How long were you abroad and what did you do there?
I studied for a Master’s degree in IT in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. I also worked as a lab technician at the same university. Since it wasn’t that easy to balance this interesting but hard work with my studies, it took me 5 years to get my degree. I don’t regret a single day spent in Sweden. I am presently one of just a few IT criminologists.
What prompted you to come to Lithuania?
I found out that Swedbank in Lithuania were looking for IT security specialists so I applied, was offered a job and came back to Vilnius. I worked in the bank for one year and then took a position in Adform where I’m working presently.
Something about your present position.
Our team is responsible for taking care of the advertising presentation and management platform and the security of the entire infrastructure. Not every company is willing to hire specialists like us, so I consider myself lucky. Though I have recently noticed an increase in the number of job offerings for similar positions.
What project, challenge or other achievement are you most proud of?
It’s not that easy to pick something specific since every day is very exciting. I try to challenge myself every day. You have to analyse a problem, find a solution for it and present it to your management and other teams. It’s a big advantage to be hired as a specialist in your field rather than for the performance of routine tasks.
Was it hard to find a job?
Adform management invited me to join their newly established security team and I just couldn’t pass on such an offer. All of my friends who lived abroad for some time or just decided to travel a bit find it easy to get a job in Lithuania.
What are the main differences between working in Lithuania and working in Sweden?
I really appreciate that due to my specific work I can enjoy rather flexible work hours and just go home if my tasks for the day are completed. On the other hand, I really care about my job and, when needed, always work after hours or even at home.
What surprised you the most?
A lot of positive changes in Vilnius. A lot of interesting events, new bars and restaurants, a lot of attention to the environment. Vingis park, new bike tracks, new projects in the city centre – all this is very exciting. Expanding boundaries of the city centre is just fantastic.
How did your quality of life change after you came back?
While I was in Stockholm, I lived through a stage of self-reflection which helped me to change my attitude to myself and to my environment. In Stockholm I had the opportunity to work both at the university and in the private sector and to observe people working, to get a better insight into their understanding of a good life, etc. Before I left Vilnius, I didn’t really pay any attention to that, maybe at that time it just wasn’t important to me. Our everyday activities or certain engagements have a huge impact on our quality of life but it’s very important to truly understand what you want to do with your life. When you really know this and when you understand how this benefits you, that’s when, in my opinion, you finally feel satisfied and feel a sense of belonging. In summary and in retrospect I could say that I changed my attitude towards certain values, towards personal interactions and learned that you yourself are responsible for building the life that you want.
Leisure in Lithuania and Sweden. What advantages have you noticed in Lithuania?
Leisure activities were very different in both countries. In Stockholm I spent a lot of time exploring the city, looking for new interesting spots, bars, outdoor parties, meeting new people. In Vilnius I know everything, have more established friends, my family is nearby, thus I don’t need to look for anything. I often go to Anykščiai where my girlfriend’s family lives. What I like about Vilnius is the affordable tickets to cultural events. In Stockholm I really had to weigh up whether I could afford to go to a particular event. Here I can see whatever performance I want.
What myth about Lithuania would you like to refute first?
That employers don’t care about their employees. At least in my surroundings that’s in the past.
Any practical advice to a friend who is planning to move to Vilnius?
Pay more for rent but live in the city centre. You will save on transportation and you will also have more time, which is a huge asset.