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Old 02.06.2008, 17:00
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A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

Can anyone help me find it?

So i have just moved here (on a tourist visa which i will extend for another 3months) and looking for work unsuccessfully. Here are the challenges:

1. I do not have a work permit and now with the bilateral agreement it is nearly impossible (insert slight dramatics here) for everyone else not part of the EU to get one and/or find an employer willing to go through the hassle and long wait time to get you one.

2. I have an extensive professional background in the fashion industry and there isn't a market for that there. Although i am open to a career change and am basically willing to take just about anything to get my foot in the door, the wonderful close-minded swiss mentality won't allow that. They basically see my CV and give me a title, that title then becomes whom i am and what i can do. In essence, i am put into a little box, so now i do not fit their profile. Unlike many other countries that will take your skills to determine whether you're right for the job, here it is your basic title. I am a fashion manager, never mind the team leader, business negotiations, determining of manufacturing objectives, the training and development or quality control and efficiency skills and blah, blah, blah skills i have.

3. I speak only Spanish and English. Though, i am currently in intensive french courses and so far have a pretty basic knowledge so over a period of a few weeks, this will no longer pose as a hurdle.

I have tried the agencies with no avail. They prefer to work with job seekers whom already have proper visa's or work permits. In fact, some have been rather rude. Though, can't blame them, they work on commission and so i am just wasting their time since i have these challenges.

So...what are my options? How do i get into this secret society of work permit holders? What are some networking organisations or firms i can apply to that will give me an opportunity when no one else has? I have tried alot of the big names here but they have thousands of other applicants (ie: nestle, etc.). I have also tried applying in Geneva since most expats and american corporations have offices there but again, most of those companies have already relocated their employees here.

Hmm...does anyone hold the secret to this, my grail of all grails? Would appreciate any input.

Jess
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Old 02.06.2008, 17:09
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

Hi Jess,
You have to find a certain niche to fill. Research current openings
and match your skills with what is out there. Don't let recruiters
stand in your way. Go directly to the employers.


Two job search sites:
www.monster.ch
www.stellenmarkt.ch

It is an uphill climb, but it is not impossible.

Cheers,
Grant
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Old 02.06.2008, 17:21
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

Well first off,easy on the "close minded swiss mentality";at least to the Swiss
Why not simply tour de Suisse since you came on a tourist visa?
I agree with you on the PersonalBüros,they can be a bit "Heady" sometimes.re. Bellini.
But there is simply no Grail magic bullet for working permits here,unless.....
you could always get hitchedjust make sure you have all the proper documents and what-not,
or if you happen to have 34,000 u.s. you could get a B-permit.
but the logical course of action would be to do all that before you got to Switzerland.You may want to look at some Swiss CV's for style, and see if yours looks similar(i found this to be a huge help).they do like them to appear the same,you may also want to list all personal skills relative and Non-related to your work.From personal experience,it will still take a long time for you to find work,at least 6 months.
so with that said-here is the Holy Grail answer-
Relax,have a good time stop looking for work and enjoy the summer in Switzerland..Good luck to you
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Old 02.06.2008, 17:36
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

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Can anyone help me find it?

So i have just moved here (on a tourist visa which i will extend for another 3months)
You will need to leave the country for a month first .

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and looking for work unsuccessfully.
So not a tourist then?

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Here are the challenges:

1. I do not have a work permit and now with the bilateral agreement it is nearly impossible (insert slight dramatics here) for everyone else not part of the EU to get one and/or find an employer willing to go through the hassle and long wait time to get you one.
Not quite. If your skillset is the right one then it's not such a problem, still a problem, but not such a big one.

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2. I have an extensive professional background in the fashion industry and there isn't a market for that there. Although i am open to a career change and am basically willing to take just about anything to get my foot in the door, the wonderful close-minded swiss mentality won't allow that. They basically see my CV and give me a title, that title then becomes whom i am and what i can do. In essence, i am put into a little box, so now i do not fit their profile. Unlike many other countries that will take your skills to determine whether you're right for the job, here it is your basic title. I am a fashion manager, never mind the team leader, business negotiations, determining of manufacturing objectives, the training and development or quality control and efficiency skills and blah, blah, blah skills i have.
I think you have summed up your position very well here.

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3. I speak only Spanish and English. Though, i am currently in intensive french courses and so far have a pretty basic knowledge so over a period of a few weeks, this will no longer pose as a hurdle.
Language is a big plus, but your other obstacles are still there.

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I have tried the agencies with no avail. They prefer to work with job seekers whom already have proper visa's or work permits. In fact, some have been rather rude. Though, can't blame them, they work on commission and so i am just wasting their time since i have these challenges.
Again, you sum it up very aptly - agencies are interested in the quick return, not an investment in your future.

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So...what are my options? How do i get into this secret society of work permit holders?
Got to be honest here, from the very comprehensive description of your situation you have provided, you have practically no chance of finding employment in Switzerland. It's hardly a fashion center .
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Old 02.06.2008, 17:39
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

Grant - Thanks, i haven't heard of the stellenmarkt.ch site. Will give that a shot.

Madkap - This is now my 4th time in Switzerland, each time i came i stayed between 1wk - 2months. I decided to just head out here since it was easier to line up interviews once i am here as opposed to while i was in NY. Besides, why not use the whole 'grabbing the bull by its horns' approach on life right? ...i think :P
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Old 02.06.2008, 18:11
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

The only person I've ever met in Switzerland who worked in the fashion industry worked as a freelancer. She designed sports wear for various company "own brand" lines. So, she could work anywhere she wanted to. In fact, I would have introduced you to her, but I lost contact with her when she moved to Portugal. Have you considered doing something like that? Perhaps if you had enough work to support yourself you could make a petition to live here as you aren't taking a job from a Swiss? Maybe?
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Old 02.06.2008, 19:42
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

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So i have just moved here (on a tourist visa which i will extend for another 3months).
From where..?

How long have you been here so far..?

Tourists from most countries are allowed to stay in Switzerland a total of 3 months within a 6 month period. Sure you can stay longer but at your own risk as you would be in violation of the law at that point.
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Old 03.06.2008, 07:57
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Re: A foot in the door...where is the missing piece to this puzzle?

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happen to have 34,000 u.s. you could get a B-permit.
Some how i doubt you can 'buy' a B Permit for SFr34K.....
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