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From the ice to the office – a story of a career change

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From the ice to the office – a story of a career change


My name is Atte Mäkinen. I started as a Talent Hunter at Nordic Jobs Worldwide in September. In the last couple of months, I’ve gone through one of the biggest changes in my life moving to a new country and starting a completely new career. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about that with you in case there’s someone out there reading this who might be thinking about taking a similar leap of faith.

For me, ice hockey has always been a passion and a big part of my life. I started playing when I was 5 years old and slowly the hobby got more and more serious until, at the age of 17, I signed my first professional contract. I enjoyed my life as a professional hockey player. I got to experience many things that I dreamed of as a kid, made many friends, and saw places that I never would have had without hockey.

Then after eight years, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying it like I used to. I felt like I had gotten everything I could from hockey and wanted to have a different life. I always realized that there will be a life after sports and that’s why I never stopped studying even though I started playing professionally. By the summer, I was all set to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in business administration and ready to start thinking about my new career after hockey.

The decision was nowhere near easy. It felt scary to even think about abandoning something that had been such a big part of my life for so long. Was I throwing away all the hard work? Was I fooling myself thinking that I could be happier doing something else?Eventually, it was turning down a really good offer to play hockey that made me realize that I was truly ready to quit, and it was time to look for something else. 

It was my BBA studies that first got me interested in recruiting and I felt like the skills and experiences I had from my sports career prepared me well for this kind of job. Also working in an international environment had always interested me since I spent two years in France during my hockey career. When I saw the job opening at Nordic Jobs Worldwide, I knew that it would be something I could enjoy doing. The application process went fast and smooth and less than a week later I was apartment hunting to find my new home in Oslo.

Now after 5 weeks in my new job I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The job is interesting and challenging and the atmosphere at the office is great. I’ve met so many new people and I’ve really enjoyed my new life, giving my best at work during business hours and spending my evenings and weekends free to do what I want. 

Big changes are always scary but that shouldn’t stop anybody from being honest with themselves or following their dreams. As a recruiter, it’s been great to be able to help people fulfill their dreams about working abroad and I hope that sharing these thoughts with you will help someone else to make the change in their careers that they’ve been thinking about.

Atte Mäkinen

Talent hunter