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Too risky 3 50.00%
Just do it 3 50.00%
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  #1  
Old 22.08.2015, 17:40
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Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

Hi,

Is it too risky to quit my job to move to Geneva?

Info:
- Age = 34
- Job interest = Senior Accountant
- Citizenship = EU/CDN
- Experience = financial markets = 5 yrs; accounting = 4 yrs
- Education = finance and accounting
- Swiss address
- No rent expense. Just food + going out/networking (approximatively CHF 1,000/month).
- Obviously no job permit yet
- Bilingual (French and English); Written French not top shape (have always worked writing reports in English).
- Did an internship in Geneva almost 10 years ago
- Network: all of my family works in Geneva (French and Swiss)
- Finances: enough for a few years if I have no rent; able to finance further education if I don't find a job

Plan while searching for jobs:
- Complete European accounting designations on a full-time basis.

Reasons:
- Move closer to family (not in for the big bucks).
- Will be more difficult to make a move as I get older.
- More than Canada, lots of the job opportunities come through references and who you know, so it's important to be on the ground vs. applying from abroad.

Concerns:
- Not finding a job and the effect on my career.

I would love to hear peoples comments/experiences.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 22.08.2015, 17:42
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

Maybe a good idea would be to have a rating system.

What do you think will be my success in finding a position in my field (accounting)?

10 being the highest and 0 no chance.
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  #3  
Old 22.08.2015, 18:04
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

Do you have a French passport to travel with? If not, then no because you'd be seen as a non-EU national and that means you have to have a pre-approved job offer before you can move here.
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  #4  
Old 22.08.2015, 19:55
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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Do you have a French passport to travel with? If not, then no because you'd be seen as a non-EU national and that means you have to have a pre-approved job offer before you can move here.
I'll have my French passport once I make the move.
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  #5  
Old 22.08.2015, 20:29
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

If I were you I'd move to just over the border from Geneva, in France. No permit issues to start with as you are a French National and less costs whilst you look for a job. Once you find a job, you can either get a cross-border permit or move to Geneva.
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  #6  
Old 22.08.2015, 22:08
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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If I were you I'd move to just over the border from Geneva, in France. No permit issues to start with as you are a French National and less costs whilst you look for a job. Once you find a job, you can either get a cross-border permit or move to Geneva.
This is another possibility, but again you need a French passport to be able to live in France without having a job first. If you enter on your Canadian passport you'll be considered a non-EU national and would be limited to 3 months as a tourist only, same as in Switzerland. Employers here have to go through an expensive and time consuming process to be able to hire you.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html

Swiss/EU nationals have to come first when hiring. Frankly, the financial sector has been contracting here the last few years and there are likely to be plenty of Swiss/EU's for employers to choose from.

If, on the other hand, you arrive on your French passport you'll be an EU national and have no restrictions on finding a job here.

So, get a French passport before you make the move, not after, and look at moving to France initially for easy access with likely cheaper expenses while you job hunt.
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  #7  
Old 22.08.2015, 22:42
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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This is another possibility, but again you need a French passport to be able to live in France without having a job first. If you enter on your Canadian passport you'll be considered a non-EU national and would be limited to 3 months as a tourist only, same as in Switzerland. Employers here have to go through an expensive and time consuming process to be able to hire you.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html

Swiss/EU nationals have to come first when hiring. Frankly, the financial sector has been contracting here the last few years and there are likely to be plenty of Swiss/EU's for employers to choose from.

If, on the other hand, you arrive on your French passport you'll be an EU national and have no restrictions on finding a job here.

So, get a French passport before you make the move, not after, and look at moving to France initially for easy access with likely cheaper expenses while you job hunt.
Thanks, I have the option to stay with family in both France and Switzerland. When I met with a recruiter this summer, he said it's better to use a Swiss address on the CV for salary negotiation purposes.

I'll wait to get my French passport before moving.

Is there anything I should do to increase my chances?

I've already looked up all the networking events in GE, so I'm ready to mingle.

Are there any restaurants/clubs/lounges where I should hangout in order to meet business people?

Thanks
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  #8  
Old 22.08.2015, 23:39
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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Thanks, I have the option to stay with family in both France and Switzerland. When I met with a recruiter this summer, he said it's better to use a Swiss address on the CV for salary negotiation purposes.

I'll wait to get my French passport before moving.

Is there anything I should do to increase my chances?
....
Thanks
Yes, I'd agree that, for salary purposes, it'd be good to have a Swiss address. But you cannot have this, officially, unless you are resident (registered as such) here. You cannot simply register, just like that, based on no work, if you are Canadian. Even if you are French by the time you come to Europe, you cannot simply live here without work unless you have your own funds. See "Conditions for obtaining a short term residence Permit" at https://www.ch.ch/en/working-switzerland-eu-efta/. How much money is considered sufficient... that I don't know, though I think it has been discussed on other threads in this Forum.

The single most important factor, in my opinion, that you could do before you leave home, is to substantially improve your command of French. Practice your grammar, learn vocabulary, find people of French mother-tongue with whom you can practice conversation AND reading and writing. Work hard and make the shift from school French to easy fluency and a command of business language.

And read Living and Working in Switzerland (see other threads on this).
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  #9  
Old 22.08.2015, 23:44
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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The single most important factor, in my opinion, that you could do before you leave home, is to substantially improve your command of French. Practice your grammar, learn vocabulary, find people of French mother-tongue with whom you can practice conversation AND reading and writing. Work hard and make the shift from school French to easy fluency and a command of business language.
From his Bio, he is bilingual French/English ... I'm assuming French Canadian?
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  #10  
Old 22.08.2015, 23:53
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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From his Bio, he is bilingual French/English ... I'm assuming French Canadian?
Yes, that's right. Bilingual, and...
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Written French not top shape (have always worked writing reports in English).
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  #11  
Old 22.08.2015, 23:54
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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From his Bio, he is bilingual French/English ... I'm assuming French Canadian?
Yes I'm French CDN. Conversation is perfect, just haven't written any reports in French for 10 years.

I'll sign up and take grammar courses. Good point. Thanks
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Old 22.08.2015, 23:57
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

I also plan on learning German once I complete my Euro accounting designation.

I was told that German is a must for higher level positions, and it's also important for myself in order to integrate.
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Old 23.08.2015, 16:40
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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This is another possibility, but again you need a French passport to be able to live in France without having a job first. If you enter on your Canadian passport you'll be considered a non-EU national and would be limited to 3 months as a tourist only, same as in Switzerland. Employers here have to go through an expensive and time consuming process to be able to hire you.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html

Swiss/EU nationals have to come first when hiring. Frankly, the financial sector has been contracting here the last few years and there are likely to be plenty of Swiss/EU's for employers to choose from.

If, on the other hand, you arrive on your French passport you'll be an EU national and have no restrictions on finding a job here.

So, get a French passport before you make the move, not after, and look at moving to France initially for easy access with likely cheaper expenses while you job hunt.
If he is going to apply for French citizenship in France, I am 90% sure he will be allowed to stay longer than 3 months in France.
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  #14  
Old 23.08.2015, 18:16
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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If he is going to apply for French citizenship in France, I am 90% sure he will be allowed to stay longer than 3 months in France.
He already has the citizenship so doesn't need to apply for that, but if he enters on a Canadian passport how is border control going to know that he's French? Because he tells them so? That'll go down like a lead brick. Get the French passport and there's no problem in travelling anywhere in Europe/Schengen. It would also save on the hassle of having to get a Type D visa to enter Switzerland/Schengen long term if he does land a job as a Canadian citizen. As a French national you don't need one.
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Old 23.08.2015, 18:43
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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This is another possibility, but again you need a French passport to be able to live in France without having a job first. If you enter on your Canadian passport you'll be considered a non-EU national and would be limited to 3 months as a tourist only, same as in Switzerland.
No, if he's a French citizen, he's a French citizen, passport or not.

Same for Swiss citizens in Switzerland.

My daughter has a US passport, and Canadian and Swiss citizenship.

She lived in CH for 21+ years without a Swiss passport.

Hell, some people live here their entire lives without one (does Wolli have one?)

It doesn't matter which passport he enters with, if he is EU, he is EU.

Back when I still had US citizenship, I ALWAYS entered (and left) the EU with my US passport, my wife with her Canadian, despite both of US having Swiss passports as well.

Tom
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Old 23.08.2015, 19:00
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

I would never come to Switzerland without a job.

Apply for jobs, do phone interview, come for interview, get contract.

This process can take between 2 - 18 months.

I have done it 5 times so far.
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Old 23.08.2015, 19:16
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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No, if he's a French citizen, he's a French citizen, passport or not.

Same for Swiss citizens in Switzerland.

My daughter has a US passport, and Canadian and Swiss citizenship.

She lived in CH for 21+ years without a Swiss passport.

Hell, some people live here their entire lives without one (does Wolli have one?)

It doesn't matter which passport he enters with, if he is EU, he is EU.

Back when I still had US citizenship, I ALWAYS entered (and left) the EU with my US passport, my wife with her Canadian, despite both of US having Swiss passports as well.

Tom
OP walks up to the border guard at the EU's only desk in passport control and shows his Canadian passport.

Border guard: Excuse me sir, but this desk is only for EU nationals, you'll need to go and queue in the non-EU nationals line.

OP: But I'm French, I have French citizenship.

Border guard: Yeah right. You'll have to go and queue in the non-EU nationals line sir.

He'll find everything in Europe (travelling, getting a job, applying for a Swiss residence permit, etc) easier if he has a French passport to do it with. He's entitled to it so he may as well get one before he leaves and make things easier for himself. He'll get through the passport control quicker with an EU passport I would think.

I understand what you're saying Tom, but if he wants to move to France or Switzerland the passport is going to govern what the officials consider he is. And they're the ones who need to know he's French from the moment he arrives in France/Switzerland.

And yes, I was a British citizen in America who didn't have a British passport for 16 years. In fact the reason why I eventually got my British passport again (I'd had one, but let it lapse) was after we'd moved to Switzerland I was told on one of our trips back to the UK that I would lose the right to reside in the UK since as far as the border control knew I was an American only because that was the passport I was using.
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Old 23.08.2015, 21:47
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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- Age = 34
....
- No rent expense. Just food + going out/networking (approximatively CHF 1,000/month).
....
- Finances: enough for a few years if I have no rent; able to finance further education if I don't find a job

Concerns:
- Not finding a job and the effect on my career.
It seems to me that your financial situation, for the purposes of this venture, is really very good, given your savings and the help your relatives are ready to give you by providing you with rent-free accommodation. Plus a French passport. Taken together, that's an amazing start.

I think that it would be a great pity to stay in Canada dreaming of Switzerland without giving it a try.

Are you sure you really need to resign from your current job? Can you not take all your vacation (and if possible some extra, unpaid leave) and visit Switzerland to look for work or at least to establish contacts? That way, you wouldn't be burning your bridges.

I'd recommend doing all your online homework and trying to set up some appointments before you get here. Of course I don't necessarily mean job interviews - you'd be very lucky to land those right away! - but you could seek out and write to successful (senior, maybe older?) people in your profession, and ask to be allowed to vist them (during your Holiday in Switzerland) to ask them their advice. If you've read up about their companies, methods, etc., you may find that actually being in their offices asking some intelligent questions and for their guidance opens some doors.
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Old 23.08.2015, 22:01
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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I would never come to Switzerland without a job.

Apply for jobs, do phone interview, come for interview, get contract.

This process can take between 2 - 18 months.

I have done it 5 times so far.
Hi AlreadyPacked,

To fill in the gap in my CV, my plan was to complete my accounting designation on a full-time basis (1.5 years) and potentially an MBA (already admitted to a few places). However, if I find something I can always complete the designation part-time.

The feedback I got from accountants in Switzerland is to do a European certification.
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Old 23.08.2015, 22:19
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Re: Risks of quitting job to move the Geneva

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It seems to me that your financial situation, for the purposes of this venture, is really very good, given your savings and the help your relatives are ready to give you by providing you with rent-free accommodation. Plus a French passport. Taken together, that's an amazing start.

I think that it would be a great pity to stay in Canada dreaming of Switzerland without giving it a try.

Are you sure you really need to resign from your current job? Can you not take all your vacation (and if possible some extra, unpaid leave) and visit Switzerland to look for work or at least to establish contacts? That way, you wouldn't be burning your bridges.

I'd recommend doing all your online homework and trying to set up some appointments before you get here. Of course I don't necessarily mean job interviews - you'd be very lucky to land those right away! - but you could seek out and write to successful (senior, maybe older?) people in your profession, and ask to be allowed to vist them (during your Holiday in Switzerland) to ask them their advice. If you've read up about their companies, methods, etc., you may find that actually being in their offices asking some intelligent questions and for their guidance opens some doors.
Hi doropfiz,

I do have to resign. I tried to get an educational leave but there were already too many colleagues on maternity leave and thus too many temp people (70% of my colleague are women).

I did meet with a recruiter this summer while I was on vacation and he seemed very positive. I also renewed relationships and met with business people - maybe the opportunity will come in a different form.

I'll definitely have to ramp up the networking and sign up to the country club.
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