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Old 11.08.2011, 17:35
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Going over to Zurich to find job

Hello everyone,

Aside from AmericanGotVisa, has anyone else taken the plunge to just quit their jobs and go to Switzerland as a tourist, trying to find a job within the 90 days?

I have just posted on the housing section as well for short term accommodation info, but as my job hunt out of Singapore is going nowhere and as I really feel the need of physically being there to meet people, and make contacts, I am considering to quit my job here and take the leap of faith. My lease in Singapore is ending at the end of Sep, and I have no intention of signing another 2 years' lease, the rent is going up at an insane rate, my job situation not being good, I don't see any reason of staying here any longer. With over 7 years in Singapore, I am done with the place and none of my European language skills are valued here which is a shame.

People/companies won't bother looking at CVs sent out of Asia (or outside EU for that matter), but if I make it to a personal interview, I can make a strong positive impression. On my recent trip, I almost got an offer from a financial institution who was willing to apply for my work permit, however I didn't have a good gut feeling about the CEO I met, which proved me right as after trying to negotiate a simple relocation package, he got irritated and wrote me off instantly. I am okay with this, as I do not wish to work for an extremely short tempered person, but I have also realized that the work permit wall is not impossible, it is just a lot of work for the company to obtain one for you, so in order for them to want to go through that trouble, they would REALLY need to like and want me enough, and I won't be able to get there by just emailing my CVs.

I was recently in Switzerland for 2 weeks, so I would only have 2.5 months to stay to look for something, from Oct to mid Dec. Is this a bad timing? Is it absolutely crazy? I also plan to go to language school to improve my German on a daily basis while there.

I have never quit a job without the next one waiting so this move would take a lot of guts for sure. But I feel so stuck and stagnant in my life now, that if I don't take any action, nothing is going to change... So, my question is, anyone else out there who's tried this and what what their experiences? What was the outcome, any regrets? Any success stories? Any advice?

I am trying to stay positive (which is not easy!), and believe where there is a will, there is a way, so I'd like to hear from people who were in the same boat as me (non EU) and taken this plunge, wherever it took them.

Thanks!
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Old 11.08.2011, 17:39
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

From what I've read, you seem able, organised and competent so I'd say - yes, do it. Look at prices first in detail (including food) - things are expensive here and a 3 months trip could be pricey. What about looking for a job with an international company in Singapore with a view to being transferred to their Switzerland office a year down the line? Could that work? Could you get introductions from any of these companies? Good luck!
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Old 13.08.2011, 14:13
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

Thanks economisto for the encouragement! I did think about applying for a Swiss company first, however my lease is expiring in a month, and in Singapore the standard is a 2 year lease. Singapore real estate is absolutely crazy right now, can you believe my landlord is going to raise my rent by 68%?? It is just not worth it, and the quality of life doesn't match the prices anymore. As such, I feel it is time to go.

I will look into my possible monthly spending in Zurich - luckily I am not a big spender to begin with, and considering how petite I am, I don't need that much food either

What I need to do is proper planning: getting the right accommodation, enroll myself in school, and try to make connections already so I can already schedule as many meetings as possible, prior to my arrival. Thanks for the well wishes, I will certainly need it!

Also, hoping to attend some EF gatherings while I am there!
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Old 13.08.2011, 14:22
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

pm on the way!
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Old 13.08.2011, 14:36
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

Confident and full of optimism. You should do well! And in the worst case, you'll get to spend a few weeks somewhere very different from Singapore and you can view it as a holiday.

If you're willing to share an apartment with other people, join and ask on couchsurfing.org. Originally meant for people to crash on someone's couch for a day or two, they members are usually receptive to other types of accommodation requests.
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Old 13.08.2011, 15:48
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

Thanks adrianlondon for the info!
Re accommodation, if I can't find a studio, I would also look into renting a room in a house or condo, I'm a bit of a clean freak and tidy, and cheerful by nature, I promise I would be a nice roommate to have for this short period! I'm planning to go to Bellingua as I liked it when I went for private classes last year, so I'm hoping to find somewhere close to town. (school is in Löwenstrasse)

And well, you'll never know whether you'll succeed unless you've tried it, right?

I might come up with more questions (probably pertaining to daily life-monthly discount transportation passes or the like) close to the date, and hoping EF can guide me with answers then
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Old 13.08.2011, 17:07
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

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Hello everyone,
People/companies won't bother looking at CVs sent out of Asia (or outside EU for that matter),
Wrong assumption.
Quote:
but if I make it to a personal interview, I can make a strong positive impression.
If they are really interested, they will fly you over.

In general, experienced expats coming to work in Switzerland get much better conditions than people searched and employed locally. The key word is experience. You will never replace optimism and face-to-face charm with lack of experience on your CV.

Maybe you should work on that first?
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Old 13.08.2011, 17:49
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

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You will never replace optimism and face-to-face charm with lack of experience on your CV.

Maybe you should work on that first?
Were did the OP said that she was lacking experience in her field?

OP, what type of job are you looking for in Switzerland? The forum may be able to suggest you some HH or consultancy companies and even to assess how is the market right now for this type of jobs.

Also is good idea to arrange in advance face to face meetings, people will take your application more seriously when they know you already have a date in the calendar that you would be in Switzerland. If you contact them through email, they don't have to see first hand where you are present located.

all the best
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Old 15.08.2011, 08:10
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

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Wrong assumption.

If they are really interested, they will fly you over.

In general, experienced expats coming to work in Switzerland get much better conditions than people searched and employed locally. The key word is experience. You will never replace optimism and face-to-face charm with lack of experience on your CV.

Maybe you should work on that first?
Flying over for interview purposes is usually for executive levels, not manager-level like me. I was raised an expat-child, and was an expat myself, so I know how it is. This is the first time I am trying something different. Without experience, one will get nowhere and I never mentioned I plan to charm myself into a job! It's rather simple, physically being there enables you a lot more networking than through emails.

Quote:
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Were did the OP said that she was lacking experience in her field?

OP, what type of job are you looking for in Switzerland? The forum may be able to suggest you some HH or consultancy companies and even to assess how is the market right now for this type of jobs.

Also is good idea to arrange in advance face to face meetings, people will take your application more seriously when they know you already have a date in the calendar that you would be in Switzerland. If you contact them through email, they don't have to see first hand where you are present located.

all the best
Thanks Cris, I definitely plan to line up as many meetings as possible prior to flying over. I have started working on that already.
My career background is Marketing (promotions/brand management) and corporate sales/business development in the hospitality industry, English/Dutch/Japanese translator/interpreter as well as PA to top management, in all, 14+yrs experience. My aim are international firms/MNCs that are trying to expand their businesses/projects in the Asian market, especially that of Japan but not limited to, and assist in client relationship building, getting contacts, share my Asian business know-how and knowledge of the business protocol which is different from the west. Plus my language skills come in handy.
I have contacts at Michael Page and Adecco, but I'd aprpeciate it a lot if anyone could give me info on HHs that I definitely should be contacting. Thank you!
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Old 15.08.2011, 11:09
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Re: Going over to Zurich to find job

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I would only have 2.5 months to stay to look for something, from Oct to mid Dec. Is this a bad timing?
Might be a bit bad timing, yes - the economy is still very much on the employers' side in the sense of employing people, and probably nothing will really happen in December due to upcoming Christmas and end of year - but it's not crazy, because employers are more willing to interview people who are local than someone in another country (I only have annecdotal evidence to support that, mind). A better idea might be extended leave from your current work if you can manage that.

Good luck!
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