After 12 years in Norway came back to work in the IT company in Kaunas, "I didn't hesitate - not even for a moment"

25/03/2019

Coming back to Lithuania for short holidays only, for over a decade, Armantas Tupčiauskas says that he never thought of settling in another country for good. Not even the growing career possibilities, his own business, mastered local language and all new friends in Norway made his heart long for the homeland less. Therefore, when he saw that the international IT technology giant Centric is looking for a Norwegian-speaking specialist to work in Kaunas, he sent his CV on the same evening and after successful job interviews, without looking back, returned to his native city of Kaunas.

33-year-old Armantas says that he has been interested in the IT field all his life, so it is no coincidence that he chose IT engineering at Kaunas College as his first degree. Later, after working in Norway, he also completed extramural studies in civil engineering. "I hoped for construction to become a salable sector, so I could move to it after returning to Lithuania. Unfortunately, the right job never came up, so I had to go back to Norway."

The career picked up only after learning the language

Like most emigrants, Armantas did not have very inspiring first jobs in a foreign country. He had to wash dishes, work as a waiter and even carry logs.

"Breakthrough does not happen until you learn the language. Only when I was able to speak Norwegian decently, other jobs and self-development became accessible. Is it a difficult language? Of course, you have to put both work and effort into learning it. I didn't go to classes, I studied independently, online. My Norwegian friends were very helpful. Only talking to the native speaker one can learn proper pronunciation, typical phrases, and other nuances of the language. No teacher will teach that in class. Do I speak Norwegian perfectly? Of course not. I could continue learning but I can easily say that I speak well," says Armantas who communicates with IT Centric clients from Norway in their language every day.

Emigration has not made Norway home

Learning the language has opened up different opportunities in Norway. Armantas was soon able to use his IT and civil engineering knowledge, working for one of the largest corporate groups in Norway. "Emigration is very widespread in the construction sector, therefore, when you know the language and have the right education, you can achieve quite a lot. This has given me many opportunities - I have designed, contributed to engineering solutions, and also translated contracts and instructions from Norwegian to Lithuanian for my compatriots who had come to work in construction," Armantas says.

In addition to that, he had set up his own business: trading online. "I created a website on my own, a sales system and later, after selling it, I remained working for it as a system administrator," Armantas talks about his jobs in Norway.

Despite the successful career, he could not stop thinking about returning to Lithuania. "Like all emigrants, I would prefer to spend my holidays in Lithuania. But each time, when I had to pack my bags to go back to Norway, it would feel like the worst day of the year. I must admit that 12 years spent in Norway did not make it my home. I returned to Lithuania just a month and a half ago and not even once have I thought that I missed my old life. Practically, there isn't a Norwegian thing I would miss here in Kaunas," says the young man.

Mostly wants to stay in Kaunas

The dream of returning to live and work in Lithuania came through in a blink of an eye. One evening he got a message from a friend - a link to an ad in which IT giant Centric is looking for a Norwegian-speaking employee in Kaunas.

"Without hesitation, I send my CV that same night and soon was on my way to the company's office in Oslo for a job interview. I knew it was my chance, which I took without even considering. After the first meeting and warm welcome, I realized that it is my place: the great first impression remains until today," says Armantas, who now works at customer service department of Centric IT Solutions Lithuania.

"I am currently dealing with Centric clients in Norway who need help or have IT-related questions. I work with a team: four specialists in Norway and me in Kaunas. Although the contract says I could do the same job from Norway in a year, at least for the time being, I have no wish to do that - I mostly want to remain here, in Kaunas. Why? Because I like the quality of life in Lithuania much more. And not only because of my loved ones. I feel like the city is my own, as well as the people. And even though they don't smile as much sometimes, I find them to be closer to my heart."

Good knowledge of a language is the most important thing

Lithuania has become the 9th country in which the Dutch IT company Centric has opened its branch. In total, the company employs over 1000 consultant engineers, part of them in service centers, and others provide consultations directly in clients' companies or factories. Currently, Centric IT Solutions Lithuania services their clients in English, Norwegian and Danish. In the future, the ranks of these employees will be expanded. Right now, the company is looking for Swedish language specialists.

"One of the most important skills that we look for when choosing our candidates for this position, is the best possible language knowledge. Based on our experience, it is much easier for the employees of service centers to gain theoretical IT knowledge than learn to speak fluently in a certain language. And even if the candidate is not strong in the IT field, the most important thing is to be willing to learn and improve. In this way, we provide the opportunity for young people, beginners or, conversely, older people who wish to change their profession, to work in the service centers," says Paulius Samoška, the head of Centric IT Solutions Lithuania. The head of the company claims that the opportunities provided by the Lithuanian labor market fully meet the needs of the company, and world Lithuanians, who come back from emigration, further strengthen the multiculturalism of the company.

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