Eelis, you raise valid points.
While I don’t think that comparing Finland with other countries is always the way to go (most of them are doing a much worse job at pretty much everything, so it’s a race to the bottom), I need to point out that my specific field (tech/games) often relies almost entirely on non-Finnish markets. So in that context, the requirements are frustrating, especially when “talent drain” is acknowledged in the tech circles (basically companies “stealing” each other’s employees because there are not enough options).
But sure, as I admit in the piece not mastering Finnish is my fault. To my defense, I must say that while it’s shameful that I can’t still have a proper conversation at the bar, the incentives to learning it “for work” are practically zero. I will never beat “native speakers” and the chances to get “fluent” considering that I deal with communications are next to zero. Besides, I already learned a working language, and that’s English.
Several people in my situation contacted me after this article, and a few have mentioned that if they lose their job, they will leave Finland, because finding another one might be harder than starting over somewhere else.
We can look at it from different angles, but as long as these are tax-paying citizens, I believe Finland has an interest in keeping them around, working, and reasonably happy. Finland has also invested in my University education; it would be silly to force me to move somewhere else. Wouldn’t you agree?