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Old 19.03.2011, 10:41
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Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

Moving to Switzerland was originally a temporary plan, more of a visit then anything else.

Unfortunately due to certain circumstances I may here longer than expected. Not that I dont like switzerland, but I have no idea how to get a job here without having knowledge of french or italien. I'm taking a german class at the moment, but I am in no way fluent at this point.

I have a high school diploma and I'm attending university in september.

I do have work experience.

But i'd like to work. But I dont know where to look.

I've tried looking up jobs in the forum, but many jobs are quite far and I cant exactly afford travelling back and forth to Zurich at this point

Anyways, if you know of websites or agencies or have words of wisdom to share, please don't hesitate!
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Old 19.03.2011, 12:36
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

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Moving to Switzerland was originally a temporary plan, more of a visit then anything else.

Unfortunately due to certain circumstances I may here longer than expected. Not that I dont like switzerland, but I have no idea how to get a job here without having knowledge of french or italien. I'm taking a german class at the moment, but I am in no way fluent at this point.

I have a high school diploma and I'm attending university in september.

I do have work experience.

But i'd like to work. But I dont know where to look.

I've tried looking up jobs in the forum, but many jobs are quite far and I cant exactly afford travelling back and forth to Zurich at this point

Anyways, if you know of websites or agencies or have words of wisdom to share, please don't hesitate!
Start off telling us what you can do maybe.

The Swiss like "qualified people" so if you try and sell yourself as a jack of all trades it's quite likely you won't have too much success, try and concentrate on what you can do and hihlight your experience in this area.
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Old 26.03.2011, 10:19
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

Neverending Traveller

the quick answer is without very SPECIALIST skills and no/little local language you will find it VERY hard to find work here

Some deluded folk on this forum will say otherwise but seriously without the language your choices are very very limited

As i was in a similar position to yourself here's my short version of my job search experiences here (I live near Nyon)

I am an English native with little French language and no particular specialist skills (just a bit better than average in IT but not enough for that sector)
First 5 months here applied for jobs - began to realise that the vast majority require BOTH French and English. I did the usual thing apply for jobs register with agencies etc One agency guy said that the market is not fluid and even 'basic' manual jobs require the local language (in fact that sort of work requires MORE of the local language) so if you want to work stacking shelves in Migros or Coop you will find it hard to even get that work. Also factor in the work attitude here that people do NOT jump from sector to sector or job to job and its even harder.

At the 5 month mark I applied for an English language only job in Lausanne and got it (in retrospect it was one of the lamest interviews I had and to be frank I think the company - non Swiss had some anti-Swiss attitude - so wanted non-Swiss people) the job was pertty crap but hung onto to it for 6 months and got laid off.

After that I was a year unemployed - during that time I was put forward by the ORP for just 2 jobs!
My wife who was also unemployed for a short period (she can speak French) had about 4 jobs to apply for each month...a massive difference

I have known other expats who have struggled because of the language, quit and returned to their native countries. I knew one friend who worked for a total of 3 months in 2 years here - he gave up and found work back home within 2 weeks

My advice - obviously its learn the local language to a competent level (seriously anything below B2 level is pointless)

If you insist on staying without the language expect your options to be extremely limited

The usual advice apply for any type of job, concentrate on companies which use your native language, do not restrict your geographic area - the one advantage you have over Swiss people is that they are reluctant to 'commute' a lot.
Send spec letters (physical not email if you can afford to) Network - register and visit agencies. keep being visible and making people aware that you want to work

Good luck - and I know from my experience you will need LOTS of luck
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Old 26.03.2011, 10:25
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

It IS going to be difficult, but have you considered applying for a job in an English pub or similar? You never know...
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Old 28.03.2011, 16:22
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

Recently, I went through an interview with a Swiss hr consultant and said that you have 5% chance to get the job in Zurich without German language skills...
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Old 28.03.2011, 17:22
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

It's just hard, but good luck.
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Old 29.03.2011, 12:03
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

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It IS going to be difficult, but have you considered applying for a job in an English pub or similar? You never know...

I absolutely have, the problem is if they need me there until after 3am I wouldnt have public transportation to get home until after 5 since I'm not driving at the moment, but I'll keep looking.

Thanks!
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Old 29.03.2011, 14:11
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Re: Probability of getting hired without german/italien/french knowledge? Help...

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Recently, I went through an interview with a Swiss hr consultant and said that you have 5% chance to get the job in Zurich without German language skills...
It depends on your skills.... My company hires many that can only
speak English.
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