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Old 24.08.2006, 15:50
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Any advice on St. Gallen? [Salary negotiation]

Hi, I have just found this forum and I have to say it is a relief. I have been scouring various official sites on living in Switzerland and various weblogs for an info on salaries.

I have been invited to St. Gallen to have a final interview for a Marketing Manager position, but am stuck on the issue of salaries.

The first interview went well, but when I asked about salaries I was asked my expectations. I said what I would expect for a similar position in the UK, (plus a bit extra for Switzerland) and I didn't really get an answer either way from them.

I assumed that I had maybe over estimated the salary, since the interviewer said salaries and cost of living were considerably lower than in Zurich etc. Since I have been invited for the second interview (and reading a few of the threads on here) I am beginning to think I am selling myself short.

I am supposed to go to St. Gallen at the beginning of September, so any quick advice on salaries - or anything else I should be aware about in St. Gallen - would be great.

And if you are based in St. Gallen the info would be all the more welcome!

Thanks

Oli
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Old 24.08.2006, 15:56
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

I've moved you to Help & Tips, seems more applicable.

We have some friend of the forum in SG; whilst it's cheaper than Zurich, it's still reasonably pricey.

Now tell me about what you've asked for - no need to be totally exact but ballpark figure will be enough.

Also an indication of age and dependants; this also figures to the Swiss employer....
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Old 24.08.2006, 15:58
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

If you want to talk, give me a ring and I will do my best. I live in the St. Gallen Rheintal, in Buchs. Number is below.
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:04
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Thanks, that was quick! I wasn't expecting anything today!

I'm 28 with 5 years relevant experience.

I don't know much about Switzerland to be honest, so I am on a pretty steep learning curve at the moment. I didn't realise there were different types of visas/work permits until they called earlier today to check my Nationality!

Last edited by Jazz; 06.06.2007 at 14:21.
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:05
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Thanks Scott, I'll take you up on that offer. It'll have to be after work though, not good form to make a call like that from an employer I am considering leaving!
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:09
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

personally, I would raise my price. You'll have people reporting to you?
is there a bonus based on performance?
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:10
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Quote:
I'm 28 with 5 years relevant experience. I put my figure at 80,000 CHF.
Hello Jazz. Although, I am absolutely NOT an expert on salaries in CH, (I'm still trying to find out the right one for myself), I do have a very close friend in IT with 2 children and a non-working wife who lived in St. Gallen very comfortable on a salary range of 105-110 CHF.
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:12
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

I'm still not quite sure on the structure, it could be anywhere from 2 to about 6 people reporting to me. Apparantly they are restructuring depending on the experience of 3 new manager positions.

I bonus was mentioned but I need to negotiate at the next interview as to the value/conditions.
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:31
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

2-6 reports: 120-130k
Have they said your expectations are too high? I would hope not
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:44
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

I am missing something here...

No matter how many people will be reporting to you, the branch is very important.

(or did I really miss it?)
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:45
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Oops, looks like I am severely under-selling myself! I probably looked quite naive in the interview. No wonder they didn't give me a straight answer!

Shame I didn't find this forum a week ago. I am going to look very mercenary if I start raising my asking price too sharply?
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:49
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Quote:
I am missing something here...

No matter how many people will be reporting to you, the branch is very important.

(or did I really miss it?)
To give a hint (and this will probably help you narrow down the place of work quite quickly) it is in the education sector, so no branch offices involved. I am guessing that like the UK, this sector pays less than other sectors of business.
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Old 24.08.2006, 16:50
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

"it's come to my attention that market rates for this type of position in Switzerland are in the range xxx to yyy"

Hardly mercenary - and I'd assume they have bandings into which your rank and salary should fit.
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Old 24.08.2006, 17:25
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Salary negotiations are a game of bloody poker in this country. Don't blink again until they offer a figure, then add 15%!

Also relocation costs are a trauma, plus healthcare - are you aware you'll need that too here? - transport options/railcard etc. I've worked in Education here so if you want some 'local' advice, feel free to PM me. Good luck, interviews are howible...
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Old 24.08.2006, 17:38
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Thanks Lob Rockster, that really pins it down, but I was kind of guessing as much since there is very little info on what people are actually paid. No job adverts actually have a salary attached.

I was expecting that they would have a pay scale that I would fit into, but if they have got one, they haven't let on so far! Mind you they are being very nice, so at least I will feel good about myself if I get shafted!
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Old 24.08.2006, 20:13
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

I had the same issue went I came for my first interview, I come from Venezuela which is even worse as the economy there is not even comparable to any country in Europe, I didnt know this forum back then. Anyways, I what I said to them was something like "As I dont know the Swiss salary market, I expect from you an offer you consider competitive and adecuate for my skillset and experience.". The guy making the interview was really friendly and loose, and somehow I managed in a ver subtle way make him know, that paying me a lower salary than my real market value, will only make me leave to another company after some months
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Old 24.08.2006, 21:34
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Quote:
I had the same issue went I came for my first interview, I come from Venezuela which is even worse as the economy there is not even comparable to any country in Europe, I didnt know this forum back then. Anyways, I what I said to them was something like "As I dont know the Swiss salary market, I expect from you an offer you consider competitive and adecuate for my skillset and experience.". The guy making the interview was really friendly and loose, and somehow I managed in a ver subtle way make him know, that paying me a lower salary than my real market value, will only make me leave to another company after some months
I actually considered this option during the interview, but decided it would be a bit of a cop out. I went for the option of saying that I wasn't sure in Swiss francs but could tell them what I would expect for the same position in the UK. That way I could quote them a salary in pounds and at least plead some ignorance later.

This thread has been really useful. I have actually found out more about what to expect in CH than after hours of sifting through Swiss Embassy and similar websites. Drinks are on me if I actually make it to Switzerland!!!
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Old 24.08.2006, 21:38
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

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Drinks are on me if I actually make it to Switzerland!!!
Are you very, very sure about that???
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Old 24.08.2006, 21:49
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Ok, maybe not for everyone registered, but at least for those kind enough to help!

If there is now suddenly a flood of people joining this discussion with helpful advice, I may get a little suspicious!
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Old 25.08.2006, 08:13
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Re: Any advice on St. Gallen?

Quote:
IDrinks are on me if I actually make it to Switzerland!!!
You say that because you know most of us live far away from St. Gallen
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