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Old 16.03.2012, 00:56
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Two months out of work and still nothing

Hi there,

I just wanted to get some advice on my situation if possible. Here goes: I have been living in Zürich since May 2011 and worked in the city up until the end of January 2012(left due to difficult circumstances). I have experience working in IT, Broadband, Programming, Office and General Administraion. I am also a qualified chef and have worked in a number of bars over the years.

English is my mothertongue. I also speak fluent German and a little French. I have been searching and searching, been to several recruitment agencies, had several interviews etc but nothing (or abyssmal offers less than CHF 40K. I've had professional help with my CV from Badenoch & Clarke so that's not the problem. I don't know anymore, things are starting to get really tight and I'm thinking I might have to leave the country. Leaving is an absolute last resort, as I love it here.

I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I'd take anything now at this rate. Any pointers or possible office type job opportunities would be greatly appreciated. I did search the forum but there were none that matched my situation. Last week for example, I was sent to a large travel company. Had an hour long interview in Swiss German. They told me that I would be perfect for the job and they would call in the next few days. Nothing. Just had to get that off my chest.

Last edited by cathair; 16.03.2012 at 02:07.
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Old 16.03.2012, 01:15
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

If it were me I would take the first job going, irrespective of pay and then keep on looking. Your desirability as a candidate goes up when you're in work, but when you're not recruiters think they can mess you around.
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Old 16.03.2012, 01:19
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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If it were me I would take the first job going, irrespective of pay and then keep on looking. Your desirability as a candidate goes up when you're in work, but when you're not recruiters think they can mess you around.
I would take anything, as long as I can pay rent, bills etc. I just had a company tried to offer EUR 22,000 gross. Now is it just me or is that ridiculous? I have earned over double that doing bar work, it's baffling.

It's not about the money at all, but CHF 26,000 is probably not even above the poverty line when it comes to the cost of living.

Last edited by cathair; 16.03.2012 at 01:29.
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Old 16.03.2012, 01:59
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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I would take anything, as long as I can pay rent, bills etc. I just had a company tried to offer EUR 22,000 gross. Now is it just me or is that ridiculous? I have earned over double that doing bar work, it's baffling.

It's not about the money at all, but CHF 26,000 is probably not even above the poverty line when it comes to the cost of living.
They are offering you this IN Switzerland??? That's not possible unless it's an internship/apprenticeship. If you make that little you'll be eligible for social assistance and you can forget about your permit!
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Old 16.03.2012, 02:05
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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They are offering you this IN Switzerland??? That's not possible unless it's an internship/apprenticeship. If you make that little you'll be eligible for social assistance and you can forget about your permit!
Yes IN Switzerland. I had the exact same reaction. This was just an example of an offer that I got this week. It's not a joke, it's starting to get really frustrating now. Permit isn't an issue, as it's valid for another 4.5 years.

Also this wasn't an internship, it was a Telecoms Engineer job fitting new Nokia Siemens tech all over Switzerland.
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Old 16.03.2012, 02:15
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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Yes IN Switzerland. I had the exact same reaction. This was just an example of an offer that I got this week. It's not a joke, it's starting to get really frustrating now. Permit isn't an issue, as it's valid for another 4.5 years.
It certainly will be a problem if you start asking for social benefits! Not saying you would. Just that the salary level is way off.

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Also this wasn't an internship, it was a Telecoms Engineer job fitting new Nokia Siemens tech all over Switzerland.
So why are they offering Euro salaries?
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Old 16.03.2012, 02:27
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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It certainly will be a problem if you start asking for social benefits! Not saying you would. Just that the salary level is way off.



So why are they offering Euro salaries?
I'm not going to be asking for social assistance, that wasn't what my question was about at all. I just want to be out working and I believe I am qualified to do so. I speak German fluently as well. They are offering the Euro salaries because they're not based in Switzerland.
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Old 16.03.2012, 05:15
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

Ok, about a decade ago did I do an internship in Switzerland and made 2600 CHF a month... because I had no work experience and no finished qualification.

Offering you the same is a joke, even if the gastro sector pays under average: A qualified cook earns some 4000 plus, an very entry level IT position is easily around 5000.

If nothing else helps: Why don't you have a look at the lower end contracting companies. They won't get you a super income, but enough to bridge the gap till you find a good job. You know: Manpower, Randstad and the like offer not only permanent jobs, but temporary offers...

Last but not least: You seem to be the kind of guy the social system was intended for: You really want to work and not live of other people's money. No worries, you won't: You pay into an insurance when you work and receive support out of it when you have to bridge a gap. Nothing to be ashamed of as long as you really just take it when you need it. I did so before when I did not manage to find a job as quickly as I hoped but was very seriously searching.
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Old 16.03.2012, 07:59
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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an very entry level IT position is easily around 5000.
There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of very unscrupulous companies out there offering school leavers (and I mean graduates) salaries of about CHF 2500 per month. The excuse being that they have no experience and this is where they can get that experience and it should be considered an internship. There is a market for that as a large proportion of adverts specify that applicants must have at least 2-3 years experience. It's sad to try and mess with young people like that and I am glad that the company I work for does not allow itself to offer jobs like that to graduates. You have the qualifications and the skills, you get a decent wage.
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Old 16.03.2012, 08:05
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of very unscrupulous companies out there offering school leavers (and I mean graduates) salaries of about CHF 2500 per month. The excuse being that they have no experience and this is where they can get that experience and it should be considered an internship. There is a market for that as a large proportion of adverts specify that applicants must have at least 2-3 years experience. It's sad to try and mess with young people like that and I am glad that the company I work for does not allow itself to offer jobs like that to graduates. You have the qualifications and the skills, you get a decent wage.
I will openly admit that I, when I left school, got screwed backwards and got paid 3400 for the firs six months... and then was offered just slightly more than a waiter for the first year or so. Was it worth it? I got a good reference that scored me good jobs later on, so probably yes.

But the OP does not sound like a school leaver to me...
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Old 16.03.2012, 08:08
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

I'm really sorry this is happening to you but I do think that in this economy two months is short, even though it feels like forever (I've been there). Most of the people I know in Zurich are out 4 to 6 months lately. I say don't give up yet.
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Old 16.03.2012, 08:13
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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I have experience working in IT, Broadband, Programming, Office and General Administraion. I am also a qualified chef and have worked in a number of bars over the years.

I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I'd take anything now at this rate.
Sorry to hear about your position.

To try to give constructive criticism......as somebody who does hire people into office work here......THAT is what you are doing wrong. Whether its true or not - the way you write things makes you sound like a drifter and if your CV is written the same way, that might put potential employers off.

I agree with Castro and others - take something as employed is always more desirable than unemployed - and then be really focussed on what you want to do and make sure that your communication to employers is targetted and clear

Good luck

Last edited by Caviarchips; 16.03.2012 at 13:14.
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Old 16.03.2012, 09:04
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

Just to understand your problem: What kind of job have you offered 26'000 for? And is this the wage for 12 months or less? I am askin because a chef gets about 4'400 gros at 100% plus 13th wage.
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Old 16.03.2012, 12:21
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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I'm not going to be asking for social assistance, that wasn't what my question was about at all. I just want to be out working and I believe I am qualified to do so. I speak German fluently as well. They are offering the Euro salaries because they're not based in Switzerland.
Again! I didn't say you WERE planing to ask for benefits. I'm saying that salaries at that level are completely out of order because they are lower than the poverty salary which is 2200/month for single person. Frankly I don't know if it's possible but it's time to start "shopping in" these companies. Which makes me wonder if there is anywhere we can do this?

Anyway, if you really are willing to take anything (with a living wage) then you should go talk to the RAV. They don't always have professional jobs but they usually have restaurant and construction job listing. Something to tide you over.

Another option would be to try the temp companies like Adecco. They might also have some temp work to keep you going.
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Old 16.03.2012, 12:56
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I'm not going to be asking for social assistance, that wasn't what my question was about at all. I just want to be out working and I believe I am qualified to do so. I speak German fluently as well. They are offering the Euro salaries because they're not based in Switzerland.
So a company based outside Switzerland wants to hire you to work in Switzerland? Interesting if it weren't a bit illegal
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Old 16.03.2012, 13:14
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Ok, about a decade ago did I do an internship in Switzerland and made 2600 CHF a month... because I had no work experience and no finished qualification.

Offering you the same is a joke, even if the gastro sector pays under average: A qualified cook earns some 4000 plus, an very entry level IT position is easily around 5000.

If nothing else helps: Why don't you have a look at the lower end contracting companies. They won't get you a super income, but enough to bridge the gap till you find a good job. You know: Manpower, Randstad and the like offer not only permanent jobs, but temporary offers...

Last but not least: You seem to be the kind of guy the social system was intended for: You really want to work and not live of other people's money. No worries, you won't: You pay into an insurance when you work and receive support out of it when you have to bridge a gap. Nothing to be ashamed of as long as you really just take it when you need it. I did so before when I did not manage to find a job as quickly as I hoped but was very seriously searching.
Thank you for the support Treverus. I'm going to step up my search and apply for more varied roles.

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There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of very unscrupulous companies out there offering school leavers (and I mean graduates) salaries of about CHF 2500 per month. The excuse being that they have no experience and this is where they can get that experience and it should be considered an internship. There is a market for that as a large proportion of adverts specify that applicants must have at least 2-3 years experience. It's sad to try and mess with young people like that and I am glad that the company I work for does not allow itself to offer jobs like that to graduates. You have the qualifications and the skills, you get a decent wage.
Thank you. I know I have the skills required, it just seems to be a really slow market for me. I am going to take the first decent offer that I get. Not working is killing me.

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Sorry to hear about your position.

To try to give constructive criticism......as somebody who does hire people into office work here......THAT is what you are doing wrong. Whether its true or not - the way you write things makes you sound like a drifter and if your CV is written the same way, that might put potential employers off.

I agree with Castro and others - take something as employed is always more desirable than unemployed - and then be really focussed on what you want to do and make sure that your communication to employers is targetted and clear

Good luck
I didn't realise that it would come across like that, as that's certainly not what I was trying to convey. As for being a drifter, that's not true at all.

I grew up in a part of Ireland with zero employment opportunities, so I left to better myself at age 18 and lived in Scotland for 3.5 years studying computer science at university and also running my own technology business in Aberdeen for nearly 2 years, alongside university. The bar jobs are something that most students would have done at some point.

The chef experience came after university, when the recession had started to hit and I couldn't get work, be that graduate work, or office administration. I moved to CH through my chef job, but I always wanted to return to IT, as it is the area that I'm the most qualified in.

I'm not applying for high level positions. I'm trying for entry level IT positions, which I am qualified for and deserve more than 26,000 per year. Surely that's not too much to ask for?

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Again! I didn't say you WERE planing to ask for benefits. I'm saying that salaries at that level are completely out of order because they are lower than the poverty salary which is 2200/month for single person. Frankly I don't know if it's possible but it's time to start "shopping in" these companies. Which makes me wonder if there is anywhere we can do this?

Anyway, if you really are willing to take anything (with a living wage) then you should go talk to the RAV. They don't always have professional jobs but they usually have restaurant and construction job listing. Something to tide you over.

Another option would be to try the temp companies like Adecco. They might also have some temp work to keep you going.

Thanks for that. I know you didn't SAY that I was going to be asking for social assistance, but I thought clear that up from the start.

I could always go back to being a chef for a pretty decent wage, but I wanted to move into IT again. It just seems to going nowhere, most of the feedback is that; they are looking for someone currently working in an IT environment. Better keep on trying

Last edited by MusicChick; 16.03.2012 at 15:54. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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Old 16.03.2012, 13:34
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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I didn't realise that it would come across like that, as that's certainly not what I was trying to convey. As for being a drifter, that's not true at all.

I grew up in a part of Ireland with zero employment opportunities, so I left to better myself at age 18 and lived in Scotland for 3.5 years studying computer science at university and also running my own technology business in Aberdeen for nearly 2 years, alongside university. The bar jobs are something that most students would have done at some point.

The chef experience came after university, when the recession had started to hit and I couldn't get work, be that graduate work, or office administration. I moved to CH through my chef job, but I always wanted to return to IT, as it is the area that I'm the most qualified in.

I'm not applying for high level positions. I'm trying for entry level IT positions, which I am qualified for and deserve more than 26,000 per year. Surely that's not too much to ask for?
I understand, and I certainly wasn't trying to criticise you or your choices - but merely to point out that you won't get a chance to explain them to people face to face unless you get through the door, so be careful how you construct your CV. Many people fall into the trap of prioritising completeness over substance - its amazing what can be accomplished by sectioning your resume differently to de-prioritise the roles you don't want to talk about and emphasise those that you do - whilst of course maintaining the truth

If you would like me to have a scan of your CV and see if there any ways to polish it a little, I'd be happy to do so - just PM me

PS I'm not recruiting
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Old 16.03.2012, 13:37
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So a company based outside Switzerland wants to hire you to work in Switzerland? Interesting if it weren't a bit illegal
I won't be working for this company, it was just an example. The company in question, from what I understand, has a contract here in Switzerland to upgrade all of the mobile phone networks with the latest NSN technology. They said that they plan to set up a Swiss branch of the company, so that they can compete with Swiss contractors, but currently they are based in Ireland and Belgium. I am Irish so I would have technically been earning through Ireland, paying Irish tax, thus making the salary offer even worse.

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I understand, and I certainly wasn't trying to criticise you or your choices - but merely to point out that you won't get a chance to explain them to people face to face unless you get through the door, so be careful how you construct your CV. Many people fall into the trap of prioritising completeness over substance - its amazing what can be accomplished by sectioning your resume differently to de-prioritise the roles you don't want to talk about and emphasise those that you do - whilst of course maintaining the truth

If you would like me to have a scan of your CV and see if there any ways to polish it a little, I'd be happy to do so - just PM me

PS I'm not recruiting
Thanks CaviarChips. I really appreciate the advice. I'll send you through a copy now if I can.

Last edited by MusicChick; 16.03.2012 at 15:55. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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Old 16.03.2012, 13:50
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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I won't be working for this company, it was just an example. The company in question, from what I understand, has a contract here in Switzerland to upgrade all of the mobile phone networks with the latest NSN technology. They said that they plan to set up a Swiss branch of the company, so that they can compete with Swiss contractors, but currently they are based in Ireland and Belgium.
Which in turn would force them to pay local salaries due to the anti-dumping provisions in place.

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I am Irish so I would have technically been earning through Ireland, paying Irish tax, thus making the salary offer even worse.
Which would have been illegal, and shows that this company doesn't really have the faintest idea about their target market operational / legal framework. So probably the EUR 22k offer is irrelevant to begin with...

Makes you wonder about the veracity of their claims to have won "all mobile phone networks upgrade contracts" as well... hard to see Swisscom, Sunrise and Orange all dealing with the same tiny "hole-in-the-wall" type company with no local presence.
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Old 16.03.2012, 13:54
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Re: Two months out of work and still nothing

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I won't be working for this company, it was just an example. The company in question, from what I understand, has a contract here in Switzerland to upgrade all of the mobile phone networks with the latest NSN technology. They said that they plan to set up a Swiss branch of the company, so that they can compete with Swiss contractors, but currently they are based in Ireland and Belgium. I am Irish so I would have technically been earning through Ireland, paying Irish tax, thus making the salary offer even worse.
I guess it wouldn't be so bad if they are paying your housing and a per diem (which I'm guessing is not the case).

I agree with CC. I had the same problem as you, a very eclectic CV. I found that when I focused my CV on one career path then I got much better response.

Anyway, do try the temp companies. Good luck!
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