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Old 14.09.2007, 18:11
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Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Hello everybody,
I've spent the last week barely sleeping due to a big problem that i have right now in taking or not a job position in Basel. That's why i need to ask for advise. So, let's start from the beginning:

I live in Spain, I'm 30 years old and Mechanical Engineer. My background is a grant in a telecom company, product manager for Iberian market in a Spanish company (lightning company) and right now I'm working as Regional Sales Engineer for the Iberian market in a german company that supplies high tech equipment for R&D.
I consider myself right now (even my company considers me like that) Regional Manager as I'm developing the market myself here since 1 year and a half. I will be the manager of the future office in 1.5 year when we will decide to open it. Great future indeed.

But as an engineer i'd like to deal with technical stuff and not only sales stuff.
My sister and her husband are working in Basel since 4 years and they are quite happy there.
Well, the problem comes when my brother in law suggested me to apply for a job position in his company as a Project Manager as they got new contracts last week and they are overwhelmed. The company sells software for telecom companies worldwide and i love that company cause i love gadgets and everything related to technology. And i could manage projects all around the world.

I applied for the job and they like me but the first salary offer was 80k CHF.
I said that i was expecting at least 110-115k CHF cause my salary in Spain right now is even higher than that (I've sold a lot and i got a lot of commissions). I know that they will increase their offer but i think that it will be something around 90k CHF.

I'm not happy at all with that salary because i would decrease mine a lot (only in fix salary i earn 60kEUR) but apart from the money the rest of my brain is willing to accept the job.
My sister is there, i know that i could be really happy there, i will not need a car to go to work, a lot of green areas (spain is very dry), and much more things.
If i think twice maybe 90k CHF is not that bad but i know that once you start with a salary it's very difficult to increase it later.

So, that's the point where i'm stuck right now.
I would like to hear your suggestions. I would like to know if it would not be a crazy idea moving to Basel as a Project Manager for such money. For the very first year i would live alone as my girlfriend lives in Germany (300km far) but she will join me October 2008.
I don't want to feel that i made a mistake leaving a great opportunity in Spain in terms of job position and salary. I want to feel that it's worthy to decide earning less money and gain in quality of life.

Well, i could keep telling you much more things but i don't want to boring you.
To sum up, Project Manager for maybe 90k CHF in Basel.
Could i live comfortable with that?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 14.09.2007, 20:15
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

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To sum up, Project Manager for maybe 90k CHF in Basel.
Could i live comfortable with that?

Thanks in advance.
Could you live on it? - depends on your lifestyle but should be possible.

90K for a project manager - that seems low to me, banks for example pay more for team leads.
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  #3  
Old 14.09.2007, 20:19
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

I think 90k is to low I know manual workers who get over 90k so a manager should be the right side of 110K.

DC

Last edited by DC_in_Hombi; 14.09.2007 at 22:33.
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Old 14.09.2007, 20:36
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

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Hello everybody,
I've spent the last week barely sleeping due to a big problem that i have right now in taking or not a job position in Basel. That's why i need to ask for advise. So, let's start from the beginning:

I live in Spain, I'm 30 years old and Mechanical Engineer. My background is a grant in a telecom company, product manager for Iberian market in a Spanish company (lightning company) and right now I'm working as Regional Sales Engineer for the Iberian market in a german company that supplies high tech equipment for R&D.
I consider myself right now (even my company considers me like that) Regional Manager as I'm developing the market myself here since 1 year and a half. I will be the manager of the future office in 1.5 year when we will decide to open it. Great future indeed.

But as an engineer i'd like to deal with technical stuff and not only sales stuff.
My sister and her husband are working in Basel since 4 years and they are quite happy there.
Well, the problem comes when my brother in law suggested me to apply for a job position in his company as a Project Manager as they got new contracts last week and they are overwhelmed. The company sells software for telecom companies worldwide and i love that company cause i love gadgets and everything related to technology. And i could manage projects all around the world.

I applied for the job and they like me but the first salary offer was 80k CHF.
I said that i was expecting at least 110-115k CHF cause my salary in Spain right now is even higher than that (I've sold a lot and i got a lot of commissions). I know that they will increase their offer but i think that it will be something around 90k CHF.

I'm not happy at all with that salary because i would decrease mine a lot (only in fix salary i earn 60kEUR) but apart from the money the rest of my brain is willing to accept the job.
My sister is there, i know that i could be really happy there, i will not need a car to go to work, a lot of green areas (spain is very dry), and much more things.
If i think twice maybe 90k CHF is not that bad but i know that once you start with a salary it's very difficult to increase it later.

So, that's the point where i'm stuck right now.
I would like to hear your suggestions. I would like to know if it would not be a crazy idea moving to Basel as a Project Manager for such money. For the very first year i would live alone as my girlfriend lives in Germany (300km far) but she will join me October 2008.
I don't want to feel that i made a mistake leaving a great opportunity in Spain in terms of job position and salary. I want to feel that it's worthy to decide earning less money and gain in quality of life.

Well, i could keep telling you much more things but i don't want to boring you.
To sum up, Project Manager for maybe 90k CHF in Basel.
Could i live comfortable with that?

Thanks in advance.
Do what I did ask for the amount you want, they can only say no. (Don't go + 50k CHF as you won't get it, they may move 10-20k at a push.)

Don't forget though Swiss tax is lower than most countries.

I got a yes by the way.

The swiss aren't stupid with salary negotiations they will always pitch as low as they can like any clever business worldwide would.

If they say no you can reply, "That wasn't what I was expecting with my experience, I will have to think about it I will come back to you in a couple of days, as I need to work a few things out. However I'm still very interested and it sounds a fantastic opportunity."

The key is not to annoy them with several offers, have a figure and say it. They might meet 1/2 way you never know unless you ask

That would buy you a couple of days to talk to the GF and think about cost of living.

Apart from that Basel seems a great place to live, so consider that in your decision. Apart from the pricey beer

90k should be okay, you are not going to be driving a Ferrari but you'll have a good standard of living from what I've heard other people say about that amount.

PM should be 110-120 I reckon, but I'm no expert
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Old 15.09.2007, 11:37
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Hello again,
Thank you for your quick answers
I guess that I'm in the edge of a nice salary, that's why it's difficult to give an answer, isn't it?
The problem is that the first offer that they did me was just 80k and i reply saying that i thought that was very low for a project manager as i expected an offer of 110-115k.
Yesterday they confirmed me 90k. I haven't say yes yet. I will try to fight the last time and get at least 100k but i don't know if i will get it.
Can someone please tell me how much net i will get from this salary with 13 payments?

Would someone say no to the offer for this 90k offer and stay in your current job? Money is the only problem i have because i love the rest of the things that means moving to Basel but as i said i don't want to do it making a big mistake.
I have money saved do to my current job (a lot of commissions during this year) and i could use that money too. But this money will be gone in the future and i also read that it's difficult to increase the salary once you start with a certain one.

Thanks again to all of you.
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  #6  
Old 15.09.2007, 12:38
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

If I had no job then I might, Dont you have any other offers on the table to compare.

DC
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Old 15.09.2007, 12:49
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

No, it's the only offer I have.
In fact, i was not looking for a job until my brother in law suggested me to apply for this one. I'm really happy in my job but i was already considering the possibility to move in the future to Basel as my girlfriend lives in Germany and it would be a nice city to live together.
My brother in law knows that it's the perfect job for me cause i will love to be in that kind of company, cutting edge technology, mobiles, world wide customers, etc.
I don't think that i would like to be in a bank company or something similar.

It's like playing with just one card. I know that in the future would be more possibilities but you never know
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Old 15.09.2007, 13:07
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

It seems that moving to Basel is more important for you than the salary...well salary does count but you will regret more if you don't take this position. 90k is at the lower end of the PM job but try to negotiate for the future salary like you can take this 90k offer now but from say July08 you need to have 115k. They can put your new salary bracket in the budget of next year. It does work for some of my friends.
You can also ask for the reallocation allowance, first three month of accommodation or maybe health insurance on top of 90k.
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  #9  
Old 15.09.2007, 20:43
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

How big is the project if all they pay the manager of the project is 90k ?
Some realism required here, perhaps from both sides. Project Manager ? What is that in your perception ?

dave


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Hello everybody,
I've spent the last week barely sleeping due to a big problem that i have right now in taking or not a job position in Basel. That's why i need to ask for advise. So, let's start from the beginning:

I live in Spain, I'm 30 years old and Mechanical Engineer. My background is a grant in a telecom company, product manager for Iberian market in a Spanish company (lightning company) and right now I'm working as Regional Sales Engineer for the Iberian market in a german company that supplies high tech equipment for R&D.
I consider myself right now (even my company considers me like that) Regional Manager as I'm developing the market myself here since 1 year and a half. I will be the manager of the future office in 1.5 year when we will decide to open it. Great future indeed.

But as an engineer i'd like to deal with technical stuff and not only sales stuff.
My sister and her husband are working in Basel since 4 years and they are quite happy there.
Well, the problem comes when my brother in law suggested me to apply for a job position in his company as a Project Manager as they got new contracts last week and they are overwhelmed. The company sells software for telecom companies worldwide and i love that company cause i love gadgets and everything related to technology. And i could manage projects all around the world.

I applied for the job and they like me but the first salary offer was 80k CHF.
I said that i was expecting at least 110-115k CHF cause my salary in Spain right now is even higher than that (I've sold a lot and i got a lot of commissions). I know that they will increase their offer but i think that it will be something around 90k CHF.

I'm not happy at all with that salary because i would decrease mine a lot (only in fix salary i earn 60kEUR) but apart from the money the rest of my brain is willing to accept the job.
My sister is there, i know that i could be really happy there, i will not need a car to go to work, a lot of green areas (spain is very dry), and much more things.
If i think twice maybe 90k CHF is not that bad but i know that once you start with a salary it's very difficult to increase it later.

So, that's the point where i'm stuck right now.
I would like to hear your suggestions. I would like to know if it would not be a crazy idea moving to Basel as a Project Manager for such money. For the very first year i would live alone as my girlfriend lives in Germany (300km far) but she will join me October 2008.
I don't want to feel that i made a mistake leaving a great opportunity in Spain in terms of job position and salary. I want to feel that it's worthy to decide earning less money and gain in quality of life.

Well, i could keep telling you much more things but i don't want to boring you.
To sum up, Project Manager for maybe 90k CHF in Basel.
Could i live comfortable with that?

Thanks in advance.
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  #10  
Old 15.09.2007, 20:49
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Hi:
As far as I know (I work in IT), normally, Project Managers get some variable income depending on the projects they are managing. Does this company have some kind of variable bonuses that you can add to your base salary?:
(90k + project bonuses).

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  #11  
Old 15.09.2007, 20:51
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Anyway, I would not simply compare "money to money". I would give some value to quality of life. (Just a thought...)
Kind regards,
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  #12  
Old 15.09.2007, 23:14
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Contracts are really huge, millions of EUR but obviously they don't see that money. The company belongs to another one.
Regarding the doubt about if it is real project management, well it is.
Once we have a customer i would need to go there and make a presentation of the product. If we get the project then my work would start. I would need to coordinate our resources (software developing people, etc) with the customer's one to achieve the schedule for the project. There is always a launch date and from my experience in in the past in a telecom company it's always very difficult to launch a project on time.
So it would mean plan, coordinate and control the project from inception to completion, meeting the project's requirements.


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Old 16.09.2007, 01:33
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Well, it sounds like Project Management with participation in Presales activities, so I think you should have some variable income besides your base salary....but I don't know, it depends on company's politics. I use to work as Project Manager/Presales Engineer and I received a bonus for every "sold" project.
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Old 16.09.2007, 11:34
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

At leasr i know that they can give a bonus at the end of the year depending on company profit. That was something that i already wanted to discuss but maybe it's not too much money.
What matters to me is the monthly salary because that's the budget that i would use to plan my life.

I hope that tomorrow i can speak with the boss and finally see if i can get more or not. I'm really nervous
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Old 17.09.2007, 20:11
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Good Luck.!!
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Old 19.09.2007, 20:00
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

it' really low! even a trainee in a pharma industry coming out of the university with no industry experience get this salary
so go and ask for more.
good luck!!
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Old 20.09.2007, 10:19
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Hello again,
I haven't answer before because i'm still negotiating. The boss is really busy and it's difficult to do things fast.
I didn't know that it was really low as justsally says. I thought it was a nice salary, not the best one but a nice one.
Anyway, i will let you know if at the end i get something else from this 90k.
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Old 21.09.2007, 18:03
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

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Hello again,
I haven't answer before because i'm still negotiating. The boss is really busy and it's difficult to do things fast.
I didn't know that it was really low as justsally says. I thought it was a nice salary, not the best one but a nice one.
Anyway, i will let you know if at the end i get something else from this 90k.

Dc_kl_tf,

I was recently in Spain and frankly your purchasing power here will be lower than with 60K EUR in Spain. Basel-Stadt is on its way reducing taxes, though, so this may change. Dc, do you see clearly your professional/career progression? have you negotiated or mentioned % commissions from projects sold? You'll pay little tax on 90K in Basel, around 10% rough estimate, but add all other deductions that bite more than the tax itself. Then if you haven't stayed here for at least 1 year, forget about getting pension from SUI when you reach pension age (your AHV contributions).

Lifestyle-wise, i've seen totally conflicting life stories about latinos that came here to work. One guy fell into depression after half a year and made tracks back to Argentina, another brought his whole family and tells he found his home for good. Lucky one, eh. Extra-cleanliness, good services, order, etc.. are offset by some peculiarities of swiss mentality, which, am sure, you'll come across. For all the rest, best of luck.
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Old 21.09.2007, 22:21
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Hi Groovy,
Maybe i would have less purchasing power than in Spain but i have to admit that with 60k EUR you live really really well in Spain.
I'm engineer and I'm the only one of all my friends earning that much much money. Even only my fix salary, 60k EUR, is in 80% of the cases double their salaries. I mean, Spain is a pain in the ass right now for finding a good job and my friends engineers only earn something around 28-33k EUR.
But they are happy. They will never be able to buy a house alone (in Spain it costs 3k-6kEUR each square meter) but they leave quite well.
The rest of my friends live with around 1k - 1.3k EUR net each month.

I feel confused about all the answers from you. It seems that most of you agree that 90k CHF is not too much for Switzerland. But my sister and my brother in law say that it's not that bad. Whenever my girlfriend would move and have another swiss salary, they say that we will live quite comfortable.
My brother in law started in this company with that salary and afterwards he reached 104k approx. And he is quite happy with his salary and his life. 14k CHf is not too much difference. Maybe with 90k i could have 5000CHF net each month in 13 payments and with 104k around 5600CHF.
I downloaded an excel file with fix expenses and keeping in mind a rent of around 1400CHF, my house in spain till i sell it, estimating the expenses of my future car, food(500CHF), etc, i could have left for not fix expenses something around 1200CHF.
Well, it's something.

I don't know, as i said before, i don't want to base my decission just in money. I think that the rest worths the movement and if i'm dissapointed i could always find a new job there.
The important thing is to move there and probably on the future it would be easier to find better things once you already live in Switzerland.

DC
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Old 03.12.2007, 10:36
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Re: Need advise in accepting Project Manager offer in Basel

Hi everybody,
It's been a long time since my last post but until last week i didn't close everything. Too many things for the end of the year and mine was just one.
At then end i closed the deal and i'm moving to basel
Ok, the deal is a little bit better, 97500CHF, bonus at the end of the year depending on company profit and i will have the chance to get stock options from the mother company in USA. They will also pay me 50% of the rent the first 2 months or 100& the first month. I will start on Jan 7th.

I'm very happy with this deal. It's not what i expected when i started with all this nearly 3 months ago but as i said several times, i'm moving basically for personal reason and not for professional reasons.

I also managed to agree with my future boss a future meeting after 6 months to renegotiate my conditions. I think that it would be easier to ask for more salary once he sees how i work.

Anyway, I'm really happy with my decission even though all my colleagues in my current company are calling me crazy for leaving a Regional Sales position. I'm still young to make these crazy things and i hope at the end everything will be worthy.

I'm quite sure that from now on i will surf this forum very often so... hello again to everybody

Cheers
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