Let’s be honest, moving to another country or just choosing a new career path is not an easy task and raises a lot of questions. But no worries, we are here to help. 💪
New set of empowering features have been launched in MeetFrank recruitment app 👀, which allows users to anonymously ask questions about the position/location, discover certain job markets and apply for positions under 60 seconds. Because we simply believe that talent is borderless and career possibilities should be transparent. 🚀
What is Lithuanian job market all about?
Previously we brought to you the overview of why Lithuania is the new powerhouse of startups. But you’re probably still curious about what makes Lithuania so great that it even reflects in international rankings (the employees there are the 5th happiest in Europe 🎉)?
Putting statistics aside for a moment, there’s no better source of information than personal experience. Lithuania has been discovered by a number of talented people. And now it’s time to meet with four of them.
A big THANK YOU👏 to the amazing four! Also, we would like to thank Work in Lithuania – this article was made in collaboration with them.
- Katya, Quality Advisor at Booking.com
- Ruta, Regulatory Compliance Manager at Revolut
- Ffion, UX Writer at Wix.com
- Salvatore, Content Manager at Unity
💣 Why did they decide to continue their career in a small Baltic country? What’s their career story? Continue reading to find out more!
British girl Ffion
From Leicester, a picturesque Cathedral town in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Ffion Quick first heard about Lithuania from some Lithuanian students she was studying with at university. Little did she know that she’d be furthering her career there in a few short years.
What inspired you to move to Lithuania?
First and foremost, I wanted to come on an adventure. When I was in university, I met amazing Lithuanian students and their grasp of IT was just out of this world. So, that made me start researching Lithuania a bit more and I realised that it was promoting itself as a tech hub.
So you were aiming for the IT sector. What career path did you choose?
I’m a UX Writer at Wix.com, which means I write all the text you see on the interface when you build a website with Wix.com. But it’s not only writing text, it’s programming all the stuff in the backend to make sure the user is able to see that text on the screen. So, it’s the best of both worlds. I get to be a copywriter and I also get to be a developer. I’m getting to meet people from all around the world too.
Lithuania is pretty far from the UK. What was the recruitment process like?
It was straightforward and difficult. I had to do a task, which I spent two days doing, and that was really good practice for what the job would be like when I came here. Then I had a video interview with HR in Vilnius. Then I had to go through two more interviews with my colleagues in Israel. Then finally they flew me out to Vilnius, and I had a face to face interview and then after that they said I had the job, so that was crazy!
Is there anything that you discovered about Lithuania before moving there that stuck in your head?
When I was researching interesting facts about Lithuania, I stumbled upon one that said there were more hot air balloons than people, which now that I’m here I don’t think is actually true. To see that amount of hot air balloons over the city is breath-taking.
Salvatore from San Francisco
Salvatore Riniolo hails from California 🇺🇸, near San Francisco, where he went to school and has lived for the last six years. Mesmerised by video games and the worlds they open, he wanted to develop games from a young age. Now he manages art content for Unity, one of several major game engine developers in the world.
San Francisco to Lithuania, and not the other way around. What’s your story?
Once the department, where I was managing my team, started shifting to Europe, I was tasked with building a team here, in Vilnius. Since I hadn’t travelled much before that, having spent my whole life in that little area in California, I had a dream to see a lot more of Europe and other countries.
You probably did not know a lot about Lithuania in advance?
I feel like my knowledge of geography when it comes to Europe was just a blank slate. I learned about Lithuania about a year and a half ago when I was told I would be building a team here. I had no idea what to expect, but I quickly fell in love with Vilnius. While some of the more modern areas of the city remind me of big cities in the U.S., there’s also a very European feel to the Old Town here, with all of these different architectural styles mixed together. I just love it!
Also, since I’m a big fan of street art, I really like Užupis – it’s beautiful, and it just seems really fun to be in that neighbourhood. And no – I don’t care if it’s an expat stereotype to like Užupis!
Have you noticed any differences between the people in Vilnius and your peers back in San Francisco?
I think Lithuanians tend to be a little quieter than I’m used to, but that’s not a bad thing. The people on my team are incredibly hardworking, and there’s a different culture of communication here. I find that I don’t need to follow up as much or to micromanage what my teammates are doing. Given how direct Lithuanians are, there’s not much beating around the bush or sugar-coating anything. I appreciate that.
The work-life balance here is another thing I really appreciate. Lithuanians focus significantly more on spending time with family, taking days off, celebrating holidays, and simply enjoying themselves when not at work. It feels a lot better, and it’s a big reason why I wanted to move
The true citizen of the world – Katya
Originally from Belarus🇧🇾and having spent four years in Budapest in her teenage years, Katya realised that home is not where you were born, it’s where you feel good. And for the last six years, this feel-good place has been Lithuania.
You’ve been living in Lithuania for quite some time now. What was your path to where you are today?
Yeah, it’s been six years already! After living in Hungary as a teenager with my parents, I knew that I wouldn’t want to be tied to just one place or country. After graduating from high school, I came to study Marketing and Global Business at Vilnius University. The studies were in English, and I had the chance to go to Portugal twice – for ERASMUS and to do an internship. Despite that, when deciding where to settle after studies, Vilnius was my first choice. I don’t know, it just felt cosy, plus the culture here is not that distant from what I was used to in Belarus. So, after several months of job hunting, I landed a position at Booking.com. I’ve been working there for the last one and half years.
Are you in the same position as you started?
I started as a CS Partner Specialist, working with accommodation providers on the platform. When an opportunity came to rise to the position of Quality Advisor in the same department, I took it. My team was nothing but helpful and supportive, and the transition was very smooth.
You’ve had quite the international experience in your life. How does the Lithuanian culture compare to what you’ve experienced elsewhere?
One thing about Lithuanians I can say for sure is that they’re open and reachable. If you have some issues – and who doesn’t when moving to a new country! – they’re more than willing to help. And if in other places people tend to be more focused on themselves and their inner circles, Lithuanians are much more communicable.
Harvard alumni Ruta
With a diploma of the prestigious Harvard Law School in her hands, Rūta🇱🇹could choose from a long list of job offers from around the world. However, she chose to develop her career in Lithuania. Now, she works for Revolut, a challenger bank that has already changed the way millions around the world perceive the future of banking.
Could you tell us a little bit about your professional journey?
I was born and grew up, like my whole generation, in exciting times. I had the chance to watch my country go through many transformations. I observed my mother set up a business in a new, already post-Soviet environment.
After highschool I entered the Faculty of Law at Vilnius University. While still studying, I started working for Transparency International, and worked there for almost seven years. During my career there, I started dreaming that I would like to study some more. I chose to study for a Master’s degree at Harvard Law School.
Harvard was an amazing experience. I met extremely interesting people from all over the world, and I was taught by a number of people who were my heroes – for example, Cass Sunstein, an icon of behavioral economics, Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Noah Feldman, one of the most famous US constitutional law experts.
What were your initial plans after your studies? What helped you decide to further develop your career in Lithuania?
I considered the possibility of staying in the USA after graduating to gain some professional experience. Still, I enjoyed living in Lithuania, so I became interested in professional opportunities here. Finally, I received an offer to work in Lithuania at Revolut, a world-famous startup, a career many of my classmates at Harvard dreamed of.
Lithuania is a great place for a career because it is easier to be noticed and build a professional reputation here than in large countries, where the competition for any job is much higher. In my case, my current manager just heard about me from former co-workers and contacted me to ask if I was interested in career opportunities. Something like this could hardly be expected in a big city like London or New York.
It is also easier to gain the trust of the employer – I see a lot of examples when young specialists receive a high level of trust from managers and have the opportunity to work really interesting jobs and grow professionally. Meanwhile, abroad, a young professional of my age is usually just a small cog in a large organisation, where climbing the career ladder takes a lot of time.
Isn’t Vilnius too small for an ambitious person like yourself?
I view Vilnius as a compact rather than a small city. It can offer almost everything (if not everything) a larger European city can, just at a smaller scale. There is no need to spend hours in traffic jams here, and you can easily escape to nature even if you live in the city centre. The nearest pine forest is a 15-minute drive away from my house – so if I want to get a fresh breath of air and clear my mind after a long day at work, I easily find time to do so.
Startups, as often portrayed in pop culture, require a lot of passion for work, but in Lithuania it is easier to strike a balance between work and leisure – unlike, for example, in New York, there is no need to commute an hour to work on the subway, so you can have much more time to yourself. Personally, I try to maintain my exercise routine, and I can manage having very precise appointments with my trainer, because I can get from one place to another very fast.
When choosing a career path, we all consider many elements – from personal life to the kind of career we want to create and where is the best environment for that. When choosing a place for professional career development, it is worth not forgetting that there are many international businesses in Lithuania, as well as interesting opportunities in the field of public policy and the non-governmental sector. When working here, it is possible to enjoy the already mentioned advantages – the compactness of cities, nature, fresh air, the fact that it is easier for young people in Lithuania to earn trust and start doing really interesting things at work. I believe that after considering all this, Lithuania, as a place for career development, ranks on an equal footing with other countries in the world, often outweighing them.
Want to know more about possibilities in 🇱🇹?
Lithuania is an unique mixture of great opportunities to work at international companies, where you can kick-start your career with less time and less hassle. If you’re interested in knowing more, then get the MeetFrank recruitment app to discover the local job market & to start a new path in your career.
More info for companies that are hiring can be found here.