From economics student to production employee

It is not easy to get a job as a young person and without work experience, but once you get the opportunity to test new industries in practice, it can pave the way for completely new career paths. Håkon Haanshus (22) studied business administration, but after working as a production employee at Eterni, he is now thinking in completely new ways about the future.
Bright, young boy looks straight into camera with white t-shirt, hairnet and earrings.
Håkon Haanshus dressed for a day in a chicken factory. Photo: private.

- I looked for a long time for shop jobs, among other things, but it was not easy to get a job without experience. I experienced that with Eterni you get much easier through the eye of the needle. The practical experience has been worth its weight in gold to me, when I began to doubt my course of study.

Why did you choose to go into the staffing industry? 

- As a young 18-19 year old, I had few contacts in working life. By being qualified by Eterni, they became well acquainted with me and my strengths. The fact that someone serious who is well known in the industry can recommend you, opens many more doors. I probably would not have had the opportunity without them, and now I have a lot I can put on my CV.

Prosperity and experience
Håkon says he has gained a good insight into how things work and are connected in, among other things, the food industry:
- It is very exciting to work with meat processing. Whether it's how to divide inner and outer fillets, operate thigh machine, grill room, or in the farce department. It is extra fun when we who work directly in production can take part in test tasting and influence the development further. It is interesting to be a part of the whole process, and there are many nice people you get to know. No matter where the road goes, I will probably benefit greatly from this experience.

He likes practical work: 

- A period during the pandemic, there was a lot of overtime, which I actually thought I would get very tired of, but I got a lot of energy from it. It is almost comparable to a workout: after a short break, you have almost more energy than before you start. 

Håkon says he has a good impression of his employer:
- I got the good impression through Gina, the HR consultant I have the most contact with. There is always a two-way communication between us, about the plan ahead, what she can do for me and what I can do for her. I feel that things work well, and it is the employees you see and have regular contact with that give that impression.
"By being qualified by Eterni, they became well acquainted with me and my strengths. The fact that someone serious who is well known in the industry can recommend you, opens many more doors."
Håkon Haanshus
Profile image of smiling white skinned lady with blonde hair and black blazer, looking into camera.
Gina Berg is head of the Production Department at Støren, and has worked at Eterni since its inception in 2011.

How are you doing at the workplace?

- I get along well with others at work and that creates a very good feeling of well-being. Humor and a way of being together are crucial. If you are positive, it shines through. The ones I have worked with are very varied. Sometimes there can be a wide age range with people from many different countries. Everyone is very pleasant. My colleagues are very happy and have grat humor. I have had to adapt to people who do not have Norwegian as their mother tongue. For example, I received training from someone from Slovakia when I worked with chicken, so I have learned a lot about communicating with different people and using English as a working language.

New industries

Håkon has recently started working in textiles and laundry. 

What was it like to switch from one industry to another almost overnight?

- It's a little different - going from meat to washing clothes is a little strange. But it is also connected, in a way. We actually wash work clothes here from my previous workplace. I think I will continue here to see more of what is going on. I have mostly been emptying clothes, moving and sorting, as well as some logistics with counting, registration and reporting.

Picture of young man in white coat and blue t-shirt, in full figure. Taken in the canteen.
Håkon thinks it is exciting to test several industries. Here wearing an outfit from the laundry he currently works in. Photo: private.

Do you have any thoughts about the future? Where are you in five years?

- I imagine that I may have obtained a certificate, perhaps in the sausage making profession or as a meat cutter, but I do not know for sure yet. It is a very exciting subject. but I do not know completely. Have thought a bit about the electrician profession as well, I also have to look at where it carries in textiles and laundry. In middle school and high school, you know so little about what you want. It's so hard to study a direction you do not know if you will like. For my part, I can currently say that you have no idea what you want to really enjoy until you have some layers of experience. Then it will be easier to know what you want, and get some perspective on things.

Tips for young job seekers

Do you have tips for other young people who are looking for a job?

- Try to meet the employer face to face and do not be afraid to show who you are. It is safer for both parties to see a face than a pile of papers. There is also a lot about the way you present yourself. It shines through quickly whether you are confident or not. Show commitment and engagement! 

Håkon also makes a call in general: 

- One must not and should not stop learning. Knowledge building is important throughout life. I am only 22 years old, but have gained a lot of experience. It was clear to those I work with now that they thought I had a lot of experience already. There is no doubt that working in Eterni gives me many more opportunities: I get to test out more positions and industries, they make the way in easier, you get a lot of experience to refer to future employers, and I learn a lot about myself and what I would like to do later.

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