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Old 27.11.2012, 22:45
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Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

Hello Everybody,

I am employed in London by a large IT consultancy and I have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Zurich.
I work as lead architect in the BPM and Enterprise Architecture space and have a package of around £ 110k (base + car allowance + pension).
I don't speak german, although I am keen of learning it should I move.
After a fair amount of research (a lot of it in this forum!) it seems to me that to have an equivalent purchasing power in Zurich it would make sense to ask for CHF 220k.
On the other hand my company has made it clear that they could not offer any more than 170-180K.
I would love to live in Switzerland, however I am starting to think that there might be less opportunities on the top end the market, maybe because of the fact that the market is much smaller than in the UK.
Also, I wonder how much my limited knwoledge of German would hinder future carreer developments...
Do you think this is a fair assessment? Or have I just made wrong assumptions in "transalting" my salary?

Thanks!!
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Old 27.11.2012, 23:04
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

I'd take the 180K CHF. Ask for relocation assistance and paid accommodation until you get an apartment. Your life will change (less eating out, more home comforts, sports, outdoor activities) and you'll probably end up with more saved away each month. Unless you have lots of kids that you want to throw in an international school.
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Old 27.11.2012, 23:14
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

+1 to Adrian's post.

You don't say how old you are, or your family situation? 170-180k is a great salary and regardless of your family situation you'll be paying a lot less tax on it than you would in the UK... a lot less.

Have you visited Zurich yet? If not, I'd recommend it.
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Old 28.11.2012, 00:23
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

@OP
GBP110 to CHF180, is a drop in disposable income you will notice, let me assure you.
CHF180 is not a great salary if you have been earning GBP110 (even living in London)

Zurich is expensive, the most expensive place in the world, London is 20th.

You are correct in saying GBP110 is more like CHF220.

Don't let the 15% tax rate fool you, the cost of living here is astronomical. A mediocre lunch will set you back CHF15 each day.

A 100 sq meter apartment in Zurich will cost CHF3500+

To answer your other question, you are correct in saying the job market is smaller here.

You are also aware that not having German here is a problem, the lack of German means you have to find a job in an English speaking bubble. Your survivability outside of said bubble is low at best. You could be out of work for a long time. You must obtain B1/B2 German as a priority, to increase your survivability.

You haven't said if you are single or have family.

If single I would give it a punt. You need to try it on for size, and reassess in twelve months time.

PM if you like.
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Old 28.11.2012, 02:41
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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Hello Everybody,

I am employed in London by a large IT consultancy and I have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Zurich.
I work as lead architect in the BPM and Enterprise Architecture space and have a package of around £ 110k (base + car allowance + pension).
I'm a large/very-large systems eng with a few specialties like supercomputing and...apart from CERN there really isn't anything at all in the same class of challenge that you're going to see in the UK, especially if you're in something other than banking. Also, if you're a consultant now, you'll bore quickly of the of being in the same office all the time. 180chf is where salaries mostly end and getting 220 or more is probably not realistic unless you hang out your own shingle and start selling brown sugar for 20chf a packet to the folks around here in addition to charging for your services. That being said, the few 'programming' sorts I came in contact with in the Zurich area were, in a word, fairly dreadful and their rates were jaw-droppingly high. I frequently entertained the thought of consulting, but I wasn't enthusiastic about the people and the legal aspects (along with taxes from the US, etc. ). So, there's a lot of room for talented folks with experience.
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Old 28.11.2012, 07:05
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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Don't let the 15% tax rate fool you, the cost of living here is astronomical.
Which 15% tax rate is that?
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Old 28.11.2012, 20:34
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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Which 15% tax rate is that?
Oops! that was a typo!
Thanks for pointing that out.



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Old 28.11.2012, 21:42
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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Hello Everybody,

I am employed in London by a large IT consultancy and I have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Zurich.
I work as lead architect in the BPM and Enterprise Architecture space and have a package of around £ 110k (base + car allowance + pension).
I don't speak german, although I am keen of learning it should I move.
After a fair amount of research (a lot of it in this forum!) it seems to me that to have an equivalent purchasing power in Zurich it would make sense to ask for CHF 220k.
On the other hand my company has made it clear that they could not offer any more than 170-180K.
I would love to live in Switzerland, however I am starting to think that there might be less opportunities on the top end the market, maybe because of the fact that the market is much smaller than in the UK.
Also, I wonder how much my limited knwoledge of German would hinder future carreer developments...
Do you think this is a fair assessment? Or have I just made wrong assumptions in "transalting" my salary?

Thanks!!
do a tax calc and work out what your net wage would be in each scenario and then compare. with the 50% tax rate in the UK and the loss of most of your personal allowance, it's worth working out what you'll actually get.
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Old 28.11.2012, 21:47
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

I am 40, married. I expect that for my wife would be really difficult to find a job. Had I been a few years younger, and single, I would have happily taken a punt at it...but now the risks seems to outweigh the potential benefits...
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Old 28.11.2012, 22:05
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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I am 40, married. I expect that for my wife would be really difficult to find a job.
That depends on what job she looks to find.
Shop-clerk at "Import-Parfümerie" is probably not what she fancies, though....
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Old 28.11.2012, 22:10
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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I am 40, married. I expect that for my wife would be really difficult to find a job. Had I been a few years younger, and single, I would have happily taken a punt at it...but now the risks seems to outweigh the potential benefits...

A lot also depends on what what you perceive the pros and cons to be.

Whether you're using the move to advance a career, get financial gain, or simply taking the opportunity to live in another country that many others don't get the chance to do.

Although the standard of living may be a bit lower than what you are used to, the life experience and adventure may be worth it.... but maybe not...
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Old 28.11.2012, 22:19
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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Hello Everybody,

I am employed in London by a large IT consultancy and I have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Zurich.
I work as lead architect in the BPM and Enterprise Architecture space and have a package of around £ 110k (base + car allowance + pension).
I don't speak german, although I am keen of learning it should I move.
After a fair amount of research (a lot of it in this forum!) it seems to me that to have an equivalent purchasing power in Zurich it would make sense to ask for CHF 220k.
On the other hand my company has made it clear that they could not offer any more than 170-180K.
I would love to live in Switzerland, however I am starting to think that there might be less opportunities on the top end the market, maybe because of the fact that the market is much smaller than in the UK.
Also, I wonder how much my limited knwoledge of German would hinder future carreer developments...
Do you think this is a fair assessment? Or have I just made wrong assumptions in "transalting" my salary?

Thanks!!
About "lead architect in the BPM and Enterprise Architecture space and have a package of around £ 110k (base + car allowance + pension)."
Not offer any more than 170-180KCHF; it is an opportunity to live in another country & widen your horizons. But at this rate you will not be any better off than in UK.
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Old 28.11.2012, 23:48
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

If your sole aim in life is to earn as much as possible, stay in London on your 110K.

But if I was offered 180K CHF + a few benefits to move to Switzerland, I would do it in a heartbeat.

That is still an excellent salary, and your quality of life would probably be greatly improved.

So if I were you, I would do it. But I'm not you, so.....?
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Old 28.11.2012, 23:59
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

stay in london......
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:02
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

anyway. needless to say, with the numbers presented, you wont be moving here for the money. so the question is: what are you moving here for?
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:13
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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anyway. needless to say, with the numbers presented, you wont be moving here for the money. so the question is: what are you moving here for?
agree .....far to many pommie whingers here
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:20
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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agree .....far to many pommie whingers here
It is an English Forum after all, perhaps you want to recommend www.i-am-retard-have-not-aussy.com ?
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:27
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

if I understand correctly you are assuming I am australian......thanks....but but if you want to learn then perhaps you should listen to someone who has been here for longer than you have probably lived.....I am too old a cat to be ed by kittens.....
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:30
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

The founder of Englishforum was Australian.
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:42
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Re: Top end of IT market - my experience of London vs Zurich

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I am 40, married. I expect that for my wife would be really difficult to find a job. Had I been a few years younger, and single, I would have happily taken a punt at it...but now the risks seems to outweigh the potential benefits...
Indeed, my own husband who dragged me to Switzerland and made a salary slightly higher than what you were quoted was not enough to make me a happy kept woman in the way in which I expected such high salaries and low taxes should. Sure, Zurich is chav-free but not all trade-offs are created equal in the expat game.
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