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Old 20.02.2011, 12:46
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How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Hi all, I'm new to this forum as well as to Switzerland. I'm from the US and have recently got an oral offer from a big pharma company in Basel to join as a Sr Manager working on corporate strategy. Wanted to borrow your collective wisdom to understand how much the typical annual salary/bonus is for similar roles in Basel? Will really appreciate it!
Given CHF is so strong recently, I'm afraid I will be put to a quite disadvantageous position if converting my current salary in USD-->CHF. When negotiating future salary with them, how do you suggest mentioning this in addition to the high cost of living in Basel?
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Old 20.02.2011, 12:55
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

*waits for the inevitable...*
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Old 20.02.2011, 12:56
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

It has been proven many times in this forum that one can not live with less than 120K a year. The fact that Swiss medium wage is half of it just mean that the local population are all poor beggars.
Hence: expats need far more than 120K in order to live AND give pittance charity to the locals in order to keep the country going.
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Old 20.02.2011, 12:56
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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Wanted to borrow your collective wisdom to understand how much the typical annual salary/bonus is for similar roles in Basel?
I'm not sure about the collective wisdom - certainly not on a wet Sunday afternoon! This Thread - the Personal Wages Calculator - might help you; or again, it might not.

In any case, it's always a good idea to have a look through the Sticky Threads and similar Threads (Search) in the section which concerns you before asking questions; this is, if you don't want the Mods and the 'wolves' after you.

Hope you find the Info you need.
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:08
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Thanks guys! One piece of additional info: I'm considered a local hire instead of expat.
I've done some research already (one can't survive doing corporate strategy without the habit of looking for good data sources at first) but failed so far:
- Have looked into the personal wages calculator but it does not seem to offer Pharma as an industry option. Maybe odd.
- The forum does seem to have limited few threads on pharma salaries, but either dated or related to my position.

In general, do you factor in currency fluctuation? Because if we assume 1 USD = 1.15 CHF (as it usually was), my current salary in USD is in fact higher than the offered new salary in CHF, not to mention high cost of Swiss living AND my expected ~10% raise for a job change.

Any thoughts?
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:16
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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Thanks guys! One piece of additional info: I'm considered a local hire instead of expat.
I've done some research already (one can't survive doing corporate strategy without the habit of looking for good data sources at first) but failed so far:
- Have looked into the personal wages calculator but it does not seem to offer Pharma as an industry option. Maybe odd.
- The forum does seem to have limited few threads on pharma salaries, but either dated or related to my position.

In general, do you factor in currency fluctuation? Because if we assume 1 USD = 1.15 CHF (as it usually was), my current salary in USD is in fact higher than the offered new salary in CHF, not to mention high cost of Swiss living AND my expected ~10% raise for a job change.

Any thoughts?
You're getting lowballed, or the job isn't as senior as your current role. The dollar is really weak right now, and Swiss salaries are generally higher than American salaries anyway.

If you're on a short-term assignment, you have to factor in the currency fluctuation (while keeping in mind that the employer may not) but in a long-term role, no, you can't compare "here" to "there". The markets are different, the currencies are different, the costs are different, etc.

Edit: you're using an old exchange rate. That explains a bit. Franc is worth more than the dollar lately.
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:21
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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Any thoughts?
Sure. My thought is: A senior position in strategy is so rare and vague that you cannot seriously expect to find a reference what you salary should be - it is all about what your individual experience is worth for the new employer and last but not least your negotiation skills.

Looks like there is not much in for you in the current offer financially. Maybe you want to give it a go anyway to make some experiences abroad - otherwise: Tell them that their offer is too low. Explain your current situation openly and show them that you did your homework and recognized that the costs are much higher in Switzerland. Then you know if there is any space for negotiations.
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:29
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Thanks a lot. I guess you are right - such info will be really limited out there given strategy is only a tiny small area.
Is it crazy to propose a counter-offer with salary 25-30% higher than what's currently offered by the employer?

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Maybe you want to give it a go anyway to make some experiences abroad - otherwise: Tell them that their offer is too low. Explain your current situation openly and show them that you did your homework and recognized that the costs are much higher in Switzerland. Then you know if there is any space for negotiations.
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:02
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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disadvantageous position if converting my current salary in USD-->CHF. When negotiating future salary with them, how do you suggest mentioning this in addition to the high cost of living in Basel?
You don't. You're not looking to convert your American salary, you're looking to get a Swiss salary - the two are not directly related, and don't let them sell you in that direction. Depending on the position and the nature of your negotiations, you might be looking at adding an expat sort of package on top - support (temporary or long-term) for housing, etc., though I'd say this is the harder part of the negotiations.
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:02
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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recently got an oral offer

Most common in the red light district.
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Old 20.02.2011, 13:54
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Sr. Manager Big Pharma > 200K CHF + 20/30% Bonus.
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Old 20.02.2011, 14:31
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Hi all, I'm new to this forum as well as to Switzerland. I'm from the US and have recently got an oral offer from a big pharma company in Basel to join as a Sr Manager working on corporate strategy. Wanted to borrow your collective wisdom to understand how much the typical annual salary/bonus is for similar roles in Basel? Will really appreciate it!
Given CHF is so strong recently, I'm afraid I will be put to a quite disadvantageous position if converting my current salary in USD-->CHF. When negotiating future salary with them, how do you suggest mentioning this in addition to the high cost of living in Basel?
Not even an introduction, no use of the search function, do you plan on raping the forum anymore?

This type question has been asked hundreds of times before and I'm surprised at the good nature of people here who have answered this question multiple times..

We aren't your personal relocation/recruitment agents and I suggest you at least introduce yourself in the correct place.

All take no give, tbh I'm getting sick of leeches on this forum.

The US is a shite hole atm economically and the dollar worth less than toilet paper.

Snr manager in Pharma is 150-200k btw and I'll expect plenty of lube will be required if you work for the famous x2 as it's bitchy and your ass will take a pounding. (My personal experience with back stabbing people fighting to get promotion over each other and the usual shit)

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*waits for the inevitable...*
Hate to disappoint

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In any case, it's always a good idea to have a look through the Sticky Threads and similar Threads (Search) in the section which concerns you before asking questions; this is, if you don't want the Mods and the 'wolves' after you.

Hope you find the Info you need.
And yet the hint is not taken...

Last edited by Uncle Max; 20.02.2011 at 14:42. Reason: 3 angry posts merged into 1...
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Old 20.02.2011, 14:45
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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And yet the hint is not taken...
Thanks for the reply and info anyway. Sorry for the maybe inconvenience caused by this thread. But I've done some research already but failed so far:
- Have looked into the personal wages calculator but it does not seem to offer Pharma as an industry option. Maybe odd.
- The forum does seem to have limited few threads on pharma salaries, but either dated nor related to my position.
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Old 20.02.2011, 14:49
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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Thanks for the reply and info anyway. Sorry for the maybe inconvenience caused by this thread. But I've done some research already but failed so far:
- Have looked into the personal wages calculator but it does not seem to offer Pharma as an industry option. Maybe odd.
- The forum does seem to have limited few threads on pharma salaries, but either dated nor related to my position.
This forum is free to use and you may do as you please, just dont expect people to be happy if you do not do the basics.

How about posting the title of your possible future job role. At the moment I haven't got a clue if you're sweeping the lab floor or you're the CEO.
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Old 20.02.2011, 14:54
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

175,000 to 200,000 however you need to use your experience in understanding what you can command.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:03
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Snr Manager in Coprorate Strategy. How can we post a salary guess in a company as large as the Pharmas?

It could be the corporate strategy in stationary logos you just don't know.

There are so many of these positions in Pharma you need to know the specialism.

How many years experience does the OP have in Logo design and envelope rollout?
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:01
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Negociation techniques are hard. You do not give numbers at all, so we are left in the blur talking in abstract and general terms. I don't think that will help anybody ever. However, your negociation skills are the key factor: can you sit in front of them and actually decline the offer? Are you ready to say no? If yes, meaning that you can live happily with your present situation, put up a list of criterias:
- if you refuse to get down in salary, just tell them so: I earn XXX now, it has to be more or I just say no. Speak up and articulate the word no.
- if you are a hard player, sure that you are highly desirable to the company, then go for a shock wave: I want XXXX (make it high), can you match it. They say no, you say good bye. YOu will then see if you really are highly desired.
- if you need a safe situation, make clear that you know that you real netto salary is 75% of your brutto, because there is not only taxes but also health insurances and social contributions to add to basic taxation. And have a look at the house marked to decide how much money you need for housing and tell them the number in order to show that you have done your homework. Go even with a little calculator to the interview and count in front of them how much money you will have in your pocket. Then, ask how high your employer can make this number. You'll see if they are impressed or annoyed. With HR, everything is possible.

In other words: it's up to you to put your numbers right. Telling to companies "I'll have what others have" does not work... because the HR will lye to you. Why would then take care of your interests if you don't?

Last word: It really depends if you are the strong part in negociation or if you actually need them more than they need you. And we can't know that.
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Old 20.02.2011, 19:17
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

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Thanks for the reply and info anyway. Sorry for the maybe inconvenience caused by this thread. But I've done some research already but failed so far:
- Have looked into the personal wages calculator but it does not seem to offer Pharma as an industry option. Maybe odd.
- The forum does seem to have limited few threads on pharma salaries, but either dated nor related to my position.
Just take my post as being very sarcastic and an negative appraisal of your abilities.

You're probably not worth too much if you still have to ask such questions.
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Old 20.02.2011, 19:38
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

Can I be the first to point out that there's a very helpful post in the Employment section that might answer your questions?

FAQ: A brief guide to salaries in Switzerland
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Old 20.02.2011, 19:57
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Re: How much is reasonable salary for Sr. Manager in a big Pharma?

You beat me to it.


@ Village Idiot - I think this sort of post with a link added belongs in Commercial - you obviously do this for a living. Are you eligible to post there?
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