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Old 18.06.2012, 19:04
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Employment in Geneva or Zurich

Hi, my fiance is Swiss, though I met him in New York. We are thinking about moving to Switzerland this fall, either to Zurich or Geneva. I am an attorney here, but only one year out of law school (at NYU) and my post-graduate experience has been clerking for a judge. I am worried about my employment prospects in Switzerland since I do not know Swiss law, and do not speak any languages other than English. I am open to job options other than practicing law, but definitely want something involving writing/research/analytical thinking. Can anyone give me an idea of what my job prospects would be like?
Thank you.
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Old 18.06.2012, 22:05
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

It can be pretty hard without another language but there are jobs to be found. I would recommend finding a job before you come..but easier said than done. If your boyfriend is Swiss I'm sure you'll pick up a second language in no time!

I have a few lawyer friends here who don't speak a second language, nor do they know Swiss law so it is possible! Good luck.
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Old 19.06.2012, 11:18
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

Search the forum, there have been a few threads concerning non-European law degrees and their incompatibility with practising under swiss law.

As for Geneva or Zurich, depends if you want to learn French or German.

Also, being american citizen, not married to your partner, will be difficult for a permit without a specialised field of work.
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Old 20.06.2012, 02:34
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 20.06.2012, 02:35
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

Thank you for your help!
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Old 20.06.2012, 02:56
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

If you want to work, particularly in Law, but at all and if you want kids...I have one word for you; Run (away). (Even though you'll have special status with a local spouse, unless you dream of moving to a world straight out of "Mad Men" stay in NYC and keep your own non-joint bank account like every good college educated married woman should. ) It's not all ski trips and fondue and expensive watches....
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Old 20.06.2012, 07:50
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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If you want to work, particularly in Law, but at all and if you want kids...I have one word for you; Run (away). (Even though you'll have special status with a local spouse, unless you dream of moving to a world straight out of "Mad Men" stay in NYC and keep your own non-joint bank account like every good college educated married woman should. ) It's not all ski trips and fondue and expensive watches....
Oh, don't be scaring people off just because you couldn't handle it here! To the OP: Zürich is most certainly not New York, and if that's the only lifestyle you've ever known, you'll find the adjustment tough (and you will have to adjust, the world won't bend to you). But there are plenty of opportunities here.

A couple pieces of advice: getting married to your fiancé before the move will make the permit process much easier. Also, be prepared to spend quite some time looking for a job - things can be found quickly, but the norm is much slower than is usual in America. You have very little useful experience to draw on, but you can try looking for junior roles in the big multinationals.

You might find that going to school here for an MBA or such will open some doors, as it gives you a Swiss degree - something to consider.
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Old 20.06.2012, 08:54
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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If you want to work, particularly in Law, but at all and if you want kids...I have one word for you; Run (away). (Even though you'll have special status with a local spouse, unless you dream of moving to a world straight out of "Mad Men" stay in NYC and keep your own non-joint bank account like every good college educated married woman should. ) It's not all ski trips and fondue and expensive watches....
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Old 20.06.2012, 12:30
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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Old 20.06.2012, 13:44
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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Oh, don't be scaring people off just because you couldn't handle it here! To the OP: Zürich is most certainly not New York, and if that's the only lifestyle you've ever known, you'll find the adjustment tough (and you will have to adjust, the world won't bend to you). But there are plenty of opportunities here.
What, giving someone who probably has a fair amount of student loan debt to pay off, DOESN'T speak German, doesn't have any other degrees particular to CH, unmarried and asking what the chances are of getting a career over here are, particularly right now in the eurocrisis is...'scaring people off'? Please, get your heidi goggles out of your arse.


Stay home, pay off your loans and build your career. Of course, if you just want to go backpacking through the wilds of europe with a rail pass...you can do that too, but if you want to work, CH is like stepping back in time (on a good day).
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Old 20.06.2012, 13:46
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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With those three key characteristics, success in any walk of life is assured!
Well, almost, but not always...

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Old 20.06.2012, 13:54
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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do that too, but if you want to work, CH is like stepping back in time (on a good day).
why? what is so bad here?
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Old 26.06.2012, 16:35
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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What, giving someone who probably has a fair amount of student loan debt to pay off, DOESN'T speak German, doesn't have any other degrees particular to CH, unmarried and asking what the chances are of getting a career over here are, particularly right now in the eurocrisis is...'scaring people off'? Please, get your heidi goggles out of your arse.


Stay home, pay off your loans and build your career. Of course, if you just want to go backpacking through the wilds of europe with a rail pass...you can do that too, but if you want to work, CH is like stepping back in time (on a good day).
I don't understand this, from what I see there's lots of opportunities in Geneva and Zürich, I would be keen to hear more what the difficulties are?
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Old 26.06.2012, 16:39
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

Big 4 may have something that could interest you. You appear to be young and qualified - so if you're flexible then you could do anything - be that legal or other.
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Old 26.06.2012, 16:48
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

An educated female NY Lawyer moving to Switzerland?????

hmmm.... Have you ever seen the Stepford Wives? If that movie scares you then I dont know if you being a city gal with a law degree is going to make it here. BUT Id say give it a shot. Why not. You will be in shock though.

Why not call the IRS and ask if they need anymore lawyers to help with taking Swiss banks to court

But this place is something you have to see for yourself. Id say come out and try it. But dont put all your eggs into one basket.



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Hi, my fiance is Swiss, though I met him in New York. We are thinking about moving to Switzerland this fall, either to Zurich or Geneva. I am an attorney here, but only one year out of law school (at NYU) and my post-graduate experience has been clerking for a judge. I am worried about my employment prospects in Switzerland since I do not know Swiss law, and do not speak any languages other than English. I am open to job options other than practicing law, but definitely want something involving writing/research/analytical thinking. Can anyone give me an idea of what my job prospects would be like?
Thank you.
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Old 26.06.2012, 16:59
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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Hi, my fiance is Swiss, though I met him in New York. We are thinking about moving to Switzerland this fall, either to Zurich or Geneva. I am an attorney here, but only one year out of law school (at NYU) and my post-graduate experience has been clerking for a judge. I am worried about my employment prospects in Switzerland since I do not know Swiss law, and do not speak any languages other than English. I am open to job options other than practicing law, but definitely want something involving writing/research/analytical thinking. Can anyone give me an idea of what my job prospects would be like?
Thank you.
On the pros side, I would come for the experience and the adventure, which will be an interesting one regardless. If you go this route, consider having a "plan B" to fall back to in the US (keeping the professional contacts, etc.) - as someone said, don't put your eggs all in one basket.

On the cons side, Switzerland is a great country in many ways, but it can definitely be a serious career stopper for an ambitious female professional at the beginning of her career and with no or limited local language skills, especially in certain professions.

In your shoes, I would either a) come on a temporary assignment, or with a leave of absence from your current employer, and test the waters, but in a way that you are fairly sure you can go back if/when you want to; b) forget about it in the immediate future, stay put in NY where you have the chance to move up and move faster in your career, grow professionally (perhaps try to get connected to Switzerland through clients, projects, etc.), and in 4-5 years, when you have built up that experience and are at a more senior level, come over.

Good luck!
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Old 26.06.2012, 17:15
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

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An educated female NY Lawyer moving to Switzerland?????

hmmm.... Have you ever seen the Stepford Wives? If that movie scares you then I dont know if you being a city gal with a law degree is going to make it here. BUT Id say give it a shot. Why not. You will be in shock though.

Why not call the IRS and ask if they need anymore lawyers to help with taking Swiss banks to court

But this place is something you have to see for yourself. Id say come out and try it. But dont put all your eggs into one basket.
Good sarcasm is something that comes in for free too, yes
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Old 26.06.2012, 18:00
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

thanks for the tip; I'll look into it
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Old 26.06.2012, 22:05
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Re: Employment in Geneva or Zurich

Hello
I have to say the following:
Don't listen to anyone who tells you it is hard; or if you don't know the language it's not good...bla bla bla

I found a great job and I don't speak a word of german

I will work there soon. Same for my wife, she found a job after me and everything is fine. Just know how to search and be confident in what you know.

Good luck
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