Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Working in Denmark, Continued

I've been holding out on you.  Maybe it's because I wasn't sure if I would last, but I'm here to say that I have a new job, and I sort of like it.  No, I haven't been hired at one of the hundreds of corporations I've applied to.  What am I doing, you ask?  I'm a school janitor!

To be fair, it's a very small school, and I only work for one hour every morning of the week, so it's not exactly full time employment...nor does it pay much.  Hardly anything in fact.  I started late into the last pay period, and when I received my first check last week it was only for eight hours of work.  Ready for this?  I earned the equivalent of $78.00. It just sounds so crazy to me.  It's the kind of money I made at my first job washing dishes in a pizza parlor when I was 15.  But then again, it is a cleaning job.

And you know something, I don't care.  After struggles and hurdles and the continual work search, this is my first job in Denmark. Do I love it and want to do it forever?  Not really, but it's not bad at all, and cleaning floors every morning for an hour is surprisingly meditative. What's more, I get a wonderful sense of satisfaction in seeing how much better the place looks after I've finished.  Much more so than when I clean at home.  I also work up a bit of a sweat, so there's a health benefit to this job!

The downside is that I don't get to interact with people, a big minus when you're living in a new country and trying to learn a new language and network.  Sometimes it's nice just to have people with whom to shoot the breeze or share a joke or two.  But just to have my own thing--even if it is cleaning--is okay by me for now.

I should also note that I continue to look for "real" jobs and have picked up some consulting work doing proofreading for a Danish company that needs someone to review their English marketing materials.  I plan to pursue this type of work with other Danish companies as well.  Like cleaning, this is solo work, but unlike cleaning, it pays much better.

Witness, my new place of employment:

It's rather nice to be greeted by the happy sun every day.


  1. I'm glad to see that your optimism is holding! I would have a hard time being excited about cleaning, but I can see how the activity is meditating and just having a paycheck is rewarding. Anything helps and it's is quite the accomplishment to HAVE GOTTEN A JOB - Eureka!

  2. Thanks, Alissa. I'm glad you can see my point, even if it might be hard to imagine yourself in my shoes. I appreciate your support, friend.

  3. Congrats with the job. I also used to do cleaning; in a factory, at an ear specialist, at a hospital, at the cinema etc....but now I´ve got a cleaning lady myself:-)

    I´m sorry you don´t get to interact much with other people at work. At my school we´ve got loads of cleaning staff, so at least they can sit and have breaks together. They also clean during the day, so they still get to talk to the rest of us + they get invited to all the parties at work too. Maybe you´ve got some great parties waiting for you. There could be a summer party just round the corner....