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Old 19.03.2011, 01:39
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What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

hey i have served as a soldier in the British Army for 8 years and looking for work in switzerlad my fiancee lives and works there and she is a swiss national.
Im looking to move in with her and her parents i speak little german and have worked in security,management and recruitment but have no solid qualifications on paper.
I have looked everywhere for work but coming unstuck with jobs that require stupid amounts of qualifications,to speak german or experience in things that i could never learn due to not have enough financial funds to go back to school to learn a new trade i will do any job but does any one know where to find a job that : you can speak english and little geman,no qualifications and not a swiss national ? any help would be really helpfull and also i dont know if im selling my self short because i have worked in recruitment and mangement for 3 yrs but in the army not a civillian job ?
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Old 19.03.2011, 09:03
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

I will be straight forward - this applies to ANYONE looking for work in this country. If you are not competent (should be at b2 or c1 level at least) in the local language of your area you will find it VERY hard to find work. At best with luck you will find a job but your choices from there are restricted
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Old 19.03.2011, 10:38
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

There are recruitment agencies here that have people without German qualifications though it helps to have German.

Good luck! As the previous poster said, I would really push to learn the language.
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Old 19.03.2011, 10:43
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

i am currently self learning and one lesson a week in german for the last 5 months so i do have a basic knowledge but i dont think thats a issuse so much as i think you can work in a english call centre or something like this ? am i right ?
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Old 19.03.2011, 10:58
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

Can you afford to come here for a few months and take an
immersion class? You could take most of your vacation.

The other option is to quit your job and take a few months
to learn the language here.
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Old 19.03.2011, 11:15
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

Although there are folk working here who don't speak German, it is almost always an advantage to be able to say that one can understand some of the language.

If you want to put weight on the fact that you are an English native speaker, you'll still probably have to do a CV or something in English, so tidy that up first. I know this may sound harsh, but if I were looking for someone as an English speaker, I would expect them to know how to use punctuation correctly and use a capital I for I, Swiss, German etc. On here it doesn't matter so much, but when you start seriously looking for work, you need to make the best possible impression on the recipient of your text. Get used to writing correctly and you'll notice the errors much faster yourself.

I hope you can find something - I, too, came here looking for work, but it was much easier then.
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Old 19.03.2011, 12:34
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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Although there are folk working here who don't speak German, it is almost always an advantage to be able to say that one can understand some of the language.
In reply to this message from Longbyt I understand my punctuality is not the best and also my spelling and at 2:00 am Is not good too,just read my post and I can see many mistakes TRUE. It was just a desperation post becuase I just really need help.But in my defence this is not a CV or a application form im simply just networking and seing what may come from this,being picky about certain spelling mistakes is not helpfull at all.I am wise enough to know that if applying for a job my punctuallity and spelling has to be correct but I'm not here .

I will send you my CV to proof read and then if you see any mistakes then please feel free to help me correct it thank you.

Last edited by vwild1; 19.03.2011 at 13:40. Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old 19.03.2011, 12:49
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

If you do not speak German (assuming you are coming to the German-speaking part), you have four employment alternatives:

1) Teach English to adults in a private school. You will need a qualification and it's a very competitive area.

2) Be in a sought-after profession - IT specialist for an international company, for instance.

3) Work as a labourer. This is not a recommended alternative. I know Brits who have done this on building sites. It can be soul destroying, poorly paid and you'll never hear German spoken - or English of course.

4) Be self-employed offering a service - eg flat cleaning service. But language will be a problem...
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Old 19.03.2011, 12:58
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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Can you afford to come here for a few months and take an
immersion class? You could take most of your vacation.

The other option is to quit your job and take a few months
to learn the language here.
Thanks for your posts HollidayG.
Ok so I will Straighten out my story for you and give you a bigger picture.
So I have 3 months left in the Armed Forces due to me loosing my high pitched hearing on various opperations with the Army.

I have looked at immersion classes in Britain and in Switzerland and the Army will pay for me to do them and i will its just finding the right course for me.

I am also looking to use my hollidays or my Vacations to look for work and to get meetings, but i really dont know where to start.

I have qualifications in Management but only a line manager the qualification is called CLM and i have worked in Recruitment for the last 3 years but no Qualification on paper,I have also worked at a high level of security but cant find anything in that sector either.

Ahhhhhh really getting me down now but i'm going to soldier on.

Thanks every one for your posts please keep them coming even if you think its little it might mean alot to me.
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:07
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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If you do not speak German (assuming you are coming to the German-speaking part), you have four employment alternatives:
I would love to work self employed as i have many ideas for money spinning projects but wouldnt know where to start i guess my Fiancee will know a little about this.

I have a opportunity to take a TEFL course (Teaching English as a foreign language) would that be sufficiant enough for teaching ?

Last edited by vwild1; 19.03.2011 at 13:42. Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:10
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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I have a opportunity to take a TEFL course (Teaching English as a foreign language) would that be sufficiant enough for teaching ?
It's what I did over 20 years ago. You have to enjoy teaching, though. Starting was hard and I worked basically evenings for the first 10 years before going freelance...
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:18
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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It's what I did over 20 years ago. You have to enjoy teaching, though. Starting was hard and I worked basically evenings for the first 10 years before going freelance...
I think thats my answer then.... TEFL ok and then once Qualified do you approach schools or? I really do enjoy teaching at the moment 2 times a week i take the local college on military Lessons and fitness i know its not going to be easy but this is something i would want to do.
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:28
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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I think thats my answer then.... TEFL ok and then once Qualified do you approach schools or? I really do enjoy teaching at the moment 2 times a week i take the local college on military Lessons and fitness i know its not going to be easy but this is something i would want to do.
I got a list of language schools from the Zurich phone book and wrote to them all (about 20 or so) then phoned them up (in English). I got three interviews and two jobs part-time to start off.

It is even more competitive now. But as a man with some experience of working, you will have an advantage...
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:36
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

Some ideias

- The Swiss Army does international peace support projects abroad...
Maybe you could bring in there your English skills, your experience in management and your experience as a soldier in an administrative/logistics role? And as far as I know, for those jobs you don't have to be a Swiss national. International Peace Support
- Or an admin job in the Swiss Army International Relations department
I haven't been in the army, so know little about it, but there are some people on this board who have served and may come up with some ideias for an English speaking soldier... paging Wolli.

- Tourism Sector: a job in a hotel
- Tourguide/Travel industry: A job as a guide/assistant with English tourist groups etc.
If you are fit, then as river-rafting, caoneying, hiking etc. guide/assistant for English speakers



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Thanks for your posts HollidayG.
pitched hearing on various opperations with the Army.
Sorry to hear about that...hope the job search will work out and you can be together soon with your fiancee
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:44
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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Some ideias
Dalloway that's Great really happy i used this forum now so many great ideas that i never thought of doing and abfab thanks you have all been brilliant any contacts or websites to view would be greatfull too.


ps. seriously many thanks to you guys really lifted me

Last edited by Longbyt; 19.03.2011 at 16:41.
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Old 19.03.2011, 13:51
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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- The Swiss Army does international peace support projects abroad...
Maybe you could bring in there your English skills, your experience in management and your experience as a soldier in an administrative/logistics role? And as far as I know, for those jobs you don't have to be a Swiss national.
I very much doubt that. I have seen plenty of ads for jobs in the Kosovo project and they all had as a first requirement Swiss nationality. Like any other army really - the only exception I know is the French foreign legion. BTW: As a German, I know that according to my home's law I am not allowed to serve in any other countries armed forces or I would face court as soon as I get home... I don't know if Britain has the same laws.
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Old 19.03.2011, 15:34
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

Some ideas that spring to mind:

1. Since you have a HR background perhaps look into getting some formal qualifications in this area. You could study in Switzerland, many (not all) courses are offered in English. There are specialists in Switzerland who work as consultants without German, but you have to be on top of the game.

2. Having German can only be an advantage no matter what work you seek. It is worthwhile spending some time getting on top of it

3. As a short term job option you could try looking into security. An ex army officer would probably be able to transition into this type of work relatively OK, but the German would be needed for this to some degree (unless you worked onsite of an international company).

4. If you are seeking a totally different work life, then one other sector that does not need total control of english is as a chef, and there are great courses around for this, but this might only be an option if you are interested in this kind of work.

What are your chances? Well your chances are probably not high at the moment, but with some preparation and serious thinking about future goals and putting those realistic goals into practice, you have as good a chance as anyone else. It might just take time.

Take care and good luck with whatever you choose to do
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Old 19.03.2011, 17:33
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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I would love to work self employed as i have many ideas for money spinning projects but wouldnt know where to start i guess my Fiancee will know a little about this.

I have a opportunity to take a TEFL course (Teaching English as a foreign language) would that be sufficiant enough for teaching ?

Hi there,

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news, but unfortunately TEFL is no longer a recognised qualification in Switzerland. The minimum qualification to teach English at private language schools in Switzerland is the CELTA course (Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults). The TEFL course might hold you in good stead if you choose to teach privately (i.e., find your own students) after completing the course, but in order to apply for jobs at private language schools in Switzerland, you need to have the CELTA. (I speak from personal experience - I lived in England before I moved to Switzerland, and did the TEFL course there. Upon moving to Switzerland, I thought I could use my qualifications to start teaching English here. That is when I found out I had to do the CELTA.) Flying Teachers in Zürich offers this course. I don't have the website to hand, but I'm sure you can find the details by doing a quick google search of "Flying Teachers CELTA" (for example).

I hope that this information has been useful to you. Maybe have a chat to those that have offered to pay for your TEFL course and ask if they could pay for a CELTA course intead?

Good luck.
Lianne
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Old 19.03.2011, 17:35
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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But in my defence this is not a CV or a application form im simply just networking...
It depends of course what, or who, you want to catch in your net whether correct spelling and punctuation is important or not. Folk have, in the past, got jobs through other people on here, so it's certainly worth showing how much trouble you are prepared to go to. I see the point about writing posts at 2 a.m. though. Been there, Done that. Fortunately I can still edit my posts the next morning!

Hope you manage to find a job to suit you.
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Old 19.03.2011, 18:20
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Re: What are my chances of finding work in Switzerland?

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I very much doubt that. I have seen plenty of ads for jobs in the Kosovo project and they all had as a first requirement Swiss nationality. Like any other army really - the only exception I know is the French foreign legion. BTW: As a German, I know that according to my home's law I am not allowed to serve in any other countries armed forces or I would face court as soon as I get home... I don't know if Britain has the same laws.
Not only swiss national but must have completed basic service to a satisfactory standard.
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