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  #61  
Old 23.07.2015, 11:19
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I'll have to ask my wife's cousin how it works in her case, as she is 40km from the border (Monza). Should be seeing her next Tuesday at her grandfather's 100th, otherwise I can PM her on Facebook.

Tom
Please do. From what's posted above, she should be taxed at source and be taxed by Italy, the full source tax should be deducted from her italian bill.

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Of course, and very reasonable. Nevertheless they are taxed more or less the same way. And it only applies to communities in Italy that are close to the Swiss border (<20km)!
That's news to me, thx (btw, a link to the quoted PDF would have been nice). Nonetheless you're wrong to say that the italian commuters are taxed exactly the same way as everybody else. You actually confirm they are not.

According to an article by vimentis, 85% of the 60'000 commuters are within the 20km zone. Additionally, the article implies 8.5% source tax rate.

So, what does that mean, how do they compare to the "normal" employees? Assuming only CHF3'500 (12 monthlies), the resulting after-tax income (12*3500*0.9 = 3000 using 1.05 exchange rate) is more than 70% above the italian average of 1736 (for 2014, eurostat).
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  #62  
Old 23.07.2015, 11:40
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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The crossborder workers use the public services in their Italian towns and villages but buy lunch and petrol in Switzerland


The companies rent or purchase building space in Switzerland and pay many fees in Switzerland, and add to the Swiss Gross Social Product. But save on taxes which are lower on the Swiss side.
If they lunch and purchase fuel in Switzerland, it is out of choice. Some cross border workers walk back over the border and lunch in their home country as it costs much less.
Fuel isn't always less expensive in Switzerland in any case.
http://www.nzz.ch/schweiz/im-ausland...ger-1.18463568
http://www.blick.ch/incoming/franken...id3429734.html

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  #63  
Old 23.07.2015, 11:46
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Fuel isn't always less expensive in Switzerland in any case.
It always is compared to Italy, and has been for at least the past 30 years.

Tom
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  #64  
Old 23.07.2015, 11:56
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Getting off the point of this thread don't you think?
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Old 23.07.2015, 11:56
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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It always is compared to Italy, and has been for at least the past 30 years.

Tom

But to walk or drive back to Italy kills all costs savings.




THIS comment was made to the Statement walk or drive back and landed in the wrong place.


That Petrol in Italy has been expensive was fact since the times of Aldo Moro and Amintore Fanfani

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  #66  
Old 24.07.2015, 18:36
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

At the risk of being overly cynical...some follow up thoughts:

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1) A lot of people are embarrassed by the situation and don't want to talk about it, questions like "so hows work?" and "Oh that's right you're not working, so hows that going?"can be frustrating.
2) There are a lot expats who are unemployed, 6 of my friends husbands, I think that's pretty high.
3) No one likes to go on the RAV and no one I know has ever got a job through it, but it helps pay the bills.
4) There is a lot of support out there for families on low or no salaries, but I found it out by going down to the gemeinde one day and simply asking what are my rights.
5) It helps to have a friend who's going through the same thing.
6) If you don't have the German I think it really is a disadvantage.
7) There seems to be only two ways of getting a job here. Contacts and contacts.
8)Advanced study. I think it could be worth it, again if you can afford to go back and study.
9) Try to see it as a positive experience, one friend said he was happy that he could spend more time with his kids before he got his new job another stopped drinking and smoking and started meditating. Believe it or not you could actually find yourself in a happier place after this experience.
Good luck
1. Given that expats likely know fewer people, these types of questions would likely be only internal to families and to those connected to the working spouses.
2. In some cases I'd wager that the unemployment was part of the plan and acceptable on a few layers. But, to be able and wanting to work (even as a janitor) and coming up with nothing...is horrid.
3. RAV is only accessible to those who had worked before. If you are the dependent spouse and never worked in CH...you have no access. I could be wrong on this...but im fairly certain RAV can do very little for unemployed spouses.
4. Support...In almost 4 years I've paid taxes on whatever i can scrape together as an income...and I've seen ZERO means to benefit from one program.
5. Friends are key. But...Its a shame all of my friends are SWISS and don't have to worry about silly issues like unemployment. As such...none of them 'get it'.
6. The funny part about the utility of german in the work place...of all of the expats I know...EVERY ONE OF THEM works in english. Sure we need german to get around and function in society...but when it comes to work...i still dont see the value. IF you are/were a scientist, you will not get a street sweepers job where you would likely need german. IF you have little education, you will not be exposed to multinational work environments.
7. Yep...all about who you know as opposed to what you know. My wife's job is a prime example of that. Shit, she the job she has found her!
8. Advanced study of what? Go back in time and learn a whole new "swiss compliant" set of skills to only be at the bottom of list with respect to age and experience? Or was this meant as a "you should have planned better"? If so...there likely would not have been an issue in the first place. Kind of hard to play time travel like that.
9. Enduring a prolonged period of being essentially useless when you would be otherwise useful is rather difficult. Its very easy to maintain a positive attitude for a year or two...but after that...the reality becomes a weight that simply gets to heavy to move. It crushes you until you break...then and only then can you remove the pieces and try to reassemble them into something that looks like your former self.

I realize my opinions are likely rubbish to most. But...its been a really amazing experience to go from the position where I once had value and purpose to having neither. Its not that Switzerland is a horrible place. Far from it. Its just that the culture is very dependent upon placing round pegs in round holes when it comes to work.
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  #67  
Old 24.07.2015, 23:24
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I'll share some insight into this:

The move to Switzerland has broken me. In almost every way.

We originally moved here because of my wife's job. Its a permanent federal position and she has zero worries of ever being at a loss for work. That opportunity came at the expense of our otherwise balanced life in the states. There we had almost everything in equality with exception to her salary. In the states she was making a third of what she makes now (even after income adjustment). We did not move blindly. We considered the options and sadly relied on the opinions of others to gauge my ability to work in Switzerland. Misinformation is a bitch.

It turns out I'm essentially unemployable in this country. And even if I were a Swiss born, PhD holding, master of five languages...the chances of finding work are still slim at best due to the seeming inability to read a CV for its potential rather than its content. In a nut shell, before we moved we did not consider that actual geographic fact that switzerland is the water castle of europe. Guess what professions are not needed in switzerland? And guess what professions are exclusively reserved for locals?

The reality that I was no longer a valued scientist/engineer hit hard. Luckily I had some value to my former employer and still do get some side work from time to time. But its peanuts compared to what I used to earn. Needless to say...reality sank in after a few years here and despite trying every natural resource company I could find...not one company found my resume of interest. Not a surprise. I work in a uncommon field where there is barely a local demand.

Time warp to now. Unemployment and dealing with its issues is not easy. I have been shaken to the core. Im not even ashamed to say that I'm currently in therapy and being treated for severe depression. Loosing the means to support my family in a manner that I worked so hard to acheive has not been an easy thing to "just get over". There are only a few months where taking a hike can alleviate the pain of loosing one's way. At some point you break and every shitty thing in your life's past just seems to manifest into some other issue to deal with.

So what to do? My wife still has an excellent job and in totality we are not destitute. I did become self-employed and that has not been without issues either. Its irregular work and not nearly as demanding or satisfying as finding drinking water in the desserts of east africa (for example).

I've spent the last few months picking up the pieces and am still not too sure whats next. All i know is that being an unemployed expat in switzerland is not an easy position to be in emotionally. I don't wish this upon anyone and I caution any families who may be confronted by this type of situation.

I'd love to meet with other trailing husbands. I've yet to meet one in three years. Surely they exist. If for no other reason...forming some sort of support group or likewise could be a good thing. If anything, this whole experience has certainly taught me two things: humility and knowing when to ask for help.
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As the trailing husband with PhD and work-ex in scientific field I can clearly see my future in CH. I am just hoping that the startup scene as well as funding picks up and I can start my own company. Until then it's batshit-crazy depressing.
I just wanted to wish you both all the best, sincerely, and thank you for sharing your perspective.

My husband-to-be and I are both employed in two very different fields, which however share the trait of being both very niche areas. We like our jobs and we are (at least, we hope so!) quite good at them.

Earlier this year we were considering a potential relocation for a "one of a kind", very unique professional opportunity for me. He was 100% supportive of the move and highly encouraged it, I would even go as far as saying that he was way more excited to go than I was! To me, leaving the U.S. was actually the one big downside of the opportunity, but it was one of those "trains" that you got to hop on when they pass, if you know what I mean.

The move would have been to a country where he would not speak the local language, and where the labor market is very depressed and rife with unemployment even for the locals. The opportunity at the end did not pan out (we could not find agreement on all the conditions, but we parted in good terms) but, in reading your stories, I wonder whether, at the end, this outcome was all for the best.

It's true that he was very excited to go, and maybe he would have been that one outlier who finds the stellar job in a depressed market, and he would have been proficient in the local language in no time, etc. Or maybe the total opposite - we'll never know. At the end, we have a very good life here, nothing to complain, so...perhaps it truly was for the best!

Thank you again for sharing your stories, and again, I hope that you will find the fulfillment you seek, where you are.
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  #68  
Old 25.07.2015, 00:38
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

I was only a lurker on this forum till now, but reading this thread made me think that I have to speak up.

My history... Asian, unmarried, never had anything to do with CH. PhD in a scientific field. I applied for 3 jobs (2 in CH and one in Germany, all big multinationals) and I got job offers from all three companies. I could cherry-pick my first job!! Finally, I decided for CH and thats how I landed in Basel. Fantastic research job and only English language at the workplace. Amazing colleagues, work ethics and of course, a really good salary.

This year, I had to interview some PhDs from the scientific field for a job and I am really sorry to say that the level of applicants from Switzerland was not optimal. Most people from CH who we interviewed were good in general, but nothing made them stand out from the rest.
For STEM jobs, you should remember that you are competing with everyone in the world. Every little thing that shows that you can go out of your comfort zone helps. Finally we settled on a very good person from France.

I fully agree that finding a job in the current market is difficult, but the right qualifications are really in demand in any industry. To be fair, the industry needs good people too and sometimes the company needs you more that you need them.

And dont forget, currently entrepreneurship is the "cool" thing and there is no time like today with sooooooo much help (from angel investors to rich industrialists to the government). I am also currently testing these waters .

Sorry, I know that this post probably does not add any value to your job search right now, but i hope that it could be an encouragement.

Good luck!!!
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Old 25.07.2015, 10:21
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Asian, unmarried, scientist (I guess in biology), no tie to CH, oversea hit ratio 100%, new in Basel and became interviewer in no time......

How old are you mate?



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I was only a lurker on this forum till now, but reading this thread made me think that I have to speak up.

My history... Asian, unmarried, never had anything to do with CH. PhD in a scientific field. I applied for 3 jobs (2 in CH and one in Germany, all big multinationals) and I got job offers from all three companies. I could cherry-pick my first job!! Finally, I decided for CH and thats how I landed in Basel. Fantastic research job and only English language at the workplace. Amazing colleagues, work ethics and of course, a really good salary.

This year, I had to interview some PhDs from the scientific field for a job and I am really sorry to say that the level of applicants from Switzerland was not optimal. Most people from CH who we interviewed were good in general, but nothing made them stand out from the rest.
For STEM jobs, you should remember that you are competing with everyone in the world. Every little thing that shows that you can go out of your comfort zone helps. Finally we settled on a very good person from France.

I fully agree that finding a job in the current market is difficult, but the right qualifications are really in demand in any industry. To be fair, the industry needs good people too and sometimes the company needs you more that you need them.

And dont forget, currently entrepreneurship is the "cool" thing and there is no time like today with sooooooo much help (from angel investors to rich industrialists to the government). I am also currently testing these waters .

Sorry, I know that this post probably does not add any value to your job search right now, but i hope that it could be an encouragement.

Good luck!!!
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Old 25.07.2015, 15:57
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

I was also unemployed in Switzerland for 5 Months. Had to change country to find a job. I was recomended to take courses and educate myself since already a few Months without employment made the employers ask questions what I did this time. Well since got unemploeyd I did educate myself by improving my German etc.
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Old 26.07.2015, 14:16
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Asian, unmarried, scientist (I guess in biology), no tie to CH, oversea hit ratio 100%, new in Basel and became interviewer in no time......

How old are you mate?
Ha ha, good question!!! My guess, mid - late 20s
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  #72  
Old 26.07.2015, 17:51
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

I think that staying unemployed for 2, 3 years, is not reason for shame and as difficult as it is, he/she should try hard to keep the motivation up and never give up.

What is a shame is staying out of the work place for this time and not learn the local language.
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  #73  
Old 26.07.2015, 20:25
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Asian, unmarried, scientist (I guess in biology), no tie to CH, oversea hit ratio 100%, new in Basel and became interviewer in no time......

How old are you mate?

Late 20s... Hehe... But not biologist...
Plus it obviously helps if the phd involves a scientist who has visited Sweden for a certain prize!

Anyway, I guess we are derailing the thread...


Good luck to the OP.
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Old 26.07.2015, 20:36
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

I fully understand that feeling - once I was so close to such situation. Just imagine you are the only person in the family to bring in money- The urgent need to have a paid job to support your family does not allow you to have a break to do anything but apply, apply and apply... At least this was my case. Those who have certain security to stay in this land may probably feel differently.
I do not know in which field the OP's specializes. In my case, I often find out that a blind screening by hitting any adverts is not better than a direct contact to the person/firm/group in your field who does not even advertise. At least such professional links/networks help me both in CH and USA.
As OP has no issue on the language but has very limited responses, I agree with one of the repliers that you may want to carefully check out if there is any unnotised weak point alone the line.
Wish you best luck.
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Old 26.07.2015, 21:15
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Late 20s... Hehe... But not biologist...
Plus it obviously helps if the phd involves a scientist who has visited Sweden for a certain prize!

Anyway, I guess we are derailing the thread...


Good luck to the OP.
And good luck to you living in Basel!!
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Old 26.07.2015, 23:38
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Late 20s... Hehe... But not biologist...
Plus it obviously helps if the phd involves a scientist who has visited Sweden for a certain prize!

Anyway, I guess we are derailing the thread...


Good luck to the OP.
Lets keep to comparing similar size/type of eggs with similar egg types/sizes please.....

Now you have said this, your earlier post is really a waste of time, for someone so educated, i am surprised you can't see this.
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Old 27.07.2015, 06:31
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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lets keep to comparing similar size/type of eggs with similar egg types/sizes please.....

Now you have said this, your earlier post is really a waste of time, for someone so educated, i am surprised you can't see this.
unemployed-switzerland-700px-four-sides-model_en.svg.png
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Old 28.07.2015, 16:32
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

I moved to Switzerland just before the crisis. My first job, which I got while I was still abroad, was the first one I applied to, which gave me a very unrealistic expectation of the market here, especially post 2008.

Needless to say, when the company essentially went bust and I lost the job, it slowly dawned on me that it was a lot harder for a foreigner, with only a few words of German, to get a new one and it took me almost four years to find another permanent role.

Anyhow here's a few observations about job seeking in CH:
  • If you work in a field where you can contract, even very short-term, then do so. It's good for personal morale, income and will fill some of the gaps and will get you Swiss references.
  • If you work in a field where you can freelance, then do so. While not ideal and not terribly well respected by Swiss firms, it still looks a lot better than sitting in your underpants with your thumb up your arse for a few years. It also gives you the opportunity to get references from your clients, is good for personal morale and naturally earns you income.
  • Learn the local language. For example, C2 is considered the minimum level to work in a German environment. Given this, C1 or A2 will already give you an edge on other expats, because the reality is many are just too lazy to learn, just put it off and are lucky to have an A1 cert. Don't - start learning the moment you have the free time.
  • Swissify your applications. The CV you used in the UK, US, Australia or wherever won't cut it here. And it's not just language, but layout and what information is expected.
  • If you can get assistance from the RAV, then use it. Reality is they are more used to dealing with cooks, butchers and other trades, so if you're a professional of any description, their help will be limited. However it is there, such as advice on Swissifying your applications and putting you on a language course.
  • Integrate. The more Swiss friends or acquaintances you have, the better your connections and thus chances of hearing of things through word of mouth. This does not limit itself solely to finding a job, but lots of other seriously useful information and opportunities.
  • Avoid recruiters where possible. Recruitment companies, as a whole, add no value to a job seeker. I found that sending a CV to a recruiter meant 4/5 got binned. However, if the recruiter does get back to you and sends on your CV, the success rate is exactly the same as if you'd sent it directly. So, whenever you see a job advert, Google some of the text and see if you can find the client company directly.
  • As someone pointed out, Swiss firms seek round pegs for round holes. This means that being flexible in your career and having amassed experience in different areas is often seen as a weakness. Bare that in mind when applying and try to focus on the skills they seek and avoid looking like a Jack-o-trades. Just because you're used to a market where potential employers will read the 'potential' in a CV, doesn't mean all markets work that way, nor does it make sense that you feel aggrieved that they don't. Adapt or die.
Of the above, I cannot impress enough contracting and/or freelancing. Switzerland is not 'back home' so there's a learning curve on how to market yourself for the job market. Between that and Murphy's law, it'll take most a while to find a new role and that while becomes a gap in your CV (something they hate here), so being able to fill it is very important as once a gap reaches 12 months you effectively become a leper.

I'd add charity work to the your options there - I know someone, a bookkeeper, who while unemployed agreed to do the books for a charity, staffed by part time volunteers, that had an international profile. The work involved no more than a few hours a week. Other than giving her a professional identity (quite important here) it also filled what could have been an 18 month gap in her CV, gave her a CFO title for that CV and an excellent reference.

In the end it's down to luck though. All you can do is improve your chances, but if you do so your search will likely (not guaranteed) be a lot shorter.

Last edited by Aeneas; 28.07.2015 at 17:10.
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Old 29.07.2015, 14:36
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Stay positive I was searching almost 5 months, sending at least 2 applications per day... I became frustraded from the countless boiler plate BS letters "after carefully looking through your CV we have decided to short list candidates who best fit our... blah blah" and having my hopes up with every interview. Many times I wanted to cry, feeling inadequate and even applying for HR jobs below my level back home in the US.

I have revised my CV numerous times and scoured LinkedIn and XING and can say that LinkedIn was where I received the most bites and ultimately the job I am in now. I was almost at the point of quitting for a bit but decided one day to apply to a job higher than my level on LinkedIn. Long story short, landed the interview, got the job and I am very happy

My advice is to apply to your level or above. Most companies with positions I interviewed with that were lower than my level always had that fear that I wouldn't stay long enough. Take advantage of LinkedIn and networking with recruiters, don't give up and in your free time practice on learning one of the national languages, enjoying Switzerland and staying positive.

We do have a data entry SAP position open in my company (temp 6 months 60k) I don't know if you may be interested or if it helps but PM me if you'd like more info.
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Old 09.08.2015, 00:00
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I moved to Switzerland just before the crisis. My first job, which I got while I was still abroad, was the first one I applied to, which gave me a very unrealistic expectation of the market here, especially post 2008.

Needless to say, when the company essentially went bust and I lost the job, it slowly dawned on me that it was a lot harder for a foreigner, with only a few words of German, to get a new one and it took me almost four years to find another permanent role.

Anyhow here's a few observations about job seeking in CH:
  • If you work in a field where you can contract, even very short-term, then do so. It's good for personal morale, income and will fill some of the gaps and will get you Swiss references.
  • If you work in a field where you can freelance, then do so. While not ideal and not terribly well respected by Swiss firms, it still looks a lot better than sitting in your underpants with your thumb up your arse for a few years. It also gives you the opportunity to get references from your clients, is good for personal morale and naturally earns you income.
  • Learn the local language. For example, C2 is considered the minimum level to work in a German environment. Given this, C1 or A2 will already give you an edge on other expats, because the reality is many are just too lazy to learn, just put it off and are lucky to have an A1 cert. Don't - start learning the moment you have the free time.
  • Swissify your applications. The CV you used in the UK, US, Australia or wherever won't cut it here. And it's not just language, but layout and what information is expected.
  • If you can get assistance from the RAV, then use it. Reality is they are more used to dealing with cooks, butchers and other trades, so if you're a professional of any description, their help will be limited. However it is there, such as advice on Swissifying your applications and putting you on a language course.
  • Integrate. The more Swiss friends or acquaintances you have, the better your connections and thus chances of hearing of things through word of mouth. This does not limit itself solely to finding a job, but lots of other seriously useful information and opportunities.
  • Avoid recruiters where possible. Recruitment companies, as a whole, add no value to a job seeker. I found that sending a CV to a recruiter meant 4/5 got binned. However, if the recruiter does get back to you and sends on your CV, the success rate is exactly the same as if you'd sent it directly. So, whenever you see a job advert, Google some of the text and see if you can find the client company directly.
  • As someone pointed out, Swiss firms seek round pegs for round holes. This means that being flexible in your career and having amassed experience in different areas is often seen as a weakness. Bare that in mind when applying and try to focus on the skills they seek and avoid looking like a Jack-o-trades. Just because you're used to a market where potential employers will read the 'potential' in a CV, doesn't mean all markets work that way, nor does it make sense that you feel aggrieved that they don't. Adapt or die.
Of the above, I cannot impress enough contracting and/or freelancing. Switzerland is not 'back home' so there's a learning curve on how to market yourself for the job market. Between that and Murphy's law, it'll take most a while to find a new role and that while becomes a gap in your CV (something they hate here), so being able to fill it is very important as once a gap reaches 12 months you effectively become a leper.

I'd add charity work to the your options there - I know someone, a bookkeeper, who while unemployed agreed to do the books for a charity, staffed by part time volunteers, that had an international profile. The work involved no more than a few hours a week. Other than giving her a professional identity (quite important here) it also filled what could have been an 18 month gap in her CV, gave her a CFO title for that CV and an excellent reference.

In the end it's down to luck though. All you can do is improve your chances, but if you do so your search will likely (not guaranteed) be a lot shorter.
I'm just curious, but after nearly four years of unemployment did you find a job in the same field you were in before or did you take on a new career?
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