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-   -   where to look for jobs with no job qualifications (https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/219259-where-look-jobs-no-job-qualifications.html)

pamela16 08.10.2014 23:56

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
My ten cents worth. I thought I might try something similar in 2010, I have an EU passport so at least had the permission to work bit sorted. I'm up around your age too and there was virtually nothing available without the language, though I do speak some German, even doing menial jobs. You have that advantage though it might be tougher for your husband. Advertising to do private cleaning could be a good way to go, it was something I thought of too. I decided to forget it and just enjoy a long holiday and go back home afterwards.

Also, I have Swiss friends, one in St Gallen with a degree, who is about 28, and she has been trying for about two years to get a job in the area with no luck. Another friend near Thun has had to take part time jobs only these past few years, and he is now 62, and currently has nothing.

I am all for giving it a go, I love your idea and love adventure myself. But what about renting out your house in NZ and just renting in CH? I did that for a few months, keeping my place in Australia, and in the end, was glad I did. I've been back for holidays of course as I love being in CH! Was just there again in Aug/Sep.

I also agree with you that it's not so expensive in CH, it is pretty pricey in Oz and NZ too so CH is not that much of a shock for us. Americans are likely to notice more of a difference but we are not so shocked!

Think seriously, but in the end, do what your heart tells you and prove all the naysayers wrong! Look at the worst case scenario and if it never happens, excellent! :msncool:

Kiwi2Swiss 09.10.2014 00:46

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Thank you for your thoughts Pamela. It certainly sounds difficult with work and all, but I have to be hopeful....
Life is too short to be inflexible, we need to make the most of it and I would regret if we didn't give it a go. Better to have tried and failed, then to never have tried ..

You're the first person who agrees with me re Switzerland not being so expensive, yay! I guess it has to be cheaper there because they have so much competition, it has to drive the prices down. You can find expensive stuff anywhere in the world, but I have always lived on very little, and I have seen enough again when I was there in June to still be confident that we can get by on a low wage.

doropfiz 09.10.2014 02:37

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Hello Kiwi2Swiss

A suggestion about starting out well: eyes and teeth
I suggest that, before leaving NZ, you both get any dentistry done, and have your eyes checked. Partly because you’ll be seeing the doctors you know, but partly because I imagine (and I admit that I have not compared the tariffs) that these services will be cheaper in NZ than in CH. In some countries, glasses and fillings are covered by the medical insurance; here they are, for the most part, not.

Language:
Super that you are fluent and your husband speaks some basic German. Great!
Yes, I’d second someone else’s suggestion that he should practice as much as possible, go to school (fees perhaps cheaper in NZ than in CH), etc. before you leaven NZ. Perhaps you could get audio resources for him to listen to. And perhaps you could for, say, one evening a week and one half-day on a weekend, determine to speak strictly only German to each other. If that feels odd, then at least he could read aloud to you, so you could help him with his pronunciation. It’d be wonderful if you could find some other German-speakers, and perhaps he could see them without you, just to practice. A determined sprint effort can work wonders to refresh the knowledge he has.

Document your working experience:
Before you leave NZ, collect and assemble your (and your husband’s) whole folder of qualifications (even your Swiss schooling from long ago, and subsequent certificates you know to be recognised only in NZ and not in CH), and ask all your and his former employers, business contacts, etc. to write you references (including those folk who keep asking your husband to come and work with them). Translate these into German before you leave, and have them certified and visibly stamped by someone official. If you have casual working experience in NZ, then references about this should include words like punctual, reliable, clean, responsible, highly recommended and – one of the highest forms of praise in any Swiss reference – that the employer would be very pleased to take you on again.
Make a c.v. in which you emphasise that you grew up as Swiss (for your husband, that he has been married to you since…), and then all the chronology. Try to fit this on one A4 page.
When you are here, at least you’ll have that bundle ready for anyone who asks you for documentation.

Document your financial background:
In Switzerland, for many rental contracts, one is asked to produce a “Betreibungsregisterauszug” to show that you have not been subject to debt-collecting procedures. If there is any equivalent where you live, get one from the relevant government department. Alternatively: can you get your bank manager to write that you have had no debts, etc.? Ditto into German.

doropfiz 09.10.2014 02:38

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
A suggestion: working as an assistant.

Three years ago, the Swiss laws on disability changed, making a new branch of work called “Assistenz”. This is help-at-home, and can be just a bit less than nursing and something more than cleaning. It can include cleaning, shopping, cooking, helping with basic body-care (such as washing hair, showering, clipping fingernails, etc.) and also escorting the disabled person to appointments with a doctor, or going shopping with them, or in their stead, and running errands.

If a person who cannot work has a disability pension (IV-Rente) and also an additional top-up (Hilflosenentschädigung) and can also demonstrate, by means of a rigorous measuring instrument/questionnaire and doctors’ reports, that he/she is in need of help at home, then a part of the costs of this home-help is covered by the disability office (they pay out Assistenzbeiträge). The disabled person is then empowered to employ assistants, up to the maximally awarded amount. In practice, this can be a huge strain for the disabled person, who is already suffering the consequences of illness or accident, and now has to learn all the procedures of being an employer. But that’s a side-track to this threa.

Anyway: employers needing this kind of assistance have a great struggle to find workers, typically because many people do not want to do it, and also because it is not well paid and often for a small number of hours per week. However, if you could find a number of such posts, you might be okay.

I’d recommend you look in sites like www.gratis-inserate.ch and www.tutti.ch, with “Assistenz” or “Assistentin” as your search-word, and you will find ads such as this: http://www.tutti.ch/ganze-schweiz/st...?q=assistentin

Of course there are companies which employ people to do this kind of work, too, although typically the conditions are poor and the earnings less than for a direct employer. For example: http://www.homeinstead.ch/

doropfiz 09.10.2014 02:45

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Many kinds of health-related and socially-based services here are not protected terms. Though there may well be proper qualifications, anyone can set up as a language teacher, a counsellor for “life advice” (Lebensberatung), a massage therapist, a child-minder, a nanny, a dog-walker or a gardener. If you can genuinely do any of those things, then I suggest you try to work in NZ in such an area, even if briefly and for people you know, and then get them to write you references. Ditto “translate to German” as in my previous post.

If the area into which you first move, where your relations live, has any kind of volunteer work centre or neighbourhood help organisation (Nachbarschaftshilfe), then it might be an idea to make contact with them, and if you can, work for free. I mean this at the start, until you have other work. This is so as to make contacts, and also so you can get Swiss references from the people you help.

doropfiz 09.10.2014 02:52

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Another way to generate income is to sell second-hand items on the internet. This can add another trickle of income. If you have time before you leave, you make sure you both have the basic skills: general internet competence, handling of the digital camera, at least some experience at looking at such websites.

There is an auction site here called www.ricardo.ch and, if the auction idea seems to stressful for you (because each auction has a deadline) you could, instead, go for fixed-price selling on www.tutti.ch, www.olx.ch or www.gratis-inserate.ch. As far as I know, for private persons all these platforms are free.

If you are good with your hands, it is sometimes possible to restore junk found on the street or in a second-hand shop (Brockenhaus) and to make some profit reselling it. Especially if you know how to do it with love and effort, rather than buying expensive restoring chemicals or tools.

Kiwi2Swiss 09.10.2014 04:21

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Wow, thank you so much for all the time and effort that has gone into those messages! I really do appreciate your suggestions and thoughts and will be sharing all that people have suggested/said with my husband tonight.
There is a lot to think about and to look into. Many, many thanks !

Phos 09.10.2014 08:28

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
How do we kick out malcontent foreigners who complain too much about Switzerland, so we can make room for those who really want to come in?

meloncollie 09.10.2014 09:12

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Sbrinz has pointed out something that you really need to consider: the difficulties an older job seeker will face in Switzerland.

Workers 50+ will face significant obstacles. There is a definite 'alte Eisen' attitude in most companies here, one needs to understand this and develop a Plan B, perhaps look into self employment.

There is a need for household and personal service providers. One of the reasons that this niche is generally not filled, however, is that one can't just hire someone for a one-off job, one must take the person on as an employee - which is too much bureaucracy for most folks when the work is a one-off job.

If, however, you are able to register as self-employed, you suddenly become quite attractive.

Just something to think about...

meloncollie 09.10.2014 09:24

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 2255731)
Though there may well be proper qualifications, anyone can set up as a language teacher, a counsellor for “life advice” (Lebensberatung), a massage therapist, a child-minder, a nanny, a dog-walker or a gardener.

Just to point out the dog care issue, 'cause it's one of my pet ( ;) ) peeves:

http://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corne...providers.html

Yes, there is a lot of need for dog care providers. But please, please, please - do not work illegally. You put not only yourself but also the client and most importantly the dog at risk.

Anyone considering offering dog care: Please, do it right.

Chuff 09.10.2014 09:38

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiwi2Swiss (Post 2255714)
I guess it has to be cheaper there because they have so much competition, it has to drive the prices down.

...what? http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...y2=Switzerland

Quote:

Indices Difference Info
  • Consumer Prices in Switzerland are 38.81% higher than in New Zealand
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Switzerland are 44.11% higher than in New Zealand
  • Rent Prices in Switzerland are 58.26% higher than in New Zealand
  • Restaurant Prices in Switzerland are 62.59% higher than in New Zealand
  • Groceries Prices in Switzerland are 40.98% higher than in New Zealand

...that's a bit of a difference, and you likely won't be earning the required salary to offset it.

dodgyken 09.10.2014 09:45

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2255828)
...what? http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...y2=Switzerland
...that's a bit of a difference, and you likely won't be earning the required salary to offset it.

The salary is interesting - but is massively skewed in Switzerland by the large numbers of high earners in the "big" cities.

The one saving grace is that low wages = very low taxes in Switzerland.

Chuff 09.10.2014 09:54

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dodgyken (Post 2255833)
The salary is interesting - but is massively skewed in Switzerland by the large numbers of high earners in the "big" cities.

The one saving grace is that low wages = very low taxes in Switzerland.

True, but I was only comparing prices... and CH is significantly more expensive.

doropfiz 09.10.2014 11:31

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Meloncollie as made two important points.

About dogs:
I did not know all those rules about caring for dogs, so I stand corrected. Thanks.

About being self-employed:


Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 2255811)
Sbrinz has pointed out something that you really need to consider: the difficulties an older job seeker will face in Switzerland.

If, however, you are able to register as self-employed, you suddenly become quite attractive.

...

Yes, you become attractive to those who are financing your services themselves, i.e. paying out of their own pockets.

For anyone who will be paying from “Assistenzbeiträge, (and it is a growing market) on the other hand, you specifically exclude yourself from being able to work for them if you are self-employed. The whole crux of “Assistenzbeiträge” is that it is a legal requirement that the disabled person employs you.

And yes, the work involved for any employer (contract, social security contributions, accident cover, liability for continuing wage payments, at least for a short while, in case of illness, etc.) is huge, and yes, it definitely does put potential employers off. A few years ago we had a big campaign here to legalise cleaners and, as a result, some cleaners are better off and, sadly, who would like to employ a cleaner no longer do so, because they don’t want to be “illegal” but don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing to fulfil the law.That work should, however, not put you off, and you should find ways to work legally.

This term “legally” does not refer, in your case, to your being in the country, since you are Swiss. In this context, working “illegally” would mean being paid cash that you do not declare to the tax office, and not being properly registered and insured at the various social security institutions. Only by having a proper contract of employment can you ensure that you and your employer both pay your proper social security contributions, for cover in the event of unemployment or disability.That is really, really important, and please don't be misled into thinking it is just a "nice-to-have" extra. It is law. And it is wise be insured.

One way I’ve heard of, to lower the threshold for potential employers, is for you to download standard contracts for household work and/or “Assistenz”, then to get legal help to make sure the contract means what it should, and thereafter to offer any potential employer this standard version to sign. Also, you can get (from the AHV office) a checklist of what an employer has to do to fulfil his/her obligations, and help the employer to do it. If you make the effort of learning how it works, that would lower the threshold for any potential employer. Obviously I'm talking about small employers here, and not large companies which already have all that standardised.

3Wishes 09.10.2014 14:38

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
OP, you mentioned you grew up here. Do you still maintain contact with old school friends? It seems like the networking among school and military peers here is alive and well, even if you might not have talked to someone in a long time. Perhaps some of your old friends can help you with job leads and put in a good word for you? Good luck.:)

Jim2007 09.10.2014 17:35

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiwi2Swiss (Post 2255662)
Yes, a regular job is just fine, any job is fine. And yes, my husband and I are very hard workers and we pride ourselves on that.

The problem I see is that even for unskilled work you are going to be the expensive option for any employer - the pension contributions etc are higher for an older person and usually jump considerably once someone reaches 50. At the same time hiring older people to do physically hard work over a younger person is also going to be an issue.

That being the case I would suggest you need to plan for a long period say six months during which neither of you will be drawing a salary...

banadol 09.10.2014 19:51

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2255828)
...what? http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...y2=Switzerland



...that's a bit of a difference, and you likely won't be earning the required salary to offset it.

these numbers are entered by random people. nz is expensive, both for travel and for living. not in all things as expensive as here but then the average salary is much lower.

Kiwi2Swiss 09.10.2014 21:58

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2255828)
...what? http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living...y2=Switzerland



...that's a bit of a difference, and you likely won't be earning the required salary to offset it.

I am finding it hard to believe that it is so much more expensive. Why then when I went into the shops like Migros, Aldi, Lidl, Ottos was a stunned at the amazing prices that you get over there? I went cloths shopping, and present shopping, I went to restaurants and like I said, I have been looking at flat rentals in the area we're looking at and it seems like there are plenty of places available around the 1200-. mark. Where we live here, the average price for a 2 bedroom place are approx. $300/week and these are often not insulated and heating costs are on top of that.
Anyway, I guess we can debate this back and forth, I had a look around really well while over there and felt it was far cheaper then here in NZ, comparing the same kind of grocery items that I buy over here and clothing too. I am sure there are things that will be more expensive and there are most likely things that I have not taken into consideration, but over all, I am feeling reasonably confident that I have looked into it well.
Am I nervous about finding work for my husband and myself, yes, you have certainly managed to make me very nervous and we will keep looking into this and as much as I am not really wanting to hear the 'bad news' it is important that we know about it, so thank you for making us aware.

Lexi.M 09.10.2014 22:04

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
I think finding an apartment or a house especially without a job is going to be difficult but you said you have family here so maybe you could stay with them until you get sorted.
I don't want to be negative but I do think that it might be difficult finding work, the company we work for does not seem to hire anyone over the age of 40 something... Just the other day the temp office sent the sweetest Swiss man I have ever met, he was 49 and when I asked the boss if we could keep him he said oh no the company would never allow it,he is too old...
I don't think it is impossible but it will definitely be tricky...
I wish you all the best whatever you do and good luck with everything.

Kiwi2Swiss 09.10.2014 23:43

Re: where to look for jobs with no job qualifications
 
Thank you Lexi, I see the age could be a bigger problem then I thought. It seems strange that nobody seems to appreciate experience and other characteristics that a more mature person can offer. Pity really. I also understand that the young have things to offer that we may not be able to anymore.

We do have family that we can stay with, which is a real blessing.

Someone mentioned getting in touch with old friends and school colleagues, unfortunately I don't remember many of their names, but the few I do remember, I will get in touch with and maybe they have some contacts for us. thanks for that suggestion.


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