A responsible summer workplace and a valuable source of experience
The City of Helsinki is a member of the Responsible Workplace community. Among other things, this means that we treat all of our employees fairly, offer meaningful tasks that foster development, and conduct a proper orientation to introduce you to the job.
The city also offers internship or thesis work opportunities to students who need to fulfil an internship as part of their studies. The City of Helsinki is committed to providing interns with onboarding that will prepare them for their work and help and guidance during their internship period. It is our goal to offer high-quality summer work and internship experiences to everyone.
Before you begin your summer work or internship
1Agree on when you will start
Agree with your supervisor on when your first working day will begin: Where you will come, at what time, and who will meet you. If the arrival instructions seem unclear, do not hesitate to ask for additional information. This is also a suitable time to ask if you need to take something special into account; for example, does the job require you to dress a certain way for safety reasons?
2Submit a tax card if you are employed by the city
If you are entering into an employment relationship with the City of Helsinki (does not apply to unpaid internships), remember to send your tax card and bank account number to Talpa for salary payment. Talpa is the Finnish name for the city’s Financial Management Services. Please do this at the latest by the time the employment relationship begins. If you don’t have a tax card, you can request one via the Tax Administration’s online service My Tax.
Please find answers to some of the questions you may have about your work for the city below.
Working hours and break times will be agreed upon with your supervisor. Please note that you should strive to arrive at your workplace in good time, so you are ready to start work when your working hours begin. Remember to reserve enough time for your morning activities and commute, and make sure you can change into your work clothes and put your personal belongings away in a locker before your workday is scheduled to start. If you discover that you will be late for work, please call your workplace supervisor or colleagues to let them know.
The salary of fixed-term employees is generally paid on the last day of the month. If questions about salary payments come up during your employment relationship, please contact the city’s Financial Management Services, Talpa.
It is your supervisor’s task to ensure that you receive a good introduction to your job. A proper orientation will tell you everything you need to know about what you will need to do, as well as how to do it. If you remain uncertain about something, feel free to ask for clarification! It is easier for your work community to help you succeed in your work if you are proactive.
Your supervisor will provide you with all the necessary equipment to complete your work tasks. If your work requires any special tools or equipment, you will also be instructed in their use. Please note that you should not use your mobile phone or other personal devices during your working hours unless separate arrangements have been made.
For safety and hygiene reasons, some jobs may require a certain way of dressing (for instance, no jewellery or certain hairstyles). Ask your supervisor for more information.
In all kinds of work, it is important to think about how you talk to others about work-related matters. If you meet clients or handle personal data at work, it is especially important not to share things associated with this outside the workplace – even if there’s a funny story involved. Problem situations should also be dealt with and resolved at the workplace. Respect your work colleagues and do not share their personal business with others.
There are many things that you can share outside the workplace without issue, however. It is okay to discuss general issues associated with your field, your job duties and the City of Helsinki, for example. Please find some practical examples below.
⛔ Conversations you should not be having outside the workplace:
- Telling a parent about the allergies and food restrictions of a child in daycare
- Telling a friend about a hospital patient that lives on the same street as you
- Posting on social media about an argument your colleagues had at a workplace meeting
- Telling your grandmother about a work colleague’s long-term illness
- Telling your neighbour about city documents that have not yet been published
✅ Conversations you can engage in freely outside the workplace:
- Telling a parent the ages of the children in your daycare group
- Telling a friend about what kinds of work tasks you do at the hospital
- Posting on social media about your work community’s team-building activities
- Telling your grandmother about the various kinds of professions in your work community
- Telling your neighbour about a document that has been released by the city
Inform your supervisor about your illness by calling them on the phone. Do this as early as possible, but no later than before the start of the work shift. Do not report an illness via an email or text message. If you feel you are falling ill the previous evening already, you can send your supervisor a text message to inform them that you may not be coming into work the next morning. Tell them that you will call them by phone in the morning. Wait until you are on the phone to inform your supervisor that you are ill.
If you realize you’ve made a mistake, report it to your supervisor without delay. This way you can work together to correct the error, and also figure out how to do better the next time.
No one expects you to know everything right away. We learn many things by simply doing them over and over. Mistakes are a part of learning. It is also completely normal to ask someone to repeat how something should be done from time to time, even if it you’ve been told once already. If you are ever unsure about a task, feel free to ask your supervisor for additional instructions and help. Their job description includes helping you learn and succeed at your job. Even your older and more experienced employees are learning new things and don’t know or remember everything. The most important thing is that you strive to do your best.
Employee benefits apply to temporary employees too
If you are employed by the City of Helsinki and your work period lasts at least one month, you are eligible for many of the same benefits permanent employees receive. For example, you can use city bikes for free, eat at a reduced price in the city’s staff restaurants, and get half-price admission to Helsinki’s outdoor swimming pools. Ask your supervisor for more information on employee benefits.
Tips to support your work
Make the most of your summer work or internship
Your summer work or internship at the City of Helsinki is a unique opportunity to learn new things, develop your skills and get a feel for different jobs and career options. That’s why you should try to make the most of it! Here are some useful tips:
- Think about what you would like to be able to do or learn at work and tell your supervisor your wishes. You might get assigned tasks that interest you and accumulate new skills.
- Ask your colleagues to tell you about their work and their career to date. This is an effective way to get valuable tips and ideas for your future work or studies.
- Ask for feedback about your work and performance as an employee. When you are looking for your next job, for example, you might be able to explain your strengths and skills better.
- Be curious and ask questions about the work: Why are things done this way? Your understanding of the goals, significance and influence of the work you do will increase as a result. You might even learn something that would not otherwise have come to light.
Take care of your health and wellbeing
It is important that you feel good and can cope well, not only at home and in your free time, but also when you are at the workplace. Eating a variety of foods and getting enough exercise and sleep will help you cope at work and have energy for other things as well. Invest in recovering from your workday by doing pleasant and restorative things that you enjoy after you clock out each day.
Duunikoutsi app provides support
Download the free Duunikoutsi app to your phone and you will gain access to a range of tools and services that can improve your workplace wellbeing and help you identify your skills and strengths. The app also has material that can help with your future job search, like inspiring career stories.
The Duunikoutsi app was developed by an organisation called Economy and Youth TAT, in collaboration with the Oikotie job search website, the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
Interested in working for the City of Helsinki again in the future?
Are you interested in working for the City of Helsinki after your summer work or internship ends? Check out the links below to learn more about working permanently for the city and the available employment opportunities.