This spring, I began to wonder… what will I be doing in Denmark? J is enjoying work, the kids were settled into school. I had us moved in. Now what? I couldn’t just shuttle the family about. I need a job.
My former neighbor and I had been chatting via Facebook Messenger, and she told me about WeWork.com and said maybe I could do something similar. Fantastic idea! I spoke to my friend and neighbor about it. She too was looking for some work, but was applying to summer season jobs to start bringing in some additional income. A couple of weeks later, she spoke to me about an idea a mutual friend had about applying for government funding in our area to assist those settling into the area.
The next thing I know, the three of us are putting together an application for funding to be awarded to a group or organization that helps newcomers integrate and find work. That’s exactly the focus of our group. There are so many supporting partners in our community that desire to feel more connected with the community, and of course to find gainful employment.
We were fortunate (and super stoked!) to receive a good portion of the funding, and that has allowed us to move forward with our desire to connect our lovely community further. There are so many resources here. Danes are big on joining clubs, and you can find a club for just about any interest. It’s fantastic! However, finding those clubs isn’t always so easy when you’re new and do not speak the language.
Connect Billund has been well received in the community as we have been planning and organizing. Local community staffers have been helpful in connecting us with the right people, providing information and help whenever possible, and showing up to events to help out. We are so thankful. Things have been falling into place. There has been a need to connect newcomers to the community, and the community is quite open to it. Connect Billund serves to bring everyone together.
We currently have 110 members on our facebook page and generally have about 20 people show up to our starter meetings. July is pretty quiet here with people on holiday so we have planned our first events in August.
We have an excellent autumn and early winter schedule planned, with events from a society fair (come see what all those clubs are and join up!), an HR talk covering CVs and help updating them, how to buy a house, how to pay your taxes, how to use the electronic mail box you’re assigned, a cultural talk, and more. Each month will also have some drop-in sessions that may follow up on the earlier topic that month or just provide a place for folks to come together to work on projects, socialize, work on CVs, applications, or any other work.
Our long term goal includes having a place like WeWork here in Billund. Something easy for locals to join, and available for the working travelers who may need a space to work or to have meetings other than their hotel or the offices they are visiting.
We have kept quite busy in the last couple of months with meetings in the kommune, LEGO, and working with other resources to line up guest speakers, help with our set up, etc. It’s a great time to be new in Billund. There is a lot of growth and improvement in the works from so many angles, and it’s great to see communication happening.
So, while I’m still on my quest to find out what it is I will do in Denmark, I have plenty to keep me busy, active, and involved. I love the gals I get to work with, and together we get to meet all sorts of interesting people from around the globe.
If you happen across this and you are living in the Billund area, search for Connect Billund on Facebook and join our group.