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Old 22.07.2015, 12:29
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Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Hi All,

I am new to this forum so let me give you a small intro.
I am an Indian currently residing/working in Singapore. I had been living in US for 8 years prior to my stint in Singapore. I am currently working as senior procurement manager for a leading manufacturing firm.
My wife has lived in Switzerland for an year. She was working there on deputation from her company in India. She keeps telling me how wonderful Switzerland is. So I have finally thought to give it a go and try my luck in landing a job in Switzerland.
Would like to get some inputs from people here regarding the following:
1. How easy/difficult is it for an non EU national to get a job offer there? Is it better to try for a job via job forums or headhunters or personal contacts?
None of us know German or french.
2. For my kind of work (procurement manager with 9 yrs experience, global exposure, currently managing 20 people) what is the pay scale?
3. Singapore is a very expensive city to live in. Similarly, what kind of cot of living should I expect there? My wifey lived there in 2008 and she says things might have changed from then.
4. I hope the work culture and nature people remain the same - she speaks every highly of that. Wonderful work life balance, very friendly people, people at every to the point at work but not much long hrs expected and respect personal space.
5. We have a son(2 yrs now) - how is the schooling system there? None of us know German or french . Hence how difficult will it be for him.

Please also do let me know about any other points that we would have to consider when trying for a job in Switzerland.

Thanks,
Wherenext.
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Old 22.07.2015, 12:51
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

1. Very. Priority is given to Swiss/EU nationals so you're last in the jobs queue. Criteria for employers being able to hire non-EU nationals is outlined here.

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

Honestly, I'm not sure that procurement is specialised enough to say that an employer couldn't find a Swiss/EU national instead.

5. Kids that young adapt very quickly when they start school - here that's at 4 years of age when they go to kindergarten. They pick up the language/s very quickly.

Needless to say that learning German and/or French may help your chances of landing a job, but it really depends on whether your skills are in demand here with no Swiss/EU nationals available. If there are plenty of them to choose from it simply isn't going to happen, sorry.
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Old 22.07.2015, 13:23
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Also, please note that most of the jobs in switzerland are in IT, banking, pharma and i think your skills does not fit these industries. you also said you work in manufacturing which i believe has also considerable jobs but they will all need good level of german (may be B2 or higher). it is important to note that without german language, you cannot get a job here.
as medea said, Non EUs have least priority when hiring for jobs, so you should bring some special skill that others cannot offer here. the number of work permits issued for non EUs is getting reduced every year. this year they cut them to half to what was already a small number (i think the overall limit is around 5000 for the whole year for the whole of switzerland).

the other (seemingly easier) option would be if your wife can come here through her Indian employer again which will also give you residency as her dependent and then look out for jobs yourself. but remember in this case, you cannot work for the first 2 years when you wife will be on L permit. whether that L permit can be changed to a B permit (which will allow you to work) after 2 years is a biq question mark as then the indian employer has to prove that they cannot find anybody in Swiss / EU to do the job your wife does. most of the employers stopped bothering about it and they just send people after 2 years and bring other people on a fresh L permit.

so, i dont want to discourage you but switzerland has a tough immigration policy, especially for Non EUs.

cheers
happycreature
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Old 22.07.2015, 17:38
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Not strictly true HappyCreature. An L dependent permit holder can work if an employer makes an application to change their permit and he/she/they can meet certain conditions. From the Foreign Nationals Act:

Members of the family of a license holder of short stay (art. 26 OASA) do not have a right to gainful employment. The gainful activity is subject to authorization.
On admission, a request by the employer respecting the pay and conditions of employment customary in the locality and in the branch must be made. In addition, members of the family of a holder of an authorization for short stay (art. 26OASA) must have professional qualifications (personal qualifications,Art. 23 AuG).

The possibility of gainful employment for family members is related, according to art. OASA 26 and 27, the duration of the authorization of the person granted family reunification. If the residence permit of the spouse is not renewed, the members of his family can not claim a right to pursue their gainful employment (art.6, para. 2, OASA)."

In other words, yes, you could possibly be hired - but you cannot use your employment to extend your stay in Switzerland if the main permit holder - in this case the OP's wife - loses her permit and the right to stay in Switzerland that goes with it.
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Old 22.07.2015, 17:51
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Hi Medea,
what you quote is as per the law and what i say is what normally happens in practise. i know 9 out 10 cases, dependent L permit holders cannot work because
a) no company wants to hire them even if they have good skills. you dont even get called for interviews by many companies if they know your permit status.
b) even if a company wants to take the risk, the result is not guaranteed.


cheers
happycreature
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Old 22.07.2015, 18:31
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Never said it wasn't HappyCreature. It is difficult to get permission obviously, but it's not impossible any more than it's not impossible to get hired as a non-EU national to start with. The OP needs to know the risks as you've pointed out - he could end up not working for the first 2 years his wife is posted here. But he may also be lucky and get a job, it really depends on how in demand his skills/experience are and whether an employer is willing to go through the process to hire him. As I said I cannot see procurement being specialised enough to get him here independently and I suspect it would also be the case on a dependent's permit as an employer would still be expected to hire a Swiss/EU national if they can.
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Old 23.07.2015, 00:00
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

I know some people who lived in Singapore before Switzerland.
Consensus is : Singapore is better.

5- as others have said its not an issue for kids,they learn languages fast. Though there are plenty of private English speaking schools about if you've a decent expat salary.
4- personal space is one thing they're not very good at. Its standard procedure here for girl-girl or girl-boy meetings to involve the weird kissy thing.
Friendly people....they seem alright I guess. Not winning any friendliest in the world contests but nor or are they Londoners.
Work life balance is one area where Switzerland is very good though. Its not just all talk here, it is actually acceptable and encouraged to take work at home time, all your year's holidays, etc...
3- Switzerland is more expensive than Singapore. Rent is maybe more in Singapore but Switzerland isn't that far behind, especially in the places near the jobs. Food is super expensive here. Completely forget about eating out- something I know to be very cheap, varied and convenient in Singapore.
2- No idea. Top level salaries tend not to be so big here but mid-level salaries are very nice. 150,000 as a complete and totally uneducated guess?
1: I know lots of non-EU people at my company.
I'm from the EU so can't really comment but I found it much easier to find a job here than to find an apartment.
I only know rudimentary French. I know plenty of people who have been here a decade or more and aren't much better.
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Old 23.07.2015, 00:20
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Chances as non-Eu national with no work permit to be even asked for an interview are next to nothing.
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Old 23.07.2015, 00:36
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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Honestly, I'm not sure that procurement is specialised enough to say that an employer couldn't find a Swiss/EU national instead.
Allegedly there are more software engineers than farmers in US, but one can bet this kind of specialization is among the most commonly seen among non-EU immigrants to Switzerland. Therefore I suppose other specialists stand a chance as well.
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Old 23.07.2015, 07:33
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions(frankly, I couldn't figure out how to "thank" in the thread).

When we moved to Singapore from US, my wife quit her previous employer and has been working for another local company here. However, she is a SAP technical consultant with 9 years of experience. Would it be easier for her to find a new job there, given the fact that she too is non-EU national?
What is the kind of salary she can expect there?

As in my case, I am right now in regional procurement manager for APAC region. Does senior management positions also primarily require the candidate to be EU national?

Either ways, what are the best ways for us to start our job search?

Thanks again!
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Old 23.07.2015, 09:09
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions(frankly, I couldn't figure out how to "thank" in the thread).

When we moved to Singapore from US, my wife quit her previous employer and has been working for another local company here. However, she is a SAP technical consultant with 9 years of experience. Would it be easier for her to find a new job there, given the fact that she too is non-EU national?
What is the kind of salary she can expect there?

As in my case, I am right now in regional procurement manager for APAC region. Does senior management positions also primarily require the candidate to be EU national?

Either ways, what are the best ways for us to start our job search?

Thanks again!
It's very unlikely that you will be able to persuade the authorities that there is no Swiss or EU person able to fulfill a procurement role.

Switzerland is stuffed full of commodity traders in a whole variety of product, part of the role is procurement.
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Old 23.07.2015, 09:22
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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It's very unlikely that you will be able to persuade the authorities that there is no Swiss or EU person able to fulfill a procurement role.

Switzerland is stuffed full of commodity traders in a whole variety of product, part of the role is procurement.
Actually I do do procurement management for a huge oil & gas manufacturing firm. I have no idea how the manufacturing industry out there is. Any pointers?
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Old 23.07.2015, 09:33
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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Either ways, what are the best ways for us to start our job search?
Simply wanting to live and work in Switzerland isn't enough, unfortunately. You have to think of it from an employer's point of view. What special thing do you have that they can't find locally, or within the EU? Whatever that special thing is, it has to be special enough for them to be willing to sponsor someone from the other side of the world who can't speak the language.

If you have some unique insight into a market or commodity that has real-world value to an employer, you may have a chance I guess -- but if you are a generalist, even a very competent one, I'd say you will struggle to find a job here.

Your best bet by far (and I suspect this is how most non-EU people end up here) is to work for a global business willing to relocate you to Switzerland.

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Actually I do do procurement management for a huge oil & gas manufacturing firm. I have no idea how the manufacturing industry out there is. Any pointers?
It's not enough to post these huge open-ended questions on a forum and wait for people to serve up all the information you need. With your contacts and industry expertise, you are likely to know who best to speak to about opportunities. Pick up the phone and talk to them.
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Old 23.07.2015, 09:55
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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As in my case, I am right now in regional procurement manager for APAC region. Does senior management positions also primarily require the candidate to be EU national?

Either ways, what are the best ways for us to start our job search?

Thanks again!
Any job, be it senior management or a waiter, requires that a Swiss employer try and hire a Swiss/EU national first.

I would think that SAP is not that difficult to find Swiss/EU nationals for either. Another problem is that, taking a quick look on one of the job websites, she'd need to speak German and/or French as well as English. As may well be the case for you too. Still, have a look at these websites, it'll give you an idea of what's available and whether you'd stand any chance at all.

www.jobs.ch
www.jobup.ch

As Pachyderm says, best bet would probably be a transfer by her company to Switzerland, similar to what she did before.
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Old 23.07.2015, 10:09
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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Either ways, what are the best ways for us to start our job search?
Thanks again!
The Organization of the Swiss Abroad maintains a web page called "How to find a job in Switzerland" (which is intended for Swiss citizens who want to return to Switzerland). Possibly of value:

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/back-t...-to-find-a-job
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Old 28.07.2015, 05:51
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

Hi All,

Thank you for all the answers.

Can I also ask what would be the average monthly expenses for family of 3 or 4 in Switzerland (including groceries, rent, electricity, water, school fees, recreational activities like movies, outing, etc).

An average calculation would do as I am trying to figure out what kind of salary would be required, in case either one of us land a job, in order to sustain there and have some savings.

Thanks again,

Wherenext.
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Old 28.07.2015, 08:31
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

I am not in your field at all, but I know a few Indian families who have come here on a temporary basis (two to three years) as subcontractors to Swiss companies through Indian companies such as Infosys. In that case, the contracts are temporary (permits are restricted) and employment often cannot be changed without clearing significant hurdles. They knew that when they came here. Good luck!
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Old 28.07.2015, 08:48
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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Hi All,

Thank you for all the answers.

Can I also ask what would be the average monthly expenses for family of 3 or 4 in Switzerland (including groceries, rent, electricity, water, school fees, recreational activities like movies, outing, etc).

An average calculation would do as I am trying to figure out what kind of salary would be required, in case either one of us land a job, in order to sustain there and have some savings.

Thanks again,

Wherenext.
There are many threads on the forum that deal with cost of living, you can do a search and find out the information, and learn something about Switzerland at the same time.
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Old 28.07.2015, 09:13
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

I did search.and found few but most of them have data from 2010 or earlier which i figured would be outdated

If anyone can give me some figures it would be great.
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Old 28.07.2015, 09:22
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Re: Starting to look for a job in switzerland

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I did search.and found few but most of them have data from 2010 or earlier which i figured would be outdated

If anyone can give me some figures it would be great.
I just put in "cost living" into the search function and all of the threads are very recent as it is one of the most common questions on the ofrum. Just put in a little effort and do some research, there is no need for people to have to continually post the same information.
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