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Old 25.08.2011, 17:28
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For more than 2 years I've been trying to find a job in Switzerland so I can move here (never mind why, that's a different discussion):
* I speak German near fluently
* Have lived/worked in >7 other countries
* Have an easily transferable skill set (finance director)
* Am easily mobile (single, no kids)
* Solid work experience, good references

...all I've gotten to get to sofar was:
* 2x entered the interview process, "made it to final round (one of the I was the only candidate as I had networked my way in), jobs cancelled due to hiring freeze
* countless "no response"

It's becoming incomprehendable for me. So many large multinationals in Switzerland, a (despite recession) tight labor market, and I'm getting virtually ZERO traction.

I'm about to give up

And what's made it worse is during my search time I've seen acquaintances who are not even eager to move to CH have swiss jobs thrown in their lap without them doing anything for it.

I really am about to give up

Last edited by Longbyt; 25.08.2011 at 17:43. Reason: same poster, same theme, consecutive posts
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:38
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Do you come off as desperate to others?
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:39
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Do you come from a country where it might be difficult to sponsor a visa?

Have you tried recruiting agencies instead of direct applying? Let an agency work for YOU to find the best fit and do the screening process.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:39
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

I am sorry..

As a trailing spouse of a finance specialist with a big multinational I can only tell you this, the big multinationals usually look within their organization for higher management positions for a number of reasons and one major one is that they know the company very well (as with my husband 14 years with the company) and therefor "they know what they are getting" and the financial risk is lower. Expat packages don't come cheap, housing, company car, international school...Even if you don't have a SO/kids now, things can change.

Good luck with you search.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:41
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Welcome to the Forum...

You say that you are a Finance director...maybe that Job would be difficult to get than a Junior Finance position. Not because of your qualifications and experience but probably very few people leave this position, so the number of positions available is less.

You could identify the companies that you want to work for and send out your CV directly to their HR...maybe they have a position but don't advertise becoz of whatever reason.

Good Luck...don't give up...keep trying.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:41
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble finding a job.
Obviously I dont know all the background and the type/level of jobs you are applying for - but I guess if its finance director positions you are looking for, then vacancies are probably few and far between. Presumably also when there are vacancies, then companies already have an internal candidate (or a networked candidate) in mind.
I was lucky and found a job relatively quickly (couple of months) via jobs.ch. I was fairly flexible though in the type of role I applied for. I also work in finance (though not quite at FD level), but am now doing quite a different role than I did in the UK (albeit using existing skills). I don't know how wide a range of positions you have been looking that - but maybe that's an option. Or taking a lower level position than you currently are at, in a company with potential for growth/promotion.

You don't explain why you want to move to Switzerland (and that's fine), but if the reason is really important to you, then keep trying. Otherwise, maybe its time to consider other options.

In any event, good luck.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:42
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Do you come off as desperate to others?


Actually, I've sooner gotten feedback that my search may be too narrow (location, job, industry). Besides, I have a solid well paying job right now. So, no, to your question.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:46
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Do you come from a country where it might be difficult to sponsor a visa?

Have you tried recruiting agencies instead of direct applying? Let an agency work for YOU to find the best fit and do the screening process.
EU passport and currently living/working in Germany.

I've spent a lot of time networking, contacting recruiters (agencies as well as with large companies themselves, etc.), looking at online job boards, etc.

I have been selective in that I'm not looking to make a step down just to make it to Switzerland. I'm OK to be on a local package but not 1-2 levels lower than I should be at based on work experience, current level, etc.

I just find it terribly frustrating. In Germany I could stick my head out of the window and easily find a handful of good opportunities in no time. In Switzerland, it's like trying to find a diamond in the desert.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:48
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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I am sorry..

As a trailing spouse of a finance specialist with a big multinational I can only tell you this, the big multinationals usually look within their organization for higher management positions for a number of reasons and one major one is that they know the company very well (as with my husband 14 years with the company) and therefor "they know what they are getting" and the financial risk is lower. Expat packages don't come cheap, housing, company car, international school...Even if you don't have a SO/kids now, things can change.

Good luck with you search.
Fair enough, but I'm OK with not having an expat package (looking to locat here long term/permanent). The "recruit from within" is no less valid in other countries. It just seems like in Switzerland theres surprisingly few opportunities (vs large number of companies). So far I've been narrow with my industry search (eg leaving pharma out of scope). Perhaps I should be more flexible there...
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:49
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Actually, I've sooner gotten feedback that my search may be too narrow (location, job, industry). Besides, I have a solid well paying job right now. So, no, to your question.

I'm confused, You have a solid well paying job, and you're desperate for what?


Sorry, I might have missed a detail--the heat is getting to me :P
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:51
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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I'm confused, You have a solid well paying job, and you're desperate for what?


Sorry, I might have missed a detail--the heat is getting to me :P
Moving to Switzerland. Life is not just about "having a job". Didn't want to go into why I'm looking to move to Switzerland in this thread as that's a very different topic.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:54
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Moving to Switzerland. Life is not just about "having a job". Didn't want to go into why I'm looking to move to Switzerland in this thread as that's a very different topic.

Ohh, I get it, you don't live in CH, but you would like to have a job to come here.

(oops, I now see it in the first line of your first post---sorry).

This is definitely a tough deal to score for many so don't feel too discouraged.

Along the 'networking' angle, perhaps look for a company that does a lot of work with your home country, or a swiss-located country that works with your present employer.

Kinda generic advice I know, but little details and familiarity on a CV helps bump you up with the HR dept.
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Old 25.08.2011, 17:57
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

maybe find out what the deal is with the non responsive applications. giving up after 2 binterviews seems a bit premature.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:02
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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maybe find out what the deal is with the non responsive applications. giving up after 2 binterviews seems a bit premature.
Good point - I've spoken with the typical headhunters (Heidrick Struggles, etc of this world) and there's nothing wrong with my CV. My typical intro (email or verbally) is also crystal clear: what I'm looking for, why, and what I bring to the table. No ambiguity there. I also generally do well with interviews. But I'm just hardly finding good opportunities at my level and when I do, they tend to disappear into the night.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:05
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Keep trying for sure....and just curious as to how assertive you are. Do you follow up on your leads?

When I was promoted to management, I had to hire a team under me and I got over 200 CVs for 6 slots. I simply didn't have the time to read every single one in depth and HR wasn't qualified to screen so when people called or emailed me after applying, you can bet I gave them a second look.

Calling can either burn your chances or give you the edge you need. The risk could be worth it.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:07
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Fair enough, but I'm OK with not having an expat package (looking to locat here long term/permanent). The "recruit from within" is no less valid in other countries. It just seems like in Switzerland theres surprisingly few opportunities (vs large number of companies). So far I've been narrow with my industry search (eg leaving pharma out of scope). Perhaps I should be more flexible there...
From my experience, having worked in Zurich 3 times. You need a good agent who has a lot of contacts in your area. (as he/she will supply you with the information for part two)

You also need a special skill or knowledge in your area. For example SAP migration etc. If they need a standard person they will find a Swiss one. If they need something extra they will hire outside.

To get hired you need to be special, an expert in something they need. Find out what skills are needed, find a role or training to give you that skill and you should find it easier to find something as you will not have local competition for the job.

HTH
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:08
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble finding a job.
Obviously I dont know all the background and the type/level of jobs you are applying for - but I guess if its finance director positions you are looking for, then vacancies are probably few and far between. Presumably also when there are vacancies, then companies already have an internal candidate (or a networked candidate) in mind.
I was lucky and found a job relatively quickly (couple of months) via jobs.ch. I was fairly flexible though in the type of role I applied for. I also work in finance (though not quite at FD level), but am now doing quite a different role than I did in the UK (albeit using existing skills). I don't know how wide a range of positions you have been looking that - but maybe that's an option. Or taking a lower level position than you currently are at, in a company with potential for growth/promotion.

You don't explain why you want to move to Switzerland (and that's fine), but if the reason is really important to you, then keep trying. Otherwise, maybe its time to consider other options.

In any event, good luck.
Jobs.ch is one of the sites i frequently look at. I've become more flexible on the location (in Switzerland) and also the industry. But not on job content. I just don't want to "jump" at whatever I can get, and then feel like an idiot because I'm underemployed/underpaid. Especially as I see how challanging it is to move roles in Switzerland. Besides, I'm looking for a place to grow long term rather than just a quick job to fill the gap.

In the end I'll keep on trying... and trying...
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:13
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

Keep at it. I can tell you that the higher the level that you are looking at the more that they want somebody with Swiss experience and background written all over them. It took me around a year to find something in Switzerland so keep on trying and it will come sooner or later.

Perhaps you could considder taking something at a lower level to get to know the local market first?
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:14
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

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Keep trying for sure....and just curious as to how assertive you are. Do you follow up on your leads?

When I was promoted to management, I had to hire a team under me and I got over 200 CVs for 6 slots. I simply didn't have the time to read every single one in depth and HR wasn't qualified to screen so when people called or emailed me after applying, you can bet I gave them a second look.

Calling can either burn your chances or give you the edge you need. The risk could be worth it.
I do tend to follow up, but not consistently. Eg i had applied for a role 6 months ago, had phone interview, went great, recruiter indicated the company wanted to move quickly and my qualifications were clearly a good match, etc/ etc. - a month later I sent a reminder indicating I enjoyed the conversation, was very interested in proceeding, etc. No response. That was two months ago. Obviously I'm not going to chase and chase such a recruiter.

One of the interviews I did get was with a very large multinational, and got it simply by reaching out to an HR person via linkedin when I heard they had an opportunity which fit my experience very well. I had no competition at that point, made it to final round, outstanding interviews/feedback... they wanted to make an offer, but a hiring freeze appeared.

Íf god came down and said: run a marathon each day for the next month and you will get your job in Switzerland... I'd do it, endure the suffering and get it over with. Right now it just feels I'm wasting my time.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:15
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Re: Reaching the point of giving up

If all else fails....lower your standards.

Have you considered Haiti ?
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