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.”