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  #21  
Old 07.04.2016, 20:21
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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I stopped reading at option 4...

Option 4!
Interesting. Any reasoning behind?
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  #22  
Old 07.04.2016, 20:48
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

Unfortunately I can't offer any advice, but...this thread made me smile then and it might be a good read because the OP has some very good tips for job seekers!
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  #23  
Old 07.04.2016, 22:17
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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I don't know if it is helpful, but I know exactly how you feel. I came (happily) as a 40 yo trailing spouse. In the US I had a very interesting and very demanding job that was equivalent with my husband's, but here I am merely a hausfrau with kids. I am also trying to figure out what to do next in a Switzerland with mediocre german skills. Some days I.just.want.to.go.home...

I wish you the best of luck. Networking is probably the best way to find a job when your experience is strong but just a little different than what hiring managers are looking for.
I did quite the opposite journey. I arrived unwillingly after my husband had done the weekly commuting thing btw Norway and Zug for a year, which almost killed me as I juggled a 2,5-year old (no wonder there is only one of him), a 100% position in a company with a project that wasn't doing so well and a dying father in law. Spent a year bitching about giving up my career for a chocolate box and looking for adverts in Norway so I could go back.

But then things settled, I discovered I wasn't "only" a finance gal, the Troll got to learn his mother tongue properly, then german and English, I started skiing again, took up hiking, learned German, got friends...and now I can't really see myself leaving.

But I'm starting to feel the housewife thing is a bit repetitive. And the working conditions are crap, to be frank. No sick days, no holidays (when the guys are on vacation I feel like I work overtime), no possible career progression... :roll eyes:

I've got plenty to do and there are too many hikes/ski stations/piano pieces/books waiting to really get bored, but it's time to get out and make myself useful in the big world again.

But as you said, my network sucks. And I'm really bad at selling myself, or anything else for that matter. But there is always EF, and just today I gathered loads of useful information.
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Old 07.04.2016, 22:27
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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Damn you quote button... And return key, apparently. I'm going in. Sans paragraphs... ClumsyMaman, Trollemoor - just an idea, possible a mad one - but does it have to be the "one" career? If you have diverse interests and transferable skills maybe the instructing, the blogging, the franchising would all combine quite nicely. Obviously by nicely I possibly mean in an initially frantic, exhausting, plate-spinning kind of a way but... It's all about finding the gap in the market isn't it? Identifying a need and supplying it. I work here but have two other (albeit ad hoc, kind of) roles two. Yes, I pay tax everywhere... Plus, as I've discovered, blogging is kind of fun.
No, it doesn't have to be the ONE career, and it doesn't have to be a CAREER with a big C either. I've done it, and it was super interesting, but one of the advantages of having been at home long enough to feel like a complete loser and get out of it is that i know I can be an interesting person without a fancy title as well.

I'm also lucky in the sense that we have enough money to manage so far, not extravagantly but enough to have an ok life and save a bit for rainy days. Anything I would add to that would go into extra saving, but we're not at the stage where I need to take any job to make ends meet. It can always happen, but so far I can afford to take a part-time yet interesting job, work for almost nothing to build my cv or spend time on retraining.

But one thing I'm not is an entrepreneur. In as much as I'd love to open a wine shop dedicated to Swiss wine or a Kapla Centre, I know I'm a really bad salesperson and I abhor most things about the sale process. Hence the ideas will remain ideas.

Blogging on the other hand is something I've been thinking about since last summer, if anything to tell the world that if it's possible for a fat 40-year old to hike around the Alps all by herself (without shedding one single pound!), anyone can do it. Those mountains were created for us to walk up there (or ski down, depending on the season), eat the cheese and drink the wine.
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Old 07.04.2016, 22:29
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

My wife was in a similar situation as you. She looked for a job for a very long time but didn't give up. She has applied for many jobs but in the end found one via her network.

Your network will be key in job hunting. If you look at it from a recruiter's or line manager's point of view, your CV is one of many. Here you have the disadvantage that you have a gap. A gap is a risk and a risk makes you go to the bottom of the list. This is the sad reality.

Via your network, there are people that know you and your qualities and don't look at the gap, giving you a much better chance.
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  #26  
Old 07.04.2016, 22:29
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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You seem to be highly skilled, so are in a good place to re-enter the market. I wouldn't call what you have on your CV a "gap". Many make a family break to focus on raising their children for 3-4 years here - I've known many skilled women who've returned to work. 40 is absolutely no problem, and you shouldn't even think about this.

If I were you I'd drop the "trailing spouse attitude" - you're a skilled employee who took time-out as a personal choice to raise your child - you've no special permit requirements (from what I understand).

I would not underestimate nor under-sell yourself.
Of course some compromise and flexibility will be needed, as a future employer needs to establish the confidence that you are still up to the job.

You can't really use my story, as it was now about 17 yrs ago - but after my family gap of 4 years I began in an energy trading company - they tested me by starting me on a pretty low wage for a trial period of 3 months - after 6 months my salary was more than doubled and I was promoted. I wonder if "try and hire" firms would be a good starting point?

The child-raising phase you can easily explain well in your covering letter.

Your main limitation might be the German, but there are plenty of companies out there with English as the working language, and you mention you have other languages.

Am not familiar with treasury, so don't know if you need German and / or Swiss specific certifications.

I agree with others here, that from your personality and communication skills you are very well placed to be able to do this.

Me, I was fretting about being over 50 and believing my career was at an end when I needed to move jobs a couple of months ago. In the meantime I had 3 offers and landed my dream job (that I've been waiting and working towards for 15 years) last month . In the meantime I went through a massive phase of self-doubt.

Sell yourself properly in your CV / cover-letter, and I'm sure you'll be fine. In the meantime I will also keep my ears open for possible openings. Good luck!!!

Edit: There are also several programs like this:

https://www.credit-suisse.com/ch/en/...l-returns.html

http://www.morganstanley.com/people-...n-to-work.html

http://www.theenglishshow.com/expat-...-back-business
Thank you so much, I wasn't aware of those programs!
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  #27  
Old 07.04.2016, 22:38
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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Love ya Trollemor, but TL;DR.

IMO the most important question is - what do you want to do work-wise? i.e. What will make you most happy?
Excellent question. I probably don't have enough of one life to do everything I'd like to do.

Ideally I'd like to find something within my field, although I've put to rest the "becoming CFO of big company" project. That train is gone and it's ok, lots of other trains are coming and going.

If I don't find anything within a reasonable time-frame (expat contract over in 9 months, that makes a nice deadline), I'd probably look into retraining. Someone had approached me for doing a Montessori teacher training (with job offer attached), I've also already been offered a ski instructor position (seriously!). Something will come my way if I'm creative.

I'm just afraid of getting lost in considering too many options at once, so today's brainstorming has actually helped me a lot in refocusing on my current career path before running around like a headless hen.
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  #28  
Old 07.04.2016, 22:55
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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Excellent question. I probably don't have enough of one life to do everything I'd like to do.

Ideally I'd like to find something within my field, although I've put to rest the "becoming CFO of big company" project. That train is gone and it's ok, lots of other trains are coming and going.

If I don't find anything within a reasonable time-frame (expat contract over in 9 months, that makes a nice deadline), I'd probably look into retraining. Someone had approached me for doing a Montessori teacher training (with job offer attached), I've also already been offered a ski instructor position (seriously!). Something will come my way if I'm creative.

I'm just afraid of getting lost in considering too many options at once, so today's brainstorming has actually helped me a lot in refocusing on my current career path before running around like a headless hen.
Not really understanding. Your preference is between being a chief executive of a major company or a qualified child minder. Would be great if you could clarify my miscomprehension?
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  #29  
Old 08.04.2016, 00:19
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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Not really understanding. Your preference is between being a chief executive of a major company or a qualified child minder. Would be great if you could clarify my miscomprehension?
Easy, having read/heard that nobody would touch my cv for a few years and having previously lived in a country where staying at home passed the end of your maternity leave is close to professional suicide, I felt my options were limited to say the least. The obvious inconvenience of listening to negative people, really. Have cleaned them away since, but the words tend to stay, don't they?

From the research I did today and all your helpful answers though, it seems things may not be as desperate as I feared. And frankly, while I could do a good job teaching ski part-time I'm not sure I'm fit to teach kids full-time in a class environment. Lawyers and bankers are easier to deal with than some of my son's friends.
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  #30  
Old 08.04.2016, 00:28
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

Beside stating the obvious as others did, tricky part in finding a job is also luck and precise timing. After you have updated your CV and tailored a cover letter, you keep on sending your applications as many as possible. Perseverance and discipline helps because eventually you will bang at the right door. Good luck and don't give up.
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Old 08.04.2016, 09:33
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

If it's any comfort you are definitely not alone...

In some ways, I think the more resourceful/skilled etc you are the harder you can fall. I liken it to holding a conversation in a language not your own: you know you have lots of good things to say but you're reduced to formalities or sentences of such simplicity you can't help but groan at what the other person must be thinking of you. At least that's how it's been for me.

In the end (not really the end, yet), reinvention is the key, I think. When we first arrived here I tried to get work in similar fields to those I'd been working in in Australia and the UK but really struggled because of the language, primarily, seeing as I will never be able to write as fluently in German as I can in English. Eventually I did find something but it was so soul destroying I stopped (because of nefarious employment practices etc). At the time I wasn't even allowed to be self-employed, but fortunately that changed not long after, and I was able to set up my own small business. I now do that and am also studying.

I'm a firm believer in multiple paths/careers, having done that for quite a few years before we came here, and think the only way to survive here as a trailing spouse/non-fluent speaker of the language/out-of-the-workforce for a while person/older person/mother/whatever-you-are, is to embrace this.

You could also think of this as a golden opportunity to really think about how you could use the skills/experience you already have in a way that brings you satisfaction. So a bit of combined wishful thinking and research, and see what you come up with.
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  #32  
Old 08.04.2016, 09:37
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

Thank you all for your comments. It's been very helpful both in terms of practical information (i.e. the banks' programs for women re-entering the workforce), critical questions that force me to reflect over my goals and strategy and cheering up. And now that it's out in the open, it will be more difficult to not do anything about it until it's too late.

I really appreciate you all taking time to write. Thanks. This was EF at its best and most supportive, I feel privileged.

P.S. When (not even saying if) I find a job, I'll let you know. Might even offer you all a drink, provided you come to Zürich to drink it with me.

Have a nice day everyone!

Last edited by Trollemor; 08.04.2016 at 09:37. Reason: Spelling
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  #33  
Old 08.04.2016, 09:48
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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  #34  
Old 08.04.2016, 10:05
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap



Always worked in a male dominated environment, can't say I've ever felt discriminated against or underpaid. Or yes, I felt discriminated against in Paris, but that's because I didn't come from a nice French family plus I hadn't done a prépa and gone to the right schools, not because I was a woman.

Was the only female under 50 in my last job. The only female, the only under 50. Had loads of fun with the funniest colleagues in the world, they had possibly more energy than I had (well, I had a toddler at home) and having a sense of humour sure helped while working on a project that everyone "knew" was going nowhere.
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Old 08.04.2016, 10:50
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

If the thread is too cheerful & encouraging, you can always go on LinkedIn & read elitist profiles of people who are qualified rocket scientists with 6,000 skills, who are outgoing, perfect at customer service, work well under pressure, are under 45, have the right permit, volunteer in 6 charities and are beautiful. (The rest are over 50, have the same skills & are "between jobs").

I have read "advice" like don't put a skill in typing or using Microsoft software nowadays as it is a given & everyone is expected to do that, don't admit that you are a SAHM, don't put experience not relevant to the career path (as though you have been sat on your arse doing nothing).
OK, took that out... but the only things left are about 10 lines on the CV, half of which is name & contact details.

You can also spend your day reading the highly entertaining job adverts which state they want Male or Female, a certain age, specific nationality, speaking Persian, HIV+ or with Aids... things I am sure you don't see in other countries.
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Old 08.04.2016, 11:24
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

As many other members have said, don't sell yourself short. Also, 40 is not an issue at all. If anything, it should be a selling point in terms of experience and at least 25 years working life left in you.


My experience... Took voluntary redundancy at 39 from the food production industry and chose to take 6 months away from the work place as it was the first break I'd had in 15 years.


Decided on a radical career change and got an interview for a hotel night receptionist at a motorway service area. Not brilliant money, but valuable experience so worth the application. When I got home from the interview, the Site Manager called to say he wanted to give me a split role which entailed being site manager for half of the week and holiday cover. It was a massive learning curve but probably the most fun I've had at work. Every night was totally different, I had a great team and was dealing with 4 police divisions, truck drivers, hotel guests, coach companies, etc on a daily basis.


The morning after my 40th birthday party, I was drunk asleep on the sofa when I got a call from a recruitment agency asking that I attend two interviews that afternoon, but managed to delay the interviews til the following day. For the life of me, I still don't remember ever lodging a C.V. with the agency in the first place. Anyway, I was offered both jobs and a 'bidding war' commenced with the agency accepting the higher wage on my behalf. And that was the beginning of a decade as a Business Travel Consultant, booking round the World itineraries for a number of household name companies and government bodies.


In two years, I went from packing crumpets to 'fam trips' from the U.K. to Hong Kong, staying in wonderful hotels, being wined and dined and all at the hospitality of the host. I never had a career plan and it all feels kind of accidental, but my work life did begin again at 40. The only things I had in my favour were a strong work ethic, I didn't have a day off sick in 8 years, and an eagerness to take on the next learning curve, no matter how steep.


With your C.V., education, discipline and eagerness to work, the World really is your oyster, probably moreso than when you were in your 20's. You need to accept that somewhere out there, there's a fantastic employer looking for you.
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Old 08.04.2016, 11:58
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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If the thread is too cheerful & encouraging, you can always go on LinkedIn & read elitist profiles of people who are qualified rocket scientists with 6,000 skills, who are outgoing, perfect at customer service, work well under pressure, are under 45, have the right permit, volunteer in 6 charities and are beautiful. (The rest are over 50, have the same skills & are "between jobs").

I have read "advice" like don't put a skill in typing or using Microsoft software nowadays as it is a given & everyone is expected to do that, don't admit that you are a SAHM, don't put experience not relevant to the career path (as though you have been sat on your arse doing nothing).
OK, took that out... but the only things left are about 10 lines on the CV, half of which is name & contact details.

You can also spend your day reading the highly entertaining job adverts which state they want Male or Female, a certain age, specific nationality, speaking Persian, HIV+ or with Aids... things I am sure you don't see in other countries.


Oh Neddy - put that stuff back in your CV. They are skills - your skills and valuable. And stop reading LinkedIn. It's FB for people who are so in love with work that they don't have time for FB.


I view those site like I view New Year's Eve. And bear in mind I'm married to a Glaswegian who LOVES New Year's Eve. Me, I can take it or leave it. And everyone - everyone - seems to worry that they're not having enough fun, or the "right" (!?) fun on this one night and suspect that everyone else is doing it differently and better.


I would argue that the majority want to be at home, with their shoes off and a glass or mug of something lovely, dozing in front of the TV.


I forgot where I was going with this.


Oh yeah, sod this "they". And on the bright side - you'll have a jam-packed, honest CV full of what makes you, you. And that is valuable.


I did not know I had that much positivity in me after 4 hours broken sleep... LR strikes again.


Have a good day.
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Old 08.04.2016, 12:18
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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Oh Neddy - put that stuff back in your CV. They are skills - your skills and valuable. And stop reading LinkedIn. It's FB for people who are so in love with work that they don't have time for FB.
Yup Neddy - you make really good posts - sure there is much more to you than what you've described.

Agree to avoid LinkedIn - I only use it to get background info. on difficult people at work .
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  #39  
Old 08.04.2016, 12:55
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

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Agree to avoid LinkedIn - I only use it to get background info. on difficult people at work .


I've heard an incredibly difficult and abusive client's LinkedIn profile used against her. Her favourite line was... "You cannot tell me anything about travel! I've worked in the travel industry all my life!"

At the end of one particularly offensive rant from her, where our Ops Manager had been asked to listen into the call, the client was told...
"According to your own LinkedIn profile, you're 26 and your sum travel industry experience is less that a year as cabin crew." Badda bing!
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Old 08.04.2016, 13:01
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Re: A zillionth thread about looking for a job after a gap

Just as additional info. here some links to the USG (University St. Gallen) program:

http://www.unisg.ch/appconfig/search...historyState=1

I did an (unrelated) program at the USG while working for Swiss Re a while ago. Was just then trying to build-up on my roots as a single Mom.

The qualification definitely changed my life, as the USG is seen as one of the best educational institutes world-wide.

Can recommend them, without doubt.
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