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Old 08.01.2015, 06:55
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English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

Leaving the money and the scenic aspect apart, would like to have a few thoughts on the employment aspect

for an IT non-EU guy, I keep hearing that USA is a land of opportunity. Switzerland also has a lot of jobs but you dont qualify for 70% of them because of the language (though Swiss are rarely seen in the IT field, Austrians and Germans make up for the vacancies and have a huge advantage due to the lingo).

can someone share their experiences in this regard. where woudl one want to focus their energy to immigrate in the current situation ? US or CH ? I personally (though did get a couple of offers ..) felt employment here is more of a hassle while far less qualified acquaintances of mine seem to be doing well in the US (though they earn a bit less .. but i think as you grow older .. its a job you care more about than how much it pays no? )

Thx
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Old 08.01.2015, 11:13
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

No one can answer that for you. US is a shithole the way I see it but what you and me are looking for in life might be completely different.

As a non-EU in CH though you will always be feeling like an outsider. If that bothers you too much don't tolerate it.

Why only the US though? You have lots of other Europeans countries for IT, like the UK etc
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Old 08.01.2015, 21:04
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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where woudl one want to focus their energy to immigrate in the current situation ? US or CH ?
It all depends, do you want to work to live or live to work.... if the first then Europe, if the latter then the US....
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Old 08.01.2015, 21:06
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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It all depends, do you want to work to live or live to work.... if the first then Europe, if the latter then the US....
Clearly, you can tell by the friendly, happy faces you see every morning on the S-Bahn.
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Old 08.01.2015, 21:56
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

if you are young, you will work harder and learn more in the US, which is experience that will help you later on just about anywhere you may want to live. the demand for IT in places like San Francisco, for example, is ridiculous right now, and San Francisco is not at all like whatever people might think they know about the US.
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Old 09.01.2015, 00:37
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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if you are young, you will work harder and learn more in the US, which is experience that will help you later on just about anywhere you may want to live. the demand for IT in places like San Francisco, for example, is ridiculous right now, and San Francisco is not at all like whatever people might think they know about the US.
While this is true, I think one of the things that Switzerland and the US have in common is the difficulty in obtaining a work permit. Don't get me wrong, the systems are different, each with their own ins, outs and Catch-22s, but the politics of either country's quota system adds a number of difficulties to circumnavigate. Neither country's system seems particularly straightforward or transparent, particularly if you are from outside the EU/Western Anglophone sphere of influence. But in both cases the recommendation/requirement is letting the potential employer do much of the initial paperwork of applying for a work visa for you.

Perhaps casting a wider net and not restricting yourself to those two countries would be wise?
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Old 09.01.2015, 10:37
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

So my experience is the following : You apply to a lot of jobs where you are definetely qualified (Infact - not to brag but i do have good qualifications to do the jobs to which i have applied) . You receive responses like your qualificatiosn dont match our requirements or we found better candidates which is ridiculous (i just assume they just give the fit factor so much priority over skills ) . After a while you could tend to question yourself whether you are really capable of doing the job and try to digress from your core competence :-) and try to start learning the language (would love to and also can speak pretty ok, but its a long process and one cannot get fluent in a year or two with a busy work schedule going on) .... So somehow I feel things are biased around here often . I have never worked in the US but the feedback there is skill takes precedence over the 'fit factor' and the best man wins ... (again , I have not seen or worked in the US )
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Old 09.01.2015, 10:40
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

Things ARE biased here, you don't just think it. I think it's obvious everywhere, even the laws themselves are of that nature.

That said, if you DO get a job here the quality of life is unparallel. But as a non-EU it is harder.
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Old 09.01.2015, 10:48
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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Clearly, you can tell by the friendly, happy faces you see every morning on the S-Bahn.
Not much change in those expressions heading the other direction at the end of the day...

Do consider, particularly in the US, the huge difference in employment conditions (2 weeks holiday after ...10 years seniority if one is lucky)) just to name one...but there are other countries where you may come closer to "European" terms minus the CH rigidity that not everyone copes with.
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Old 09.01.2015, 11:03
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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for an IT non-EU guy, I keep hearing that USA is a land of opportunity.
Let me get straight to the point: You are not "non-EU", you are Indian. The perception that the US is the land of milk and honey is something very deeply in Indian culture as you had so many generations of engineers out of which many found good jobs there... In Europe had people the same idea of the US a century back.

A very long story very short: If you are the absolute high-flying "technopreneur" and you have the next best thing since facebook is the Silicon Valley probably the coolest place on the planet. If you are more of the type of guy that could come out of "the IT crowd" will you probably live more comfortably in Switzerland than in the US as the average guy in my eyes can afford a better life in CH. If you are somewhere in between do you have to decide on your own which extreme is closer to you ;-)
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Old 09.01.2015, 11:07
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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So my experience is the following : You apply to a lot of jobs where you are definetely qualified (Infact - not to brag but i do have good qualifications to do the jobs to which i have applied) . You receive responses like your qualificatiosn dont match our requirements or we found better candidates which is ridiculous (i just assume they just give the fit factor so much priority over skills ) . After a while you could tend to question yourself whether you are really capable of doing the job and try to digress from your core competence :-) and try to start learning the language (would love to and also can speak pretty ok, but its a long process and one cannot get fluent in a year or two with a busy work schedule going on) .... So somehow I feel things are biased around here often . I have never worked in the US but the feedback there is skill takes precedence over the 'fit factor' and the best man wins ... (again , I have not seen or worked in the US )
That is the way things are here. If you are non-EU you just have to accept that fact that no matter how 'awesome' you are, an equally or less qualified Swiss or EU candidate may be picked (even if you have already a full work permit).

I think it is great that a country protects its citizens. If you migrate here you just have to swallow your pride and accept that 'fit' is more than than just qualifications and experience. Language is a key factor. If you cannot connect with the rest of the team in their native language then you are not the best qualified person for the position. In any case you sound like you are doing well and language will soon no longer be an issue
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Old 09.01.2015, 12:08
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

I am a nonEU from a developing country working in a technical field, not IT, but very similar. I think the case of myself could be a worth-mentioning reference for you.

I personally had luck to find a job here a few years ago. Back then I was actually looking for job worldwide and happened to get an offer here. Without having too much idea about how complicate the paperwork could be in this country, I moved to here smoothly without any trouble about permit and stuff, despite of my nationality. Then I found it is a great place to live and gradually had all my family settled down. (Well my German is sufficient for working proficiency so the language barrier might not be that critical in my case)

Ironically, while many folks are desperately looking for their first job here, I am struggling for my second one. After 7+ years of serving for my current employer, I felt some bottleneck for my career development and started to think of looking for a new job. I think such thought is normal in the career path. But then I realize it is not easy. For many industries (of course not all), the market is so small in this country and there is very little amount number of companies countrywide spread in different language-speaking regions (my French/Italian/Romansh knowledge is zero), and most of them are not hiring. So the opportunity is already very limited. Furthermore, each company is also very small-scaled, focusing on a very specific area of the business, which means you probably have to start from junior again even if you are very experienced in your previous company, and cannot expect an apparent salary increase or promotion in the position. In such cases, switching job doesn’t make too much sense unless you really hate your previous employer/business or for some specific private reasons.

I know this situation is not true for all business, but most of the people I know in this country, who are in various business, are not mobile in terms of employment. They all serve very long in the same company, and tell me the chance of finding a new job is minor.

I myself am not in a business of archaeology or Hebrew literature. In fact, the industry I am working in is booming very rapidly worldwide in the past years and I also continuously messaged by headhunters offering me interesting opportunities in many other European countries. Yet I don’t see too much activities going on in this country. Many companies are reluctant/conservative of changes or innovations. Plus, being small scaled, they are very result-oriented and not very much interested in (or cannot afford) research.

At an age of mid 30s, I think it is a critical timing for the career path. If my whole family were not here, I would seriously considering moving away from Switzerland. Because of the family reason, I have to sacrifice and will probably end up doing the same thing in the same company for the next 20+ years.

Well, I know I should have nothing to complain. We have admirable salary, fantastic nature, nice people, stable society etc. in Switzerland. But I am still wondering: Is Switzerland the right place to develop a career? Maybe for certain business yes, but in general I have high doubt about it, and would like to hear the opinion from others as well.
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Old 09.01.2015, 13:25
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

Nice post and POV.

I guess for IT (programming in particular) it's different as there's less demands to know german/french etc as good programmers are in short supply.

It's hard and takes time but not impossible and opportunities are available. I think an already experienced professional is easier to find something than a graduate though.
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Old 09.01.2015, 14:55
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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I am a nonEU from a developing country working in a technical field, not IT, but very similar. I think the case of myself could be a worth-mentioning reference for you.

I personally had luck to find a job here a few years ago. Back then I was actually looking for job worldwide and happened to get an offer here. Without having too much idea about how complicate the paperwork could be in this country, I moved to here smoothly without any trouble about permit and stuff, despite of my nationality. Then I found it is a great place to live and gradually had all my family settled down. (Well my German is sufficient for working proficiency so the language barrier might not be that critical in my case)

Ironically, while many folks are desperately looking for their first job here, I am struggling for my second one. After 7+ years of serving for my current employer, I felt some bottleneck for my career development and started to think of looking for a new job. I think such thought is normal in the career path. But then I realize it is not easy. For many industries (of course not all), the market is so small in this country and there is very little amount number of companies countrywide spread in different language-speaking regions (my French/Italian/Romansh knowledge is zero), and most of them are not hiring. So the opportunity is already very limited. Furthermore, each company is also very small-scaled, focusing on a very specific area of the business, which means you probably have to start from junior again even if you are very experienced in your previous company, and cannot expect an apparent salary increase or promotion in the position. In such cases, switching job doesn’t make too much sense unless you really hate your previous employer/business or for some specific private reasons.

I know this situation is not true for all business, but most of the people I know in this country, who are in various business, are not mobile in terms of employment. They all serve very long in the same company, and tell me the chance of finding a new job is minor.

I myself am not in a business of archaeology or Hebrew literature. In fact, the industry I am working in is booming very rapidly worldwide in the past years and I also continuously messaged by headhunters offering me interesting opportunities in many other European countries. Yet I don’t see too much activities going on in this country. Many companies are reluctant/conservative of changes or innovations. Plus, being small scaled, they are very result-oriented and not very much interested in (or cannot afford) research.

At an age of mid 30s, I think it is a critical timing for the career path. If my whole family were not here, I would seriously considering moving away from Switzerland. Because of the family reason, I have to sacrifice and will probably end up doing the same thing in the same company for the next 20+ years.

Well, I know I should have nothing to complain. We have admirable salary, fantastic nature, nice people, stable society etc. in Switzerland. But I am still wondering: Is Switzerland the right place to develop a career? Maybe for certain business yes, but in general I have high doubt about it, and would like to hear the opinion from others as well.
Are you, me ?
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Old 09.01.2015, 16:49
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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If you migrate here you just have to swallow your pride and accept that 'fit' is more than than just qualifications and experience. Language is a key factor. If you cannot connect with the rest of the team in their native language then you are not the best qualified person for the position.
Well put .. ! but is that good for one's morale / career though ? If someone is strugggling to overcome these issues, should he fight it out or choose a fair ground to fight on - thats why I was comparing with US .. not more about working conditions / beauty / money etc ? Also its not like people here dont speak English .. almost everybody does. Hell, almost all the IT slots are filled by Germans with Swiss managers ( I for sure know that Swiss dont like Germans very much for this very reason - but still they consider High-German which they consider a foreign language as a better alternative to English)... Same happens in the French part. The prefer someone coming from Paris to someone on the other side of the rosti graben though the French companies are more international and English is more used there.

But i must be blinded as i have not seen much of other departments outside IT
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Old 09.01.2015, 17:45
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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That is the way things are here. If you are non-EU you just have to accept that fact that no matter how 'awesome' you are, an equally or less qualified Swiss or EU candidate may be picked (even if you have already a full work permit).
You also need the right attitude !
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Old 10.01.2015, 10:36
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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Leaving the money and the scenic aspect apart, would like to have a few thoughts on the employment aspect

for an IT non-EU guy, I keep hearing that USA is a land of opportunity. Switzerland also has a lot of jobs but you dont qualify for 70% of them because of the language (though Swiss are rarely seen in the IT field, Austrians and Germans make up for the vacancies and have a huge advantage due to the lingo).

can someone share their experiences in this regard. where woudl one want to focus their energy to immigrate in the current situation ? US or CH ? I personally (though did get a couple of offers ..) felt employment here is more of a hassle while far less qualified acquaintances of mine seem to be doing well in the US (though they earn a bit less .. but i think as you grow older .. its a job you care more about than how much it pays no? )



And back to the top, lots of Indian and Pakistani IT specialists work at UBS in Glattbrugg
Thx



Lots of Swiss work in the IT field, so that your remark is rather bizarrre.. As the Austrian economy is clearly flourishing, the number of OE immigrants has its limits. Lots of German immigrants were and are from former East Germany, and whether somebody from Rostock emigrates to Munich or to Zürich is no longer such a big difference.Those who will Profit from the strengthening German economy of course are other Europeans
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Old 10.01.2015, 18:51
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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You also need the right attitude !
Sorry today only but I don't feed trolls.

Bye

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Old 10.01.2015, 19:56
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

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Clearly, you can tell by the friendly, happy faces you see every morning on the S-Bahn.
Because in America, everyone loves to commute to work! Why, we all held hands and sang as we cheerfully rode the very efficient public transport system to our high paying jobs. True story.
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Old 10.01.2015, 20:13
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Re: English Speaker : US vs Switzerland

Someone here mentioned that you are Indian.

I lived near Microsoft's world headquarters (near Seattle, Washington -- in Redmond to be exact) for six years, and I know for a fact that Microsoft employed/employs a LOT of Indians there. And everyone I've ever known to work for Microsoft had usually nothing but good things to say about it as an employer (free childcare, etc.).

So if you really do have some good qualifications, you might want to consider checking for openings there. The Seattle/Redmond area is a really great place to live (very diverse, and most of the people are very laid-back and open-minded). The only negative thing I can even think of about that area is the weather (not much Sun at all from October through March).
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