Sini-Sofia was surpri­sed to disco­ver the pro­fes­sion of her dreams: ”I fell in love with wel­ding”

You can find your dream job unex­pec­ted­ly. That’s how it hap­pe­ned for Sini-Sofia Trast, who is now unable to even ima­gi­ne a more agree­able occu­pa­tion for her­self. “I love my work as a wel­der”, she says. “I’m luc­ky to have had a chance to try out wel­ding.”

Ten years ago, Sini-Sofia Trast stu­died to beco­me a media assis­tant and comple­ted her interns­hip at Oulu City Theat­re. One day at the theat­re, Sini-Sofia was asked to weld a brac­ket for a spot­light. It was her first encoun­ter with wel­ding, and she was pro­vi­ded with gui­de­li­nes on how to do it.

“I had never wel­ded befo­re, but from that moment on I knew that this was my thing. After trai­ning I cal­led many busi­nes­ses in Oulu right away and inqui­red about work as a wel­der. I said I was inex­pe­rienced, but that I was inte­res­ted in lear­ning eve­ryt­hing. I fell in love with wel­ding!”

Sini-Sofia applied to return to the Oulu City Theat­re through wor­king life trai­ning in wel­ding. Howe­ver, in order to obtain a per­ma­nent job, she was requi­red to obtain a diplo­ma, and sub­sequent­ly she applied to stu­dy in the field at the Oulu Adult Educa­tion Cent­re (OAKK). She also bor­rowed books in the sec­tor from the libra­ry for inde­pen­dent stu­dy.

Tra­vel abroad by means of Lin­ke­dIn

In less than two years, she obtai­ned a basic qua­li­fica­tion in sheet metal wel­ding. In addi­tion to school, she put in a few weeks of work that requi­red a wel­ding clas­si­fica­tion – and which Sini-Sofia mana­ged to pass wit­hout a single complaint.

“One of the most enjo­y­able things at school was lear­ning how to use mac­hi­nes in a varie­ty of ways. It was also easy, and I quickly lear­ned, for example, how to use a disc cut­ter and a plas­ma mac­hi­ne. My know-how in com­pu­ters was use­ful in that.”

One month after her gra­dua­tion, she recei­ved a hap­py pho­ne call from her for­mer teac­her: an Oulu-based busi­ness enterpri­se had inqui­red about a wel­der for a lon­ger-term posi­tion.

“At the start, I wor­ked at the same com­pa­ny for four years. Even so, I did not real­ly enjoy my workplace and deci­ded to apply for a job at the Euro­pean Research Cent­re for Par­ticle and Nuclear Phy­sics [Euro­pean Orga­niza­tion for Nuclear Research — Cern].”

Sini-Sofia mana­ged to obtain sala­ried emplo­y­ment at Cern via the Lin­ke­dIn ser­vice.

After a year of wor­king abroad, she began to miss the north, a coo­ler cli­ma­te, and her clo­se rela­ti­ves.

“Your phy­sical con­di­tion impro­ves at work”

At the moment, Sini-Sofia is emplo­yed by an Oulu-based mac­hi­ne shop enterpri­se, Sah-Ko. The job desc­rip­tion also inclu­des tra­vel­ling round the near­by areas of Oulu as well as elsew­he­re in Fin­land. She has wor­ked both at the Ter­ra­fa­me mine and in the con­struc­tion pro­ject con­nec­ted with Oulu’s new hos­pi­tal.

”My job is not just wel­ding – it also invol­ves upkeep and main­te­nance. The best part of this work is its diver­si­ty, the varie­ty of job desc­rip­tions, and great col­lea­gues.”

It’s no problem for Sini-Sofia that she is one of the rare fema­le wel­ders wor­king for Sah-Kol­la. In her view, wor­king along­si­de men is easy­going and fun.

”It’s unfor­tu­na­te in itself that the­re aren’t more women in the industry. A welder’s work suits women well, because many women are also skil­ful and preci­se with their hands, and we also fit into tight quar­ters. A small hand slips well into a wide varie­ty of cre­vices.”

”I actual­ly like to squ­eeze into tight places! One’s phy­sical con­di­tion also deve­lops at work, and trai­ning at a gym is not neces­sa­ri­ly requi­red.”

”You don’t need to live from hand to mouth”

Sini-Sofia is eager to do shift work. Sun­day bonuses and over­ti­me pay inc­rea­se sala­ry pay­ments nice­ly, she notes.

Work­days occa­sio­nal­ly demand a lot: Sini-Sofia may under­ta­ke 12-hour shifts and work for more than a week at a time.

The most chal­len­ging thing accor­ding to Sini-Sofia is the use of phy­sical force. In some situa­tions, she would like to have more strength, and may well ask for help from her col­lea­gues.

In her free time, she apprecia­tes time for sports and her dog in addi­tion to mas­sa­ge and good-qua­li­ty sleep.

”In wel­ding and ins­tal­la­tion jobs, you needn’t live from hand to mouth. I’m satis­fied with the wages.”