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Old 09.08.2015, 00:55
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Not too sure about that, what if the goals can not be achieved, at what point do you give up and simply say "Fkuc it" depression leads to more depression stress to more stress.
Well, maybe then instead of giving up entirely, it might help to reassess the goals more realistically? Maybe it's worth talking to HR specialists on the market and try to understand what other successful candidates for the desired role have that you don't and try to improve on that? Or maybe just take a step down on your career expectation, and start with a less senior role just to get you going?
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Old 09.08.2015, 01:33
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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If someone wants to take up work in Switzerland, shouldn't it be that they also live here?

No. If you live in the region, is acquainted with the place, have your network, etc, and still cannot compete for the job with a foreigner, than it's your fault and not his/her.

Also keep in mind that there are many Italian companies that moved operations to Ticino despite the higher wages.
Keep in mind that its the Swiss which entice entire company`s with their low corporation taxes to Switzerland. I have no sympathy with them whats so ever.
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  #83  
Old 09.08.2015, 06:41
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Well, maybe then instead of giving up entirely, it might help to reassess the goals more realistically? Maybe it's worth talking to HR specialists on the market and try to understand what other successful candidates for the desired role have that you don't and try to improve on that? Or maybe just take a step down on your career expectation, and start with a less senior role just to get you going?
Oh here we go.
Other candidates were younger and way under 50 (lets not go there, you know what I mean) so unless you know the secret of the philosophers stone you can't really improve on that. Kid, I have gone so far down the ladder as to be practically analogue to flipping burgers at Mc Donalds.

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Old 09.08.2015, 09:09
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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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?
Well I was unemployed in the sense that I was not in a permanent 100% contract. I made sure that I was always doing something; short-term contracts, freelance projects or consultancy, even writing paid articles for professional journals - all related to my field. So yes, I did eventually find something in my field, because I never left it and could demonstrate that on my CV.

Had I not, there's no way I would have been able to survive financially and my CV would have looked like a train wreck.
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Old 09.08.2015, 10:25
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Well I was unemployed in the sense that I was not in a permanent 100% contract. I made sure that I was always doing something; short-term contracts, freelance projects or consultancy, even writing paid articles for professional journals - all related to my field. So yes, I did eventually find something in my field, because I never left it and could demonstrate that on my CV.

Had I not, there's no way I would have been able to survive financially and my CV would have looked like a train wreck.
So you worked on short-term contracts and freelance projects for four years until you eventually got your job. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get your job in the end? Through the usual route of applying with CV, through contacts or something else? Or are you self employed?
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Old 09.08.2015, 10:56
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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If you don't mind me asking, how did you get your job in the end? Through the usual route of applying with CV, through contacts or something else? Or are you self employed?
Freelancing and contracting kept my CV 'fresh' and also got me some very good references. Over time I also morphed my application from something you'd see in an Anglophone country to something that would work in the Swiss market.

The market changed too - post-2008 there was a slowdown even here and this slowly changed as more companies began to hire rather than 'rationalize'.

And I also learned to avoid recruiters. Very few add any value whatsoever to a job application. Most at best act as an extra filter, so that your application will get binned 4/5 times before it gets to their client, and then you go through another 4/5 cull, before any interview which means that if you send via recruiters you'd get one interview for every 25 applications you make, as opposed to five if you send them direct.

Additionally, when it finally comes down to you and another candidate, if the other candidate is going direct, it can tip the scales against you because of the cost of recruiting through an agency, as I discovered.

This is not to say that there aren't recruiters out there that are not worth going through, but honestly they're as rare as hen's teeth - most are a complete waste of carbon matter.

Beyond that it's luck; being the right fit in the right place at the right time.
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Old 10.08.2015, 00:11
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Freelancing and contracting kept my CV 'fresh' and also got me some very good references. Over time I also morphed my application from something you'd see in an Anglophone country to something that would work in the Swiss market.

The market changed too - post-2008 there was a slowdown even here and this slowly changed as more companies began to hire rather than 'rationalize'.

And I also learned to avoid recruiters. Very few add any value whatsoever to a job application. Most at best act as an extra filter, so that your application will get binned 4/5 times before it gets to their client, and then you go through another 4/5 cull, before any interview which means that if you send via recruiters you'd get one interview for every 25 applications you make, as opposed to five if you send them direct.

Additionally, when it finally comes down to you and another candidate, if the other candidate is going direct, it can tip the scales against you because of the cost of recruiting through an agency, as I discovered.

This is not to say that there aren't recruiters out there that are not worth going through, but honestly they're as rare as hen's teeth - most are a complete waste of carbon matter.

Beyond that it's luck; being the right fit in the right place at the right time.
That's good to know. So, you got your job by going straight to the company and avoiding agencies. Did you have friends or contacts or was it just pot luck that a company was looking to hire someone like you? Did you compromise? Salary? Location? Job position/level? You don't have to answer of course, I'm just interested how people like yourself succeed in getting back into work after a long stint out of it. I understand that you were freelancing and contracting, swissified your CV and didn't just sit in your underpants for years waiting for the right thing to come along. I'm sure you had a bit of luck on the way but as you said earlier you have to 'adapt or die'.
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Old 10.08.2015, 16:41
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Totally can identify with what everyone is saying on here. My husband and I left NY about 6 months ago and still have yet to find anything over 60%. I am a RN from back home, which you would think would help but actually has proven to be useless. They will not let you work unless you have recognition from the Swiss Red Cross (understandably since my German is only at a B1 level). My husband has a contract that is up in October and we may have to turn this ship around if he doesn't find something before then. Even went so far as to apply for a position as a barista in Starbucks

All I can say is networking seems to be the best and only way to score an interview. My husband has had a few interviews purely beccause of networking. Other than that, it's pure luck!

Good luck to everyone out there. You are definitely not alone!
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Old 10.08.2015, 16:58
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Unfortunately, what really seems to matter in Switzerland, is qualifications the Swiss trust. I have been employed and unemployed quite a few times over the past (gulp) 20 years and every time I had to think out a new strategy. The last time, I went to school, who cares if I never need it, but it turned out to be a qualification that my present employer likes - Handelsdiplom. Of course, the other thing is, I am not fussy, I work and I work on my skills as I go along - look at what you lack, is it language, is it office skills, or are you setting your goals too high? There is no point applying for a job as PA when you are over 45 and have only ever worked as a secretary. Age and race play a roll here, and by race, I do mean non-Swiss in general. I can mostly pass myself off as Swiss, but truth be told, I will always be a foreigner. It is disheartening and annoying looking for a job in Switzerland - but not impossible. I also used every option RAV gave me - schooling, courses, part-time jobs. If nothing else, it is better to be working at something than sitting on your hands at home.
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Old 11.08.2015, 00:30
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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That's good to know. So, you got your job by going straight to the company and avoiding agencies. Did you have friends or contacts or was it just pot luck that a company was looking to hire someone like you? Did you compromise? Salary? Location? Job position/level? You don't have to answer of course, I'm just interested how people like yourself succeed in getting back into work after a long stint out of it. I understand that you were freelancing and contracting, swissified your CV and didn't just sit in your underpants for years waiting for the right thing to come along. I'm sure you had a bit of luck on the way but as you said earlier you have to 'adapt or die'.
Ultimately it does come down to luck. As I originally said, my first job in Switzerland was literally the first one I applied to, and while still abroad.

You can improve your chances - applying direct, making applications that are better accepted in the Swiss market, and so on - but it will still remain a numbers game to a great extent.

Having Swiss friends helped in so far as they were able to advise on the applications and the system in general. Most importantly, through them I got to know other Swiss and was able to get some very lucrative freelance contracts.

Compromise with the job I eventually got? A little, but less than you'd think and once in, if you have any talent you can reverse those drawbacks quickly enough.
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Old 11.08.2015, 00:44
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

...and I say every waking day,thank God and for music for my dearest Swiss friendships.

A positive week start to all.




R.I.P. Francis Newton "Frank" Gifford (August 16, 1930 – August 9, 2015)

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Old 28.08.2015, 14:38
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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The move to Switzerland has broken me. In almost every way.
I've read all your posts on this forum so far. This sentence however got my attention. No matter how important your wife's job is (or seems to be), it hasn't been worth it if you really feel like this.

Have you considered moving back to the States ? I mean, is physical and mental health not more important than money? I moved here as well for a better paying job (with wife and kids). If my wife would ever get close to feeling how you feel, I would move back immediately, even if that would mean going back to a job where i make 1/5th of what I make here. My wife's happiness is worth far more than that.
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Old 28.08.2015, 18:14
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I've read all your posts on this forum so far. This sentence however got my attention. No matter how important your wife's job is (or seems to be), it hasn't been worth it if you really feel like this.

Have you considered moving back to the States ? I mean, is physical and mental health not more important than money? I moved here as well for a better paying job (with wife and kids). If my wife would ever get close to feeling how you feel, I would move back immediately, even if that would mean going back to a job where i make 1/5th of what I make here. My wife's happiness is worth far more than that.
These considerations have been discussed. But our careers are so unique that there are few places that can accomodate both of us.
The difference for us compared to your situation is that you have kids. Keeping them busy is at least a tangible objective. If your wife is the primary care giver...there is a chance she will remain busy enough in life to disregard certain issues. My issue is that I went from a high demand and respected position to virtually nothing.

It's not that life is so hard and difficult...its just that the learning curve for finding your way (or a new way) is a lot steeper when you have cross ocean.

It's been a slow process...but I've learned a lot about myself in these past few months. It's not been a complete disaster. If anything...my physical state has not been as good in 20 years. This 'event' has taught me to realize that one can neglect themselves anywhere. I just happen to be unemployed while this process has evolved...increasing its impact.

I think having a purpose is likely the beat way to avoid situations like mine. The issue though is that swiss HR departments don't share the same hiring philosophy as other countries do: square pegs for square holes only. Have a career that is unneeded and you become an even harder-to-fit peg.
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