Jaroslav Slíž is a CNC machinist from Slovakia, currently working in Finland, through Barona. What is a day at work like for a CNC machinist in Finland? Read more in our interview.
- Where are you currently employed? How did you end up working in Finland?
I work in a company that manufactures various types of chains, sprockets, and attachments for a diverse range of industries. I got to know about working in Finland through a friend, who recommended working there, as well as your Barona agency.
I chose Finland mainly because I’d never been to the Nordic countries, and I like being outdoors a lot.
- How did you get the CNC job? Had you worked in a similar position before?
I had worked as a CNC machinist for 6 years before getting this job in Finland. It was the highest-paying job in the town where I lived.
- Did you need to have any special training before you started the job? Or an apprenticeship?
Actually no. I was lucky that they taught me everything on the job, I worked with the foremen, with the lathe, milling machines, and so on.
- What is your day like as a CNC machinist in Finland?
Right after arriving (on time!) to work, first I check all the machines to make sure they have all the fluids they need, like lubricating oil. I carefully check if they’re in order, turn them on, and wait a while until they’re up and running and the first piece is produced. I have to measure the piece and if it’s ok, we can start production. Then, basically, I check if the pieces are being manufactured as they should be. If everything runs accurately, I also have time for a coffee, maybe a chat with my colleagues. It brings a bit of fun to work. The work is quite challenging because everything has to be followed and set up properly. Even a small mistake can ruin very expensive parts and this is probably the only stressful thing about this job. I have to be very consistent and 100% correct when setting up the CNC machines and processes.
- What was it like at the beginning when you started the CNC job in Finland?
I was with a Slovak colleague in the first week at work, and for the second week I was with a Finnish colleague and they both trained me, explained the basic operations, and how the machines they use work. After training, I was on my own, but it wasn’t a problem for me, as I had done this kind of work before.
- Do you work in shifts? How long are your breaks?
We are working in a rotation system – morning and evening shifts. The morning shift is from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm and the afternoon shift is from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. But we can also do some extra hours, for example, stay longer for the afternoon shift and then take a day off or leave earlier. You can always make arrangements and agree on your time off with the foremen - as long as all the orders are kept up and everyone is happy, there is no problem at all.
- How would you describe your work – do you use the same machine all the time or do you take turns with your colleagues?
We work on two machines, we always work on both. We don't change machines unless I get promoted to a higher position. We work on the orders gradually. Some are larger and some smaller, it’s not series production.
- Are there differences between the machines you use in Finland, for example, compared to the ones you used in Slovakia?
Yes, there are differences for sure. For example, the programming is more advanced, macros are used here, and given sentences are entered for machining surfaces, metals, and cast iron. I hadn’t encountered that in Slovakia, so it was a novelty for me. But I know how macros work now. So, it's no longer an obstacle for me.
- What was the biggest challenge in this CNC job in Finland?
The macros I mentioned, and the fact that if something goes wrong with the machine, I have to figure it out myself and fix it. Something could go wrong any day. If a problem happens, I have to diagnose the problem and then fix it. It’s not always possible, but if I can fix it myself, I have to order the part in question, or a specialist will be called in for the specific machine.
But even if something goes wrong, I can manage it together with my colleagues.
- What motivates you to work in Finland? What do you like the most?
My colleagues. We have super friendly relationships and I love coming to work because of them. In addition, I’m learning new things every day. I have to learn to move forward to do my job to the best of my ability. I enjoy figuring out why something isn't working and fixing it so that everything works the way it should.
- Are you satisfied with your remuneration?
I earn 15 euros per hour gross, I am satisfied even though everything is quite expensive here, but I believe that my salary will also increase gradually as I improve. But as I said, I am very satisfied and happy at work.
- What do you think of the corporate culture in Finland?
In the beginning, the Finns were a bit distant, but I am very friendly and over time they opened up and I can say now that we’re friends. I don't feel any stress at work and my superiors are really fair to me.
- Did you have any expectations or ideas of what is like to work in Finland before you actually moved? Did it meet your expectations?
Sure, I did have. I would say that maybe it's even better than I expected.
- What language do you use at work?
I use English at work, but I’ve started learning Finnish as well.
- What do you like most about Finland?
The Finns. I like their mentality, and how they behave.
We are glad that we were able to support Jaroslav in his search for a job opportunity that he enjoys. If his story has inspired you to explore Finland and move to this Nordic country for work, we have plenty of CNC job openings in Finland. Don’t hesitate to apply for the one that suits you best!