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Old 05.01.2015, 13:37
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Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

A usual story I guess.

I start my new job in Basel at the beginning of November and persuaded my girlfriend to move over here with me, we knew it wouldn't all be simple but finding her a job is more taxing than anything else right now.

Before we left Manchester she'd just graduated with a degree in Business, Management and Russian, she's originally from Poland and has already organised an L Permit for Switzerland.

She really wants to work in an office environmnt either in an Admin, Secretarial or PA style role and her true dream would be making use of her language skills, she's fluent in English, Polish and Russian and is currently learning German.

We've not had a single positive response so far so I thought I'd come here for suggestions on how to make her more attractive to potential employers.

Things we're keen to eplore include:
  • Voluntary or internship placements for experience. - Where do we find out about this?
  • Distance learning or other courses to increase her skillset (Do emplyers value this type of thing)
  • Recruitment agencies that would deal with Non German speaking people.

Basically, we're just after any advice we can get to help her out.
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Old 05.01.2015, 14:10
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

If I would have her skills, I would set up my own business in either giving private language lessons to students/adults and/or combine it with being a translator (books, documents, websites) etc.

My wife has the same language skills (Dutch, Russian, Lithuanian, English) but lacks French and German for time being so she is pretty realistic about how difficult getting a job here is. You are only here for two months though so unless it is causing you financial or relationship difficulties, I should not get nervous about it.

Good luck.
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Old 05.01.2015, 15:32
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

Speak with Kelly services
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Old 05.01.2015, 20:53
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

DSM in Kaiseraugst (10km east of Basel connected by train takes 15mins from SBB) has just (in the last month) moved all its Human Resource (HR/personnel) operations to Poland. They have been re-structuring for the last year.

Maybe they would be interested in an admin person who could liaise with Poland? The working language in the company is English. They are a dutch company that moved into Switzerland when Roche sold their vitamin business to them. Head office is in Holland.
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Old 05.01.2015, 20:58
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

One option might be to do a course to teach English (or whichever language) as a foreign language to adults. My wife did this for a while. It's not much of a money spinner, but it's very portable!
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Old 05.01.2015, 21:23
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

Sell the Russian and Polish. What about a Russia/Poland Country Desk?
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Old 05.01.2015, 22:01
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

Most positions that require Russian language skills also seem to require (at least) a KV/banking apprenticeship.
And they usually require German, too.
As do most retail jobs (which I know women from Eastern Europe who have studied do detest...)
So, she has to come to speed with German.

I'm not sure how easy or practical that is, doing coursework only and listening to http://www.dw.de the whole day.
Do you speak German?

If she's young enough (and has the qualifications, disposition), she could always study computer science...
Technical enough so that you don't need to be native speaker, (courses are in English, I just realized) but still mostly German speakers around you all day.
Cost is 850 per semester...
I mention that because I read a story somewhere about a Swiss guy who went to Moscow to study and met a girl there etc. Subsequently, she went to Bern for six months to study while he stayed in Moscow. When he returned to Bern too, six months later, not only did she speak almost fluent German, she had already acquired the local dialect...


I've checked the "non-profit" jobs on http://www.ggg-benevol.ch/index.php?id=48

and it looks like most require you to already be able to speak German.

Incidentally, there's this open position:
http://www.ggg-benevol.ch/index.php?...show&back=list

that almost looks like it's your wife looking for a conversation-partner ;-)
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Old 05.01.2015, 22:07
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

How did your girlfriend manage to organise an L Permit for Switzerland without a job?

Here is a list of permits and requirements; from Geneva but should also be valid for Basel
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Old 05.01.2015, 22:11
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

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How did your girlfriend manage to organise an L Permit for Switzerland without a job?

Here is a list of permits and requirements; from Geneva but should also be valid for Basel
She is an EU citizen and probably has an L permit as a job seeker.
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Old 05.01.2015, 22:18
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

Picture needed
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Old 06.01.2015, 13:27
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

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If I would have her skills, I would set up my own business in either giving private language lessons to students/adults and/or combine it with being a translator (books, documents, websites) etc.

My wife has the same language skills (Dutch, Russian, Lithuanian, English) but lacks French and German for time being so she is pretty realistic about how difficult getting a job here is.
I suggested she looks at freelancing but she's pretty focused on getting a full time job and getting her career started, she's done plenty of temp work in the past and now she's graduated she wants to make use of her degree.

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You are only here for two months though so unless it is causing you financial or relationship difficulties, I should not get nervous about it.
Unfortunately it's causing her a lot of stress, 2 months of applications an not a single positive response.

Is there anywhere that could help her out with this? Maybe review her CV, point her in the right direction for job searching?

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Speak with Kelly services
We talked to them early on but they couldn't help her, again, might need her CV reviewing and straightening up.

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DSM in Kaiseraugst (10km east of Basel connected by train takes 15mins from SBB) has just (in the last month) moved all its Human Resource (HR/personnel) operations to Poland. They have been re-structuring for the last year.

Maybe they would be interested in an admin person who could liaise with Poland?
I've passed this on to her, thanks.

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Sell the Russian and Polish. What about a Russia/Poland Country Desk?
What's a "Russia/Poland Country Desk"?

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Most positions that require Russian language skills also seem to require (at least) a KV/banking apprenticeship.
She'd love to get into an apprenticeship but we have no clue where to start looking, any advice?

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If she's young enough (and has the qualifications, disposition), she could always study computer science...
Technical enough so that you don't need to be native speaker, (courses are in English, I just realized) but still mostly German speakers around you all day.
Cost is 850 per semester...
We looked at getting her onto a Masters course at Basel uni but she missed the application date by a few days and the next intake isn't until the end of the summer.

She'd be keen to keep learning (Comp Sci isn't for her) to improve her skills but it's the challenge of finding something that's valuable.
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Old 06.01.2015, 14:56
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

PM me and I'll take a look at her CV.
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Old 06.01.2015, 15:10
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

What about this one ….http://www.jobs.ch/de/job.php?iid=6190139/
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Old 06.01.2015, 15:30
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

Thanks Annie, I've sent you a PM.

She saw that one but unfortunately it's a bit too far from Basel to commute even if we tried living in the Middle.
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Old 06.01.2015, 15:46
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

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Thanks Annie, I've sent you a PM.



She saw that one but unfortunately it's a bit too far from Basel to commute even if we tried living in the Middle.
I think you might struggle to find Russian speaking work in Basel.

In winter there is lots of demand for Russian speakers in the ski areas, probably in Geneva too. High end retail companies (watches, jewellery), banks, cheese producers (I read that Switzerland exports a lot of cheese to Russia) …. but none of these are likely to be based in Basel. She may need to commute. Basel to Rotkreuz is only 1.5 hrs on the train…. if you lived in-between, you shouldn't have more than a 1 hour commute.

Last edited by Island Monkey; 06.01.2015 at 16:54.
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Old 06.01.2015, 15:46
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

She can join PWG Basel which has a job hunt support group. They have different workshops for job seekers.
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Old 07.01.2015, 09:05
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

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She can join PWG Basel which has a job hunt support group. They have different workshops for job seekers.
Thanks, I'll point her in that direction, it would do her some good to get out and start networking instead of being stuck at home all day.
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Old 07.01.2015, 09:17
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

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...Unfortunately it's causing her a lot of stress, 2 months of applications an not a single positive response...
The average time for job hunting in Switzerland is 6 months. So, your gf should take it easy, while keep preparing the necessary skills and qualifications
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Old 07.01.2015, 09:22
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

This may sound harsh, but are you sure you want to bring her if she hasn't got a job? I've no personal experience but there are many threads on here about bored, unhappy and depressed other halves who have come over to Switzerland and been unable to find a job. Settling in a new country is difficult enough without having to deal with that.

It sounds like she's not long out of Uni so right at the beginning of her career. Nothing against secretaries or assistants, but surely her education takes her a little beyond that and she wouldn't be fulfilled doing such a job? Maybe it would be better to get a year or two's experience in the UK which would make her eventually more employable here. She can keep on applying in the meantime from the UK and there are plenty of flights back and forth.
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Old 07.01.2015, 10:36
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Re: Basel: Ideas for my unemployed girlfriend

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The average time for job hunting in Switzerland is 6 months. So, your gf should take it easy, while keep preparing the necessary skills and qualifications
I'll let you tell her that, she almost killed me last time I tried

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This may sound harsh, but are you sure you want to bring her if she hasn't got a job?
It's a bit late for that, she's been here a couple of months. We both talked about the idea of a long distance relationship and agreed it wasn't something that would work for either of us.
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