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  #101  
Old 07.09.2011, 04:15
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Dear Desperate,

I do sympathise with your situation but am having trouble with the title of your post "....reaching a point to give up". So what would you do if you give up? Settle down in Germany? You said you have a good job and the only reason you want to move here is personal. I am assuming that reason will not go away just because you don't find a job. What do you have to lose if you continue having a job in Germany and at the same time continue looking for a job. it may take days, weeks or months but doing something about a situation you want to change versus doing nothing, i am guessing with your experience the answer to that question is quite simple.

So pull yourself up, stop nagging. Surely ask for advice how to improve but don't complain. there are millions out there who are unemployed and can't find a job. So be grateful you have one, continue searching, continue networking, modifying styles, approaches until you get it right trusting that when the right time and job comes, you will get the next plane to CH. Until then, enjoy your job in Germany.
I have those moments as well: telling myself to be happy with where I am, what I have. But, being here is not what I want, for various reasons. Yes, there's always somebody who'll have it worse, but this is not a race of me against some other persons benchmark, it's purely me racing towards my own ideal. Surely there's nothing wrong with having "ideals" and being impatient to pursue them?

It is amusing though to a certain extent, many posts of people in CH who don't like it, and equally posts of people outside of CH who'd love to be in their position.
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  #102  
Old 21.09.2011, 16:56
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Little update here as all the people who gave me such warm reactions in this thread surely will want to know (actually, i did get quite some encouraging and helpful reactions "off the record" via PM - thanks to those people)

* Interview with a great job with a private equity portfolio company next week - fingers crossed
* Being continuously approached for roles which touch on a specific bit of experience i have on my CV... very well paying roles, but it's not an area I'm looking to work in unless such a role would get me to Switzerland and the approaches are continuously not Swiss based (UK, UK, UK... what's up with that?)
* Will be attending and presenting at a conference in my functional area in near future as well - good opportunity to network (I hate that word)

Just as a message to the other people who are also "on the lookout" - keep trying!
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  #103  
Old 19.11.2011, 16:09
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Little update here as all the people who gave me such warm reactions in this thread surely will want to know (actually, i did get quite some encouraging and helpful reactions "off the record" via PM - thanks to those people)

* Interview with a great job with a private equity portfolio company next week - fingers crossed
* Being continuously approached for roles which touch on a specific bit of experience i have on my CV... very well paying roles, but it's not an area I'm looking to work in unless such a role would get me to Switzerland and the approaches are continuously not Swiss based (UK, UK, UK... what's up with that?)
* Will be attending and presenting at a conference in my functional area in near future as well - good opportunity to network (I hate that word)

Just as a message to the other people who are also "on the lookout" - keep trying!
Time for another update. Had a great interview with PE firm. Feedback: "We received 100 CVs, invited 10 people for interview, believe 4 people of the 10 would be right for the job. You are among those 4. But we're only sending 2 on to the next round to meet the CEO of the portfolio company and you're not among those 2. Don't ask us why, we don't have a reason, we just had to pick 2". Right

Still have an opportunity in the freezer (they're chasing me, I'm holding back) for a role involving immense amount of travel and where I stated I'd only do it if I could be based in Switzerland. They're mentioning lots of $$$ but I don't really want the job nor does the company appeal to me. Good to at least, certainly in this environment, also be in the position to say no.

Have foot in the door with one of the mega FMCG's in Switzerland. Got in via informal network (recommendation of former colleague who now works there) and have been shortlisted for interview. Great job, great company. Fingers crossed.

Was introduced for a role by a headhunter. Was pitched as an expensive but more impactful candidate for the role. Company declined because of the salary (they really did want a more junior person), but came back later for a more suitable role where salary would fit nicely. Interview planned in for in a couple of weeks. First round will immediately be a full day cross-functional round of talks with senior people. They mean business. Great job, very intersting company as well.

Who knows, Christmas time and new years may be a good reason to celebrate this year! If not, then it'll also be a good reason to get drunk

Thanks to several people who've been in touch via PM with advice / words of encouragement.

Word of advice to others: keep on keeping on! patience / effort will pay off - I hope so
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  #104  
Old 19.11.2011, 16:16
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Time for another update. Had a great interview with PE firm. Feedback: "We received 100 CVs, invited 10 people for interview, believe 4 people of the 10 would be right for the job. You are among those 4. But we're only sending 2 on to the next round to meet the CEO of the portfolio company and you're not among those 2. Don't ask us why, we don't have a reason, we just had to pick 2". Right

Still have an opportunity in the freezer (they're chasing me, I'm holding back) for a role involving immense amount of travel and where I stated I'd only do it if I could be based in Switzerland. They're mentioning lots of $$$ but I don't really want the job nor does the company appeal to me. Good to at least, certainly in this environment, also be in the position to say no.

Have foot in the door with one of the mega FMCG's in Switzerland. Got in via informal network (recommendation of former colleague who now works there) and have been shortlisted for interview. Great job, great company. Fingers crossed.

Was introduced for a role by a headhunter. Was pitched as an expensive but more impactful candidate for the role. Company declined because of the salary (they really did want a more junior person), but came back later for a more suitable role where salary would fit nicely. Interview planned in for in a couple of weeks. First round will immediately be a full day cross-functional round of talks with senior people. They mean business. Great job, very intersting company as well.

Who knows, Christmas time and new years may be a good reason to celebrate this year! If not, then it'll also be a good reason to get drunk

Thanks to several people who've been in touch via PM with advice / words of encouragement.

Word of advice to others: keep on keeping on! patience / effort will pay off - I hope so
PE tends to be very clubby.
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  #105  
Old 19.11.2011, 16:16
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Sounds like it is picking up for you, good luck with your quest.
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Old 19.11.2011, 19:03
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

It sounds like maybe your luck is turning. Good luck!!! I hope to see your post in few weeks telling all of us you got the job!!!
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Old 20.11.2011, 05:48
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

This has been a very interesting read for someone who is looking to move to Switzerland to find a Finance role early next year!

Not looking at FD roles though (!), probably a FM/SFA role (currently FM at large FMCG in Aus), so I'm hoping that there will be many more opportunities. My circumstances are also slightly different as I have a wife (no kids), and although I have an EU passport, I can not speak German, nor do I have any experience working in Europe.

This forum has been a great read so far (long time reader, first time poster) - so i'll keep reading through, most questions have been answered to date.

Back to your post desperate, sounds like things might be working out for you soon. Good luck over the next few weeks, it would definitely make a great christmas present!

Cheers
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  #108  
Old 20.11.2011, 10:05
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Desperate: play fair.
Switzerland is tiny, the anglo-saxon community is even smaller.
Don't play around with positions and/or companies, keep it honest, straightforward and clean and you'll always land on your feet.

If a company doesn't interest you, decline and move on. It will remain a fine opportunity for somebody else.
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  #109  
Old 22.11.2011, 22:36
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

No!!!! Don't give up!

Have you tried with headhunter!! A friend of mine tried 2 years by himself (great CV by the way) and didn't succed, with headhunter 2 months from the first contact to the offer.

If you need contacts and tips let me know, I have the full list I can give it to you!!
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  #110  
Old 23.11.2011, 19:31
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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No!!!! Don't give up!

Have you tried with headhunter!! A friend of mine tried 2 years by himself (great CV by the way) and didn't succed, with headhunter 2 months from the first contact to the offer.

If you need contacts and tips let me know, I have the full list I can give it to you!!
Hi Giada - feel free to post the list here (so others can benefit as well). I'm already on the radar screen with the main international firms, but may have missed some of the local Swiss specialists.

I've also learned to take headhunters with a bit of a grain of salt. Two weeks ago I was called by Egon Zehnder for an OK role (but not in Switzerland). Got the full sales pitch. Declined (wrong location, not really the kind of role I wanted, etc.). Today I read in the paper that the company is inches away from having to declare bankruptcy... gee, somehow that did not come up during the phone conversation
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Old 23.11.2011, 19:36
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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This has been a very interesting read for someone who is looking to move to Switzerland to find a Finance role early next year!

Not looking at FD roles though (!), probably a FM/SFA role (currently FM at large FMCG in Aus), so I'm hoping that there will be many more opportunities. My circumstances are also slightly different as I have a wife (no kids), and although I have an EU passport, I can not speak German, nor do I have any experience working in Europe.

This forum has been a great read so far (long time reader, first time poster) - so i'll keep reading through, most questions have been answered to date.

Back to your post desperate, sounds like things might be working out for you soon. Good luck over the next few weeks, it would definitely make a great christmas present!

Cheers
Should be considerably more opportunities for FM/SFA kind of jobs. Challenge will be to chase them while you're several thousand kilometers away... and video conferencing isn't fully accepted yet for interviews. If you're not already following them, you may want to periodically check out:
- www.jobs.ch
- www.efinancialcareers.ch
- www.trovit.ch (good consolidator site)
- www.monster.ch
- www.michaelpage.ch

Best of luck!
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  #112  
Old 23.11.2011, 19:59
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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No!!!! Don't give up!

Have you tried with headhunter!! A friend of mine tried 2 years by himself (great CV by the way) and didn't succed, with headhunter 2 months from the first contact to the offer.

If you need contacts and tips let me know, I have the full list I can give it to you!!
Please share! My husband is looking for a job in the IT field in Switzerland. He did get in touch with a headhunter recruiting for a firm out of Geneva but is interested in finding other opportunities. We are hoping to move to the Zurich area but it all depends on where he finds a job.

Thanks in advance!
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  #113  
Old 23.11.2011, 20:09
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Here you are!!

By the way, can you explain me your background? I am leaving my position in Zurich and I have a strong network here, maybe I can help you!

Odgers Berndtson (Schweiz) AG
Gartenstrasse 19 - P.O. Box 1973
8027 Zürich CH
work +41 43 344 31 31
work fax +41 43 344 31 32
info@odgersberndtson.ch

Heidrick & Struggles
Talstrasse 82
Zurich 8021 (CH)
Phone: +41 44 4881313
Fax: +41 44 4881300

KennedyFitch
Metzgergasse 6
8001 Zürich
Tel:+41 44 262 6000
info@kennedyfitch.com

Russell Reynolds Associates
Löwenstrasse 28
CH-8001 Zürich
Tel: +41-44-447-30-30

Heads! GmbH & Co. KG
Bahnhofstrasse 81
CH-8001 Zurich
phone: +41-44-218 50-50
fax: +41-44-218 50-51

Signium International
Bellerivestrasse, 45
CH-8008 Zurich Switzerland
Telephone: +41 44 387 58 58
Facsimile: +41 44 383 47 90
E-mail: deskengels@signiuminternational.ch
Website: www.signiuminternational.ch

Amrop Delta
Schlueterstrasse 38
T +41 44 91986 08
zurich@amrop.ch

Korn/Ferry International
Todistrasse 53
CH-8002 Zurich
Phone: +41 43 366 77 88

GEMINI Executive Search GmbH
Bad Homburg v.d.H. (Deutschland)
Branch Freienbach
Unterdorfstraße 12
8808 Pfäffikon SZ - CH
Tel. +49 6172 980 0
Mail gemini@gemini-exs.com

SpencerStuart
Hottingerstrasse 17-21
8032 Zurich - CH
Tel. +41 44.257.17.17
Fax. +41 44.257.17.18

Scheuchzerstrasse 64
8006 Zürich
fon: +41 (0)44 260 10 40
fax: +41 (0)44 260 10 41
mail: info@human-consulting.ch

jf Robertson & Partners Ltd
Birmensdorferstrasse 87
CH-8902 Urdorf/Zuerich
+41 (0)44 397 10 97
jf@jfrobertson.ch

ORBIS Executive Search Inc./TRANSEARCH
Weinbergstr. 102
CH-8033 Zurich
zurich@transearch.com
phone +41 44 368 30 50
Fax Number +41 44 368 30 59
Website http://www.orbis.ch

Egon Zehnder International (Switzerland) Ltd
Toblerstrasse 80
Zurich, 8044
+41 44 267 69 69 tel
+41 44 267 69 67 fax

Rat.haus Personnel Consulting Ltd
Südliche Münchner Strasse 60
82031 Grünwald
+49 (89) 620 30 88-0

Kienebaum
Leutschenbachstrasse 95
8050 Zürich
Fon +41 (0)44 386 40 40
Fax +41 (0)44 386 40 49
zurich@kienbaum.com
http://www.kienbaum.ch

Hays (Schweiz) AG
Nüschelerstrasse 32
8001 Zürich
Telefon: +41 (0)44 2255 000
Telefax: +41 (0)44 2255 299
E-Mail: info@hays.ch
Internet: www.hays.ch

van Emmerich Consulting
Friesenstr. 17
D - 45476 Mülheim an der Ruhr
Tel.: 49 (0) 208 / 2 99 99 - 0
Fax.: 49 (0) 208 / 2 99 99 - 29
E-mail: info@vanemmerichconsulting.de
http://www.vanemmerichconsulting.de

Interconsilium GmbH & Co.KG
Kennedydamm 24
D-40476 Düsseldorf
Telefonzentrale: +49 (0) 211 882440.0
Telefaxzentrale: +49 (0) 211 882440.11
email: info@interconsilium.de
web: www.interconsilium.de

Steinebach and partner Executive consultant
Holbeinplatz 4 4003 Basel –CH
0041 (0)6 2698333
basel@bach-partner.de
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  #114  
Old 23.11.2011, 22:36
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Bit late in the game here but some points:

Well over 50% of jobs are filled without being advertised. This is the network coming into play. You are seeing the fruits of your network. Keep going with that. Tell your contacts that this is your destination, even the ones who are not based here - they may know someone who is. Going in through the backdoor with someones affirmation is the easiest way you will ever get a job. Do your networking event. Get on LinkedIn, maybe even Xing. Try to get involved in events where finance directors meet (not sure what this might be). Even more important is the social events. I realise it may be difficult if you are here infrequently.

Also, you are probably coming in at a disadvantage as you do not have a Swiss permit yet. Think about using a Swiss address if you can to give the appearance you are here. It might help more than hinder. Not sure if you can get a Swiss telephone number for the purpose, but the more it looks like you are here the more chance you get an interview. And that is the most important metric - eventually you will convert one into a job. And you only need one job.

It is also true as has been suggested before that being single without children is actually considered a slight disadvantage. Why? Because married people with children are considered stable, responsible and adult. Rightly or wrongly. I was told that by someone who works closely with the recruitment consultant industry here. Maybe avoid referencing it.

Finally, I know you said you had a decent CV and you probably do. A couple of things that they do here that they don't in the UK: they have photographs, can be as many pages as you like long and have all the references, qualifications and references attached. As you have been through one or two agencies here, you are probably ahead of the game on this.

Remember it is the Christmas period and firms will not be hiring in general and that a job search typically takes 5-6 months on average. You have the luxury of a job and I would imagine a reasonably easy ability to travel back and forth here given the proximity of Germany (of course depending where you are there).

Other than that, good luck with the ones you have lined up and the ones yet to come!
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  #115  
Old 20.12.2011, 17:54
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Time for another update (i'll be getting drunk in 2 weeks for new year, but not to celebrate a new job in Switzerland unfortunately)

Had 2 good/great opportunities:

First the FMCG one (got in via infromal network, now shortlisted for a great role). I'm still shortlisted, and week after week is passing and nothing is happening. The position needs to be filled, but they want to also get some candidates from a blue chip headhunter for comparison. The head hunter must have less business pressure than my business because they're not getting moving until January... grrr.

Second, the other opportunity where I was intro'd by headhunter. Full day of interviews in Switzerland. Went good (but not great). Turns out they didn't really have a job right now but were expecting some big changes in the organisation in 2-3 months and wanted to speak with me based on my CV. Since then... gone entirely silent... which can be a good or a bad thing, not sure. Did send a thank you email after a couple of days so will not be making the next move now.

Third, got a call from the Swiss office of one of the blue chip headhunter firms. Dangled a not so great job in front of me (with an interesting company). When it got to salary and he indicated he was looking at a level which would barely be my current salary adjusted to CHF but without any cost of living adjustment... I made clear that I'm fond of Switzerland but not stupid: move company, move country, in a high risk economy, for what would effectively be a purchasing power cut???

Anyway, nothing going to happen next 2 weeks... so the search continues in January!
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Old 20.12.2011, 18:33
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Dear desperate

I am sorry to hear about your troubles.

Have you ever tried to understand what you really want and where you would like to go from now on? I just mean that some people get a kick out of the fact that they have a business class ticket and an Armani suit and some other not.

I am speaking about myself. In my first position after university I used to fly business class and have a large expenses allowance and I do not believe that I was happy. I then re-assessed my personal values and I understood that I need something else in my job to really be happy. I read some useful books on this topic, I remember one book in particular that was called What colour is your parachute. There was another book by Maya Storch from the IAP in Zürich about understanding what you want and who you are. But I am sure there are others too. You may also try out a coach.

What I want to say is that I applied for several positions without success. Afterwards I realised that I did not want the jobs and this was exactly the reason why I my applications were not successful. I realised it, because once there was a position advertised that I really wanted I got it. I was employed during the first interview and after 15 minutes of discussion. However, this position did not include any of the frills, no business trips, no blackberry.

Anyway, do not despair and good luck :-DDD
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Old 13.01.2012, 17:23
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Hello Romainesol - late reply from my side but nonetheless would like to come back to this and provide another update now that the new year is well under way.

I'll be honest, if I'd follow my passion I'd not work (at least not "paid work") and pursue other stimulating endeavours. Having said that, I find the complexity of large corporations interesting and often see business challenge as a puzzle to be solved which can actually be quite stimulating. Besides, working in a large corporation with people from all walks of life, insane politics, etc. is a bit like living in the midst of a soap opera slash sitcom so really is quite amusing at times

Now back to the last update:

One opportunity for which I had series of interviews in December. Took a while to get feedback but when I got it was 100% positive, they'd like to proceed (and so would I) but positions are all on hold. Headhunter was as frustrated with that as I was. This seems to be a recurring theme - on countless occasions have I gotten in the pipeline only to then see an opportunity literally just disappear.

The second opportunity is going extremely slow (for reasons which I won't go into here). Am still on the shortlist, have had some initial contact with the company but they're taking an awful long time (months now) to get talking face to face. Frustrating, but what else can I do but wait...

Received a call right before Christmas as well from a Swiss based headhunter. Declined the role - it was too small. Then he came back and suggested he pitches me higher at the client but that they'd need to adjust the scope of the job and salary. Awaiting feedback on this but generally this is not a good starting point of a discussion.

In other words... no progress
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  #118  
Old 16.01.2012, 16:23
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Hello all,

I have read this thread with lot of interest and I really wish a lot of luck to all of you who are looking for a job.

From my experience I can say that recruiting agencies do not work so well here. Most of the time when they call you is just to get to know you and not to really discuss about the position you have applied to.
I am absolutely aware of the importance for the recruiter to meet and to discuss in person with candidates, but I find it extremely annoying that they reply saying something like: "thank you for applying, Your CV is really interesting, please call me back and arrange a meeting"..then when you go there they actually say: "I am not going to process your application further cause other candidates with a better matching CV have applied"...

I have met with a lot of recruiters and they all did the same. I have only met one which was extremely good, really helped me out and most of all that really interviewed me for the position I had applied to!

This is just a personal feeling, so I might just have been unlucky.

Having worked in the same company for more than one year, I can really tell you that most of the time they advertise vacancies that are already filled with some internal candidate and sometimes they even advertise vacancies that have not yet been approved by the company, I guess this is one of the case in which they say to applicants that the position has been put on hold.

Concerning the recruiting process.....gosh! things in Switzerland are so slow! Employers take ages just to reply to your application. Sometimes I got replies after 6-7 months I had applied! that is crazy!

Overall, I can say that yes..being not married, with no kids and having already a job is a disadvantage.
I recently got so close to my dream job in my dream company..went through 4 interviews, an assessment day etc etc..been shortlisted till the point that we were just 2 left...but then all of a sudden they picked up the other candidate (male + kids + currently unemployed) even though he had a much senior profile, years of experience and the position in question was a very junior position (I mean, it was a good match for me, but def too low for him..anyway..he has accepted it apparently! argh!)!

I am absolutely convinced that companies here look for stability more than everything else. They rather pick someone who has been living here for years rather than someone who has just arrived.

I also came here for personal reasons (read love) but fortunately I have convinced my bf to relocate back and leave Switzerland.
By living here I really understood that money can't buy you happiness! I just can't fit with this country and its working environment..the lack of dynamism is making me freak out!

Anyway, best of luck to everyone!
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  #119  
Old 16.01.2012, 16:43
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

You've got a fair bit right about how it works here, especially the dynamic part. So you've got to have a non-career goal as well when in CH. Most EU countries may not be dynamic as well but check them out.
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Old 25.01.2012, 19:54
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

hi Des,

Keep at it is what I say. There is a severe downturn here expected to persist through 2012. The Swiss economic cycle is decoupled from the usual Western ups-and-downs with Swiss recessions typically following around three years after the Anglo-Americans.

I was in your position at the start of the previous downturn, and it took me about two years of trying.
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