers website, you can import this information in a very user friendly way.

When it comes solely to engineering, there is a noticeable need for engineers for the oil and gas business (e.g. mining, ocean structures, hydraulics, etc.). I was surprised to see so many job ads requesting a lot of “senior engineers” and experienced workers. Portugal has the exact same kind of demands for employees (in the job ads). It is not uncommon to find ads requesting the candidate to have 5 years experience this and that, sometimes in a very long list of demands that are almost impossible to fully satisfy. Once, I found a job offering in my University where the “recently graduate candidate” should have at least 5 years of experience in a list of activities to perform that occupied the whole page. In these cases I believe it is important to remember ourselves that experience is not something that we can buy at the store by the kilo. Although it is understandable that an experienced worker has a lower learning curve that an inexperienced one, you eventually learn everything, or complement what you already know, to get the job done. So, if you see a list of required expertise in a job ad of which you have only a few, send your CV anyways because there is a chance of the target company have some realistic people working in their human resources department, and they just might like your motivation.

If possible, learn Norwegian in advance because some companies require the candidate to speak both Norwegian and English fluently. You can also respond to a job ad in Norwegian although I have seen at least a company who specifically mentioned that if the ad was not in English, than it was meant to Norwegians only.

If you are an Engineer, I will give you a list of four sites you can use to try your luck in the lands of the North:

Above all never forget, job searching sometimes may not be easy (a friend of mine spent 6 months sending CVs before she was hired to work in England) but if you keep your spirits high and have some perseverance you might just find your dream job.

As for me, I was hired as a researcher in a portuguese University where I will work while continuing to send CVs to Norway. I will take this opportunity to continue to learn Norwegian and blog some more (and perhaps post some more portuguese cuisine recipies ;) ).

Lykke til! (“Good luck”)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Engineering for dummies

The Portuguese newspaper “PÚBLICO” stated that in the early nineties, a certain “engineer” was fired from the technical department for private projects belonging to the City Hall of Guarda, after being warned several times by the lack of quality and supervision of his own projects. The projects that were signed by this “engineer” did not even had the location of the construction site. In one of the projects even the roof was badly designed and impossible to construct. Source here

This “engineer” is the current prime minister of Portugal.

How to handle nosy journalists... the portuguese government way

Emídio Rangel, a journalist and former director of RTP, the Portuguese television owned by the government, stated while answering to an inquiry commission on the subject of freedom of speech, that Almeirindo Marques, the current minister of public works, said the following words to him that I am about to translate for you:

“(…) you have to get out of RTP. There is no room for further discussion. I have two solutions: either we settle an agreement for you to get out of RTP, or, if we don’t reach an agreement, I will raise a disciplinary process on you for any lesser thing, you are put away, and we’ll solve this situation in the courts. (…)”.

Source here.

Graffiti art

More here.