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  #21  
Old 18.03.2011, 10:25
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My wife-to-be moved here with a recognized EU degree.
Having already lived and worked here for 6 years, I knew it would be a waste of time to try to find a job without having basic conversational German. She would never pass an interview.

She immediately enrolled in intensive German school (Alpha Sprachstudio in Zurich). It was 9 months before we felt her German was good enough to pass an interview.

She got a job, not a great one, but a job. It did'nt last long, but it got her foot in the door and a line on her CV that she had working experience in Switzerland.

Then she found a 2nd job. Again, not a great job with a jerk boss, and a bit far away, but she stuck with it for 2 years.

By this time her German skills surpassed mine (her job involves working with Swiss, mine is more international).

At the 3 year mark she interviewed for another job, close by, and bingo. She clicked with her boss, and she has been happily employed there now for the past 15 years.

Just sayin, learn basic German language skills first...do the Migros school, then try applying for jobs.

Applying for jobs here without basic German is like trying to play tennis without a racket.

It is only in very rare and usually very-highly qualified positions that you can get by with only English.
I am currently in the process of finding out whether my diploma is recognized here or not...

Regarding the language, I had that in mind when I came here and my husband told me it's the first thing I need to learn here- the language, because that's the base to build a career here (and it's only natural of course). However the problem lies within my limited access to people that speak German- I mean how easy it is to have someone say to you on the spot- "no this is not correct, you should say like this..."; that way you will acknowledge much sooner the mistake and learn it right.

Now I am looking to see what's Migros Sprachschule like here because I don't want to postpone this any further..The Alpha courses you mentioned, I looked on the website and they are a little over my budget; but thanks for the tip, will keep it anyway...

Thank you for sharing your experience with your wife's job search here, you know I don't want to find the perfect job the first time (far from me that thought); I think what your wife has experienced in terms of finding a job is kind of "healthy", one small step at a time ...until you reach the dream job...

Cheers,
Andreea

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Hi Andreea,

It sounds like you are doing a lot, and everyone here has some good advice but I thought I'd share something that occurred to me...



Could you find some small business in this? I'm not saying it would make you a ton of money, but maybe it could be something to occupy your time and give you some practical real-world experience speaking German? I'm sure given all the business that goes to Sprungli, there must be room for a dessert-delivery service or something like that?

Good luck!

PS: If you use my idea I demand a commission made of dessert.
Yes, I was thinking about this, I would love to be able to provide with desserts the locals here; I know there are other people selling sweets and I know I wouldn't be the first to do that...it's a thought that I really consider transforming to reality so let's see what happens...
PS: Though I had this idea, you get a bonus for underlying it

Last edited by MusicChick; 03.07.2011 at 09:23. Reason: Merging successive posts.
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  #22  
Old 18.03.2011, 11:36
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

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Yes, I was thinking about this, I would love to be able to provide with desserts the locals here; I know there are other people selling sweets and I know I wouldn't be the first to do that...it's a thought that I really consider transforming to reality so let's see what happens...
PS: Though I had this idea, you get a bonus for underlying it
Andreea, if you are really interested in that I recommend you this link http://www.back-art.ch/new/ Maybe you'll find something interesting there.

I found it here on EF and it's really... inspiring
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  #23  
Old 18.03.2011, 13:33
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Hi, I'm sorry to hear you are having such a tough time. Sadly, I am in a similar situation - but on the French speaking side. I'm not sure how much of this is useful for your part of the country but here's what I've tried:

. using English Forum and glocals (another expat website) to find a French speaking person for a language exchange. We just started but it is already giving me some confidence. I'm not sure how many people want to improve their Romanian, but your English looks good so perhaps you could post something that offers English for Swiss German. My lang exchange person and I meet once a week and spend half our time speaking in French and half in English. There are also language clubs noted on glocals, but I haven't tried one yet.
. Get on LinkedIn. This is a professional networking website. If you're not on it already, I'd highly recommend it. Not only can you get your CV into a public place, but you can stay connected to business contacts AND look for jobs. I've found many of the bigger jobs in this area which were on JobUp etc. listed under the Jobs tab on LinkedIn.
. As far as volunteering goes - it looks like maybe you've looked at volunteering at businesses in which you want to work. That is a good offer but as you said, they don't always want to pursue that. Perhaps you could volunteer at a local animal shelter (you said you like animals) or a church - something completely different. This helps you get to know others in the community and can help with your language as you'll probably have to use a bit of English and German to communicate.
. Join a church to meet people. I haven't done that yet but it is on my list of possibilities.
. Join a business organisation - here there is a group for women in business (http://www.owit-lakegeneva.org/). Perhaps there's one in your area too.
. Try business section on AngloInfo website (http://geneva.angloinfo.com/af/31/ge...-services.html).

Have to sign off now. Hope some of this is useful. Hang in there - you're not alone!
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Old 18.03.2011, 20:48
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Andreea, if you are really interested in that I recommend you this link http://www.back-art.ch/new/ Maybe you'll find something interesting there.

I found it here on EF and it's really... inspiring
Oh yes I know the website pretty well, I must say I have a list of things I would buy from the website...

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Hi, I'm sorry to hear you are having such a tough time. Sadly, I am in a similar situation - but on the French speaking side. I'm not sure how much of this is useful for your part of the country but here's what I've tried:

. using English Forum and glocals (another expat website) to find a French speaking person for a language exchange. We just started but it is already giving me some confidence. I'm not sure how many people want to improve their Romanian, but your English looks good so perhaps you could post something that offers English for Swiss German. My lang exchange person and I meet once a week and spend half our time speaking in French and half in English. There are also language clubs noted on glocals, but I haven't tried one yet.
. Get on LinkedIn. This is a professional networking website. If you're not on it already, I'd highly recommend it. Not only can you get your CV into a public place, but you can stay connected to business contacts AND look for jobs. I've found many of the bigger jobs in this area which were on JobUp etc. listed under the Jobs tab on LinkedIn.
. As far as volunteering goes - it looks like maybe you've looked at volunteering at businesses in which you want to work. That is a good offer but as you said, they don't always want to pursue that. Perhaps you could volunteer at a local animal shelter (you said you like animals) or a church - something completely different. This helps you get to know others in the community and can help with your language as you'll probably have to use a bit of English and German to communicate.
. Join a church to meet people. I haven't done that yet but it is on my list of possibilities.
. Join a business organisation - here there is a group for women in business (http://www.owit-lakegeneva.org/). Perhaps there's one in your area too.
. Try business section on AngloInfo website (http://geneva.angloinfo.com/af/31/ge...-services.html).

Have to sign off now. Hope some of this is useful. Hang in there - you're not alone!
Hang in there, the ideas you shared with me show that you are very involved and determined so I am sure you will find something that will pay for your effort! I keep my fingers crossed for you!


Thanks so much for the ideas, the one with joining a women in business organization near my area never crossed my mind...but I will look to see if I find anything in my area.

Indeed it's a very small chance anyone would want to learn Romanian, so I would definitely go for exchanging English lessons for German

Regarding volunteering I already send a letter to an organization in Health Care to offer my services, but I would also like the idea of working in a animal shelter just for the moral reward.

Cheers,
Andreea

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Old 19.03.2011, 09:25
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Personally - I do not think lack of German is that much of a stumbling block in terms of getting a job in Switzerland. Finding work here takes persistance and networking skills. Get yourself to some business networking events and 'just connect'
Lacking the local areas language is THE biggest obstacle in finding work...simply because the vast majority of jobs require some level of that language...the more jobs you can apply for the better your chances of finding work

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well,a friend of mine went to the RAV and made an apointment with an integration person,my friend told her that she is living here for almost a year now,and still don t have a job,the lady said that she could have come earlier....but she made her do a german test,and now,since her german is very basic,the RAV is paying for her german lessons,4 hours a day,5 days a week,for 3 months...not bad
try to go there and ask,don t give up...
good luck
regarding language I had a similar thing when I was unemployed and landed a very good French course however that was after 9 months of unemployment and lots of nagging. I think this depends upon your advisor - some will get you useful training quick others will not

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  #26  
Old 21.03.2011, 16:28
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

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...quickly browse some online newspapers with my coffee, read my email to see the new jobs posted from job portals I am registered, prepared cover letters and CV's for jobs that match my qualifications, send emails, look for big companies that might have internship positions and (because they usually have online forms) fill in the data and send applications..
Andreea
Hi Andreea
There was a job advertised in the local paper last week, in English. Unless you have a subsription you cannot read this online.

If you send me an email I will send it to you. (in my profile you will see a link to my homepage and you can get my email from there) I can't attach anything to a PM so you have to email.
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  #27  
Old 22.03.2011, 11:48
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

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Hi Andreea
There was a job advertised in the local paper last week, in English. Unless you have a subsription you cannot read this online.

If you send me an email I will send it to you. (in my profile you will see a link to my homepage and you can get my email from there) I can't attach anything to a PM so you have to email.
I did send you an email and I cannot thank you enough for your help !

Many thanks!
Andreea
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  #28  
Old 20.05.2011, 13:18
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Learning a language doesn't happen overnight. It requires time and effort. If you arrived with no german it could take you a year at least before you can get by and that is with language courses, personal study and speaking it as much as possible.
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  #29  
Old 20.05.2011, 13:40
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

How is it going? Have you found a job?
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  #30  
Old 20.05.2011, 13:51
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Don't know what to say other than I am in the same situation so I understand your feelings. I followed my wife here after talking to several local recruiters and others who said since my skill was in IT for finance companies it would be relatively easy for me to get a job in Geneva. I've been looking for a few months now and what is really maddening is most of the time I get no answer even when it looks like a perfect match. I don't get anything saying no but yet the job is still posted a month later. I search the job sites a few times a week and seems hardly anything new ever comes up fitting my qualifications. It gets depressing - especially as I never had an issue getting a job where I am from. There were always companies jumping at the chance to hire me just from seeing my profile on linkedin... here - NOTHING.

Many times I've had companies say "we will get back to you next week" and then no calls or emails, so I send a follow up email... nothing. My wife says I should keep "nagging" them till I get an answer - I don't know if that is the right way or not.
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Old 01.06.2011, 11:42
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Dear friend,

Let me tell u my story.

I'm a UK certified, and came to mozambique to do a project. Now I want to move from here, and it bloody hard. I have now a wife and a kid, so to go, I need to take them. I can't just fly solo and try to get out of here. I have a banckrupcy last year, because I was cheated by my business partner.

Life is not always so hard. Keep your head up, and try to look forward.

Regards,
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  #32  
Old 01.06.2011, 12:01
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Don't Romanians not have free access to the labour market? Could that be the reason?
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  #33  
Old 01.06.2011, 12:12
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

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Thanks so much for the Spitex organization idea! About the volunteering, I honestly even mentioned it in the Cover Letters when sending applications, and I tried looking for some volunteering activity near the place where I live but I wasn't successful.

Regarding tagesmutter or babysitting, I have no experience on that, and I don't want to put any parent in a delicate situation if something bad might happen to they little ones; I am simply not yet mother material..

However I love animals and I have a cat back home so I would do that..I looked a few times on EF to see if there are people looking for cat sitter or dog walker, but usually the adds were taken... I didn't know about the situation you mention about the forum member in Oberrordorf, my bad here...

You are right on the last paragraph, I took note and will look into the matter.

Thanks again for the feedback, really helpful!
Just a wee word of warning based on a tip I got from a recruiter: be careful of filling up your CV with odd-job type positions which make your career choices look erratic. Some people see it as you making an effort to get a job at any cost and therefore commendable but others, particularly the big companies (banks, finance houses, insurance) don't look deeper than your last one or two positions and if you are applying for a position as Office Manager / Team Leader and they see you've been looking after kids or walking dogs as your last position, you may get shuffled out of the pile.

I almost did this because I was desperate to find a job but the recruiter convinced me to hold out a bit longer and I am glad he did.
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  #34  
Old 01.06.2011, 12:19
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Maybe if it makes you feel better, 5 months isn't really a long time, i myself waited for around 18 months before i started any job here and it was a temp job, when i had no job, i actually used to study towards the market requirements in my field and started a webdesign business while doing that to get some income during this period.

It's very hard to get a job when you never worked here before, believe it or not, it's not about language nor nationality, i have agencies now bypassing the language / nationality requirements as my skills and current employment since 15 months is pretty good position in a good Swiss company.

One advice is, what you have experience with might not be required here, so you need to adopt to the market, try out some decent temp jobs maybe, even if it sounds junior for you (i don't know what you do exactly and which level you are), this will add to your C.V 2 to 3 Swiss company names, then life gets easier.

When i first arrived here in 2005 and had a meeting with the unemployment office, the councilor told me "Your experience in your home country doesn't count here, we should look for a waiter's job for you", my last position was a head of department and guess what, now my experience back home counts in my C.V and recruiters love the fact i had this career, just because i've been working in a Swiss company for 15 months.

Take it this way, No one will take a risk to recruit someone with no previous experience in Switzerland unless you have been communicating this prior moving and you're coming on an expat status.

That's all based on my experience the past 6 years in CH
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  #35  
Old 01.06.2011, 12:46
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Thanks so much for the input, really appreciate it.
About the CV screening, I follow the rule of the last 2 or 3 jobs I held(not all of them), and I don't have, fortunately, a string of weird jobs (like waiter, followed by astronaut kind of jobs). I also tried for all Junior kind of jobs (Back Office Assistant, Junior HR, etc.). Being that my area of expertise is in HR and Office Management I went for similar jobs where I have at least the advantage of not spending the company's time in training me from scratch like it would be in a job where I don't have any experience at all. You say that you recruiter told you about looking for a waiter job (or smth like that); well that is something that can be discussed, for example I think that if you come with a certain baggage of knowledge, you are prepared for that, and if you accept job that is not from your range of expertise it can:
1. Lead to losing the momentum you have in terms of your prior skills and knowledge (you might loose the touch you had, I am not sure if I can explain it that well)
2. Your CV might look as you said, odd jobs and can it not send by chance the idea that you are really desperate for a job?
3. It can hold you down (for example you found something secure from a financial point of view, though not according to your level and you are afraid to take a chance again and try for something better and so weeks, months pass and so other potential opportunities)
This thinking is very american-ish and I can only say thumbs up to that, but I have a feeling that in Europe this thing might not be seen with the same "appreciative" eyes as across the Atlantic Ocean. Am I wrong? Let's debate this...
Thanks so much again for the input, really helps!
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  #36  
Old 01.06.2011, 12:54
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

I believe in one thing, don't accept what is not good for you, you'll end up destroying your career to stay in CH??, i won't myself and that's why i registered my own company in the UK and started working on my own area of expertise to not drop from manager to waiter as this will make my C.V lose credibility.

If you're area of expertise is HR, i think the language would be a major requirement to run interviews not like working in IT, so maybe work on that first to enhance your chances

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Thanks so much for the input, really appreciate it.
About the CV screening, I follow the rule of the last 2 or 3 jobs I held(not all of them), and I don't have, fortunately, a string of weird jobs (like waiter, followed by astronaut kind of jobs). I also tried for all Junior kind of jobs (Back Office Assistant, Junior HR, etc.). Being that my area of expertise is in HR and Office Management I went for similar jobs where I have at least the advantage of not spending the company's time in training me from scratch like it would be in a job where I don't have any experience at all. You say that you recruiter told you about looking for a waiter job (or smth like that); well that is something that can be discussed, for example I think that if you come with a certain baggage of knowledge, you are prepared for that, and if you accept job that is not from your range of expertise it can:
1. Lead to losing the momentum you have in terms of your prior skills and knowledge (you might loose the touch you had, I am not sure if I can explain it that well)
2. Your CV might look as you said, odd jobs and can it not send by chance the idea that you are really desperate for a job?
3. It can hold you down (for example you found something secure from a financial point of view, though not according to your level and you are afraid to take a chance again and try for something better and so weeks, months pass and so other potential opportunities)
This thinking is very american-ish and I can only say thumbs up to that, but I have a feeling that in Europe this thing might not be seen with the same "appreciative" eyes as across the Atlantic Ocean. Am I wrong? Let's debate this...
Thanks so much again for the input, really helps!
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Old 01.06.2011, 13:36
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

I have the same problem. After studying 6 years in India, currently unemployed here and searching for jobs more than 9 months.

It nearly took 7 months to get visa. Lots of time was wasted.

Is there any part-time/ full-time jobs that doesnt need any degree qualifications and without german ?

Any computer relates jobs that doesnt need any german ? Or any kinda training available [in restaurants,shops,etc..] without pay ?

Is there any places we can go and do service for disabled kids, etc. ?
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Old 21.06.2011, 16:21
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

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Thanks so much for the input, really appreciate it.
About the CV screening, I follow the rule of the last 2 or 3 jobs I held(not all of them), and I don't have, fortunately, a string of weird jobs (like waiter, followed by astronaut kind of jobs). I also tried for all Junior kind of jobs (Back Office Assistant, Junior HR, etc.). Being that my area of expertise is in HR and Office Management I went for similar jobs where I have at least the advantage of not spending the company's time in training me from scratch like it would be in a job where I don't have any experience at all. You say that you recruiter told you about looking for a waiter job (or smth like that); well that is something that can be discussed, for example I think that if you come with a certain baggage of knowledge, you are prepared for that, and if you accept job that is not from your range of expertise it can:
1. Lead to losing the momentum you have in terms of your prior skills and knowledge (you might loose the touch you had, I am not sure if I can explain it that well)
2. Your CV might look as you said, odd jobs and can it not send by chance the idea that you are really desperate for a job?
3. It can hold you down (for example you found something secure from a financial point of view, though not according to your level and you are afraid to take a chance again and try for something better and so weeks, months pass and so other potential opportunities)
This thinking is very american-ish and I can only say thumbs up to that, but I have a feeling that in Europe this thing might not be seen with the same "appreciative" eyes as across the Atlantic Ocean. Am I wrong? Let's debate this...
Thanks so much again for the input, really helps!
Hi Andreea, how are you? How are things going? Any interviews recently? Still keeping my fingers crossed for you Good luck!
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Old 21.06.2011, 19:44
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

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Hi Andreea, how are you? How are things going? Any interviews recently? Still keeping my fingers crossed for you Good luck!
Hi there new-bee ,

Thank you so much for the kind wishes, it really lifted my spirit! I am happy to say that currently I am undergoing some interview sessions with a company so I am really hoping I will be able to pass them all and finally have a job here...; for a while I was very down because I wasn't even invited to interviews so this is a pretty big step, I say. I will know I think, in the following weeks whether they want me or not so keep 'em crossed hehe !!! Because EF is such a wonderful place to gain information and get the help you need in various fields, it has grown on me a lot and I hope to share with you all my happy story (when I have one).
Best of wishes,
Andreea
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Old 28.06.2011, 21:34
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Re: Lack of job, plenty of problems...

Hello EF’ees ,

I started this thread a while ago when I was under the impression that nothing good could come of my looking for a job, here in Switzerland. I shared my sorrows and anxiety with all of you and in return got some very good, supportive and uplifting messages that helped me not give up.



I shared with you some of the things that I’ve done to help my cause and you shared your own experiences and pin-pointed things I should do to improve my chances for finding a job.



It is why I post this on the thread that I’ve started. I was offered a job for a company here and will start working very soon ! I am very excited and looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I just wanted to share with you this story because I hope it will be a morale boosting for all those who look for a job and find themselves overwhelmed and flirting with a miserable state of mind.


I am keeping my fingers crossed for all those in search of a job here in Switzerland and I wait with excitement your beautiful success stories.


All my best wishes and don’t give up ,

Andreea Hara
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