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Old 10.01.2008, 15:47
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Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

First of all this forum has a lot of helpful information for all potential foreign employees considering jobs in Switzerland. Thanks for all of those who contribute.

I am a software engineer in Jordan the Middle East, I received a job offer from a Swiss Firm based in Basel. I would like to know if the offer will ensure a decent life for me and my future wife. The monthly pay is 6,500 SF, which amount to a 84,500 SF a year (on 13 month payment scheme).
Furthermore, the company will sponsor a work permit for my wife as well. She is in the IT business as well.

here are my concerns:

1- Is this a good offer in general? Would it assure us a decent life?

2- Would be good to let us survive until my wife gets a job?

3- I will make other posts regarding costs of living after I check the appropriate threads on this forum...yet if any of you can give me estimates of the taxes, transportation and living costs that would be a great aid.

Again, thanks for all of you for helping out.

Regards
rami
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Old 10.01.2008, 15:49
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Re: Job Offer

Not enough information: nature, level and extent of experience ? Age ? Qualifications ? What is a decent life ? There are many questions like this on the forum already and you may be able to align your definition of a decent life with theirs...
dave



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First of all this forum has a lot of helpful information for all potential foreign employees considering jobs in Switzerland. Thanks for all of those who contribute.

I am a software engineer in Jordan the Middle East, I received a job offer from a Swiss Firm based in Basel. I would like to know if the offer will ensure a decent life for me and my future wife. The monthly pay is 6,500 SF, which amount to a 84,500 SF a year (on 13 month payment scheme).
Furthermore, the company will sponsor a work permit for my wife as well. She is in the IT business as well.

here are my concerns:

1- Is this a good offer in general? Would it assure us a decent life?

2- Would be good to let us survive until my wife gets a job?

3- I will make other posts regarding costs of living after I check the appropriate threads on this forum...yet if any of you can give me estimates of the taxes, transportation and living costs that would be a great aid.

Again, thanks for all of you for helping out.

Regards
rami
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  #3  
Old 10.01.2008, 15:54
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Re: Job Offer

Hi Rami,

Assuming the amount is gross (before approx 25% tax) I think it will be a pretty difficult existence for two people, but certainly not impossible.

C
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Old 10.01.2008, 16:05
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Re: Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

Hi Dave,

thanks for pointing that out...You are right

I have 3 years experience, in the areas of J2ME and J2EE. I have a US education with a M.S. in Software Engineering. The job offer is for a Senior Java Developer post.

Decent living is a vague term, so hopefully this will make it clear... Something like being able pay for rent, utilities, home food (no restaurants or excessive partying) and transportation. T.V. and internet. I do not intend to live like this forever , yet being able to survive till we have a combined salary both me and my wife. Honestly, I hope that my salary can cover all our basic costs like rent, food, utilities and transportation...and once my wife gets a job we can upgrade our life standard and hopefully save a bit.


thank you for responding.

Regards
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Old 10.01.2008, 18:01
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Re: Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

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Hi Dave,

thanks for pointing that out...You are right

I have 3 years experience, in the areas of J2ME and J2EE. I have a US education with a M.S. in Software Engineering. The job offer is for a Senior Java Developer post.

Decent living is a vague term, so hopefully this will make it clear... Something like being able pay for rent, utilities, home food (no restaurants or excessive partying) and transportation. T.V. and internet. I do not intend to live like this forever , yet being able to survive till we have a combined salary both me and my wife. Honestly, I hope that my salary can cover all our basic costs like rent, food, utilities and transportation...and once my wife gets a job we can upgrade our life standard and hopefully save a bit.


thank you for responding.

Regards
If you have an MS in Software Engineering an offer of 85,000 chf a year is pretty low. Then again, if they're sponsoring a work permit for your wife, though I'm not sure how the do that without hiring her, that might be useful.

However, you should be forewarned that IT jobs in Basel are very difficult to find for folks that don't fluently speak German. And even if you do speak fluent German, it's still hard to find a job in IT in Basel. Pretty much all the IT folks I know from Basel now work in Zurich.
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Old 10.01.2008, 18:19
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Re: Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

I would have thought that around 100k CHF (or perhaps even a bit more) would have been a bit nearer the mark. Its worth remember that there is supposed to be a shortage of IT workers in Zurich at the moment, so your skills should be in demand, then again the fact that you are from outside of the EU might make you less atractive for employers.

But still, this job it will get you your foot inside the door of the Swiss IT industry and you should certainly be able to survive on that salary.

Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.
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Old 11.01.2008, 10:11
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Re: Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

Thanks a lot guys, that was very helpful. From a Jordanian perspective, a Swiss salary is humongous. Yet from what you guys said, it does not seem like a very attractive deal. Thanks for all of your honest answers and comments.
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Old 11.01.2008, 21:41
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Re: Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

I think you can definitely survive on 85K. That's slightly above the national average salary (for all sectors) so some families (2 adults, 2 kids) are living within that budget. And if you live outside the city and travel in by train then you can reduce accomodation costs considerably.

As I see it there are two problems when you try to analyse salaries.

1) Swiss people don't like to talk about their salaries. Period. You can talk to them about politics, religeon, sex, toilet habits, but don't mention how much they get paid. Even if you try you'll get evasive answers. Even the ex-pats on this forum have been infected. So people mention "oh, about 130k+ in Zurich area, but maybe less if you're left handed".

2) Pay increases tend to be a bit flatter than in, say, the UK. In Britain you can take the philosophy of starting on a low salary, proving your worth then hitting your employer for a 10% pay hike. If you do that here your boss will swallow his false teeth, because he's never had a 10% pay rise in his life. Even if your salary would still be under average after the rise it wouldn't matter.

On the other hand, it does the employer no good at all to offer a really low salary; the employee (even a foreign one) will just get a better paid job.
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Old 11.01.2008, 21:58
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Re: Software Engineer Job Offer in Basel [is it a good one?]

Hi Rami,

I'm sure that you can do just fine on the salary offered, however I would have to say that I thing the company's offer is well below the going rate for someone in your situation.

Given your degrees and experience I would have expected at least CHF100,000 and then some.

Next up is the idea of the company getting a permit for your wife - this is simply BS! If you get a permit, then you can expect that your wife will get a permit to come and live with you - but not to work. This is standard, nothing to do with the company....

I have no idea if your wife will be able to get a permit to work or not, but given that you are non-EU......

Over all this is not a good offer and the whole story of the wife's permit would make me concerned about their behaviour.


Good luck,

Jim
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