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Old 07.04.2011, 00:02
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Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Can any you PLEASE try to help me?

Where are most english speakers (who are not super-educated) finding gainful employment in der Schweiz?

For the past year I'm in the Bodensee Region near Thayngen/Gottmadingen but I haven't been able to find work except to possibly work with stressed-out 20-year-olds at 'Burger King' (up in Germany, because a US Citizen has almost immediate working Rights up there).

My current Work-permit/Visum is based on me being a 'Teacher' at a Tüttlingen (DE) Zeitarbeit Firme (Temp Agency) but they will have no work for me until the summer time. I am being supported by a friend for only one more month and I MUST be on my own by then. I'm quite frightened because I have absolutely no options outside of Germany - and I'm over 40.

I have been in Technical Sales for Mechanical/HVAC/Electrical Contractors in the US previously, and long ago I did electronics/mechatronik assembly & Quality Assurance, but my very limited German is holding me back from finding any real job in the small towns around Bodensee - but I'm eager to do ANY type of gainful employment to be able to survive either in Germany or preferably around the DE/Schweiz border regions. I will eagerly work at a fast-food sweatshop or similar mindless labor - but if I do that I would rather do it in der Schweiz.

I am also willing to move almost anywhere (anywhere that I can afford to live) for 'gainful' employment lasting a year or longer.

Any kind advice is greatly appreciated. Regards to all
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Old 07.04.2011, 00:13
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

You will probably have more luck in Germany in finding a job. Germany is much more pro USA than Switzerland, due to the US forces being stationed there.

Here there are 4 negatives against you:
you don't have a permit
you are an "older" American
you have no useful qualifications
you don't speak good German.

They are very keen here on good qualifications, there is even a qualification in office cleaning! You really are up against qualified foreigners here without Swiss qualifications, but married to a Swiss person. They have the grapevines to find the little jobs you are looking for.

You can look on here www.jobs.ch there are loads of technical jobs but getting one is your problem!

.
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Old 07.04.2011, 11:45
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Thanks for your reply, but I initially thought your post sounded a little 'dark'-

-I'm probably much more qualified to do what I do more than most 'Swiss' people twice my age. I know for a fact there are many english speaking foreigners, younger and older than me, no more intelligent nor qualified than me getting permanent jobs and being relatively happy.

I had even worked for a Swiss technical Company (in America, & der Schweiz for a short time) and I know some of my past industries are still in use here (I live in Schaffhausen)

I had already tried Jobs.ch and it did not lead me to any Job Recruiters or Head Hunters - which is what someone like me needs I think.

Does anyone know of any useful Job Agencies or Head Hunters (besides Experteer). Can someone kindly give me any 'kind' advice as I would do for them?

Thanks to all.
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Old 07.04.2011, 12:23
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

One of your problems will be that you have to compete with equally qualified Swiss and equally qualified European Union candidates for any job you might try for and only when your potential employer can prove you have something vital that they don't, can you get a permit to work.
Sorry if this is bad news, but on the bright side, if you already have a work permit maybe all these obstacles can be overcome!
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Old 08.04.2011, 22:28
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Thanks for your reply!

At this time I only have a work permit to 'teach' in DE.

Question 1: In der Schweiz can an Auslander like myself simple apply for any kind of work permit before I found any job?

Question 2: Once I finally have a work-permit can I use that permit for any variety of jobs, or two different jobs at the same time? (is there such thing as a 'general work permit' like in some other countries?)

I appreciate everyone's help on this.
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Old 08.04.2011, 23:03
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Quote:
View Post
Thanks for your reply!

At this time I only have a work permit to 'teach' in DE.

Question 1: In der Schweiz can an Auslander like myself simple apply for any kind of work permit before I found any job?
No. The employer applies for the work permit for you.

Quote:
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Question 2: Once I finally have a work-permit can I use that permit for any variety of jobs, or two different jobs at the same time? (is there such thing as a 'general work permit' like in some other countries?)
No. Your work permit will be tied to job/employer for which it was applied.
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Old 08.04.2011, 23:34
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

I am sorry to have given you a dark appraisal. I was unemployed for three years here, and met many sad situations. Basically I don't think you have any chance of finding a technical job here, sorry.

You have qualifications, but are they going to be recognised in Switzerland? German doctors and pschychologists have difficulties working here. Do you speak good German? Can you conduct an application interview in German?

You have tried www.Jobs.ch but had no luck. Doesn't that tell you something? You have a teaching job in Germany, so I would say be happy with that and learn some German. At the moment we are over run with Indian and SE Asian engineers, whom are accepting very low salaries. It doesn't look good at all.
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Old 09.04.2011, 00:17
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Over on http://www.toytowngermany.com/ you can find discussions about what is required to get a job at a US military base in Germany. From what I remember this is one situation in which not having a permit improves your odds. However, again from what I remember, the odds still aren't great, but in your shoes I would at least give it a shot.

Good luck!
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Old 09.04.2011, 00:20
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Apologies for also sounding rather negative but I would have to agree that times are tough even for German speakers. One of the biggest challenges with finding work here in Switzerland is that it's usually not enough to be fluent in English because there are a lot of English-speakers around, you need to be able to speak good German and often French as well.

In a pedantic aside, it's die Schweiz.
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Old 09.04.2011, 00:24
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

but it's 'in der Schweiz' if one is speaking German and wants to say 'in Switzerland'.

Last edited by Longbyt; 09.04.2011 at 00:38.
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Old 09.04.2011, 00:29
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Re: Seeking advice on employment for US citizen

Oops, this is clearly where my lack of linguistic prowess gets me into trouble Carry on, over there on the other side of the röstigraben!
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