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Old 18.07.2017, 00:08
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Getting a Job With No Experience

Hello

I am a 19 year old American with very little job experience and am still in the process of learning Swiss German. I am engaged to a Swiss man, and we will be planning on getting married which will grant me a right to work in Switzerland.

But my only question is;
How do you get a job in Switzerland with no college experience, no language skills, and little to no job experience?

Is there people out there that would hire someone like me in Switzerland? I feel like the only way to get a job for myself is through connections, which I do not have at the moment.

Does anyone have any idea?
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Old 18.07.2017, 03:43
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

Get some qualifications.
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Old 18.07.2017, 04:52
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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Get some qualifications.


That was not my question.
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Old 18.07.2017, 06:09
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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That was not my question.
But that is your answer, without qualifications your options are slim indeed, it would be tough even to get a bar job with spotty German. But maybe rephrase, what do you bring to the table for a potential employer?
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Old 18.07.2017, 07:08
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

Please have your fiancé research what sort of educational opportunities would be available to you. Qualifications are even more important here than in the US, those pieces of paper matter.

I'm suggesting getting your fiance involved because you lack the language skills to do so yourself at the moment; while you will have to pick up German quickly, for now your fiance is your network.

Good to hear that you are learning German, but may I ask, why not Standard German first? Swiss German is not a written language (well, not formally), you will need good written Standard German for any job.

Do not underestimate the value placed on language skills - here it is normal to speak two, three, four languages. Employers will expect it. Don't fall for the myth that you can get by in English... the few who can are highly skilled expats in top jobs. Without other qualifications you MUST have good language skills.

So plan on taking an intensive language course as soon as you arrive. And not just any class, take one that works towards CEFR certificates. With language skills in your pocket, you have many more options.

---

But with no qualifications, no skills, no experience and no language... your options really are limited to cleaning work or similar. To give you an idea - I require that my dog sitter to speak functional German. Without German, how could you possibly handle an emergency, which is a primary responsibility of the job? Many who hire child care would expect a similar level of language proficiency as well. Again, language facility to the point where you can communicate will be necessary.

But the good news is such jobs, when legit, tend to pay better than in the US. Just don't get caught up working illegally, meaning under the table, that's where low-skilled workers end up getting exploited.

But really - think about further education. After you have reached B2 in German, look into whether you'd qualify for apprenticeship programs. You are still young. Without formal qualifications you will continually face barriers.

So the real question: What sorts of jobs have you done already, and what do you want to do with your life? What would your career options, career path have been back home? The answer is how to translate that into a Swiss context. If you give us a bit more information, we could better help you.

All the best to you.

Last edited by meloncollie; 18.07.2017 at 07:47.
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Old 18.07.2017, 07:19
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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That was not my question.
Without German, difficult but not impossible. Without qualifications, you might be able to deliver pizzas (if you have a license) or work as a manual labourer or in a fast food chain. Waitering, shop assistant (in some smaller places) or bar work is possible too, once you have some form of German..

But with qualifications you can do so much more. E.g. there are globally recognised distance learning degree courses.
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Old 18.07.2017, 07:37
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

You are young enough to learn German and get some qualifications. Invest the time now and you'll be in a far better position later on.
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Old 18.07.2017, 07:56
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

You seem to think connections will open doors. Well yes, they can, but only if you have the skills/qualifications/language to make use of those open doors. At the moment you can't even work in a shop, waiting tables, McDonald's, etc, because you have no language skills to communicate with customers. Do you expect everyone to speak English? Well sorry, but it's a bonus language here - nice to have, but without a Swiss one to go with it's not much use.

I assume you graduated from high school. Build on that by deciding what you want to do with your life besides being a wife and possibly mother and work towards getting it whether that means going to university once your language skills are good enough or doing an apprenticeship - which are excellent here btw.

Also make yourself aware of your US tax filing obligations and possible problems with getting a bank account here. Search the Finance/Taxation section of the forum for "FATCA" and you'll find plenty of info on these.
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Old 18.07.2017, 09:01
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

Hi Indigofire,
Welcome to this forum.

Here are a few comments which may or may not be helpful to you.

Switzerland is a small and pleasant country, and could easily be overwhelmed by immigration.

St Gallen is a very traditional part of Switzerland. Living in Zurich would be a quite different experience for someone from the USA.

The local university, Hoch Schule St Gallen, http://www.unisg.ch, teaches classes in English. If you are so inclined, you could start a local network by attending classes there.

It is legal to discriminate in job hiring in Switzerland on the basis of race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, and age of the applicant.

As a person from the USA, I have been repeatedly advised to only apply to international companies in the St Gallen area by many Swiss.

There are a few international companies in the St Gallen area which use English as the corporate language, Hilti is one, https://www.hilti.com.

Learn Swiss German from your boyfriend and family. Speaking Swiss German will move mountains here.

In an introductory High German class at the Migros, it is likely most of the class will be people in a situation similar to yours.

I have met a number of persons in a situation similar to yours working at McDonalds or Coffee shops in the St Gallen area.

At my wedding reception in a small town near St Gallen, a white haired Swiss gentleman said to me: “Don’t underestimate the differences between socialism and capitalism.” I believe that was sage advice.

There are many wonderful things in Switzerland, I believe it is truly unparalleled in the world in many many regards.

All the best.
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Old 18.07.2017, 09:13
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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Hello

I am a 19 year old American with very little job experience and am still in the process of learning Swiss German. I am engaged to a Swiss man, and we will be planning on getting married which will grant me a right to work in Switzerland.

But my only question is;
How do you get a job in Switzerland with no college experience, no language skills, and little to no job experience?

Is there people out there that would hire someone like me in Switzerland? I feel like the only way to get a job for myself is through connections, which I do not have at the moment.

Does anyone have any idea?
You've likely got a tough time ahead if you don't concede that you need to put some serious work in. In your shoes I would pull out all the stops to learn German. Don't worry about Swiss German for now, that will come later.

Look into some distance learning (Open University or similar). Think of skills which you could pick up and use here - maybe tourism, childcare, office admin - whatever chimes with your interests and personality, and get some relevant qualifications under your belt.

People say "the Swiss" like paper and qualifications in their workers but I think in this modern world that's true of ANYWHERE. The competition is so fierce for every scrap of a job which is advertised.

No qualifications or language and you will be very hard-pressed to find anything.

Good luck!
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Old 18.07.2017, 09:16
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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It is legal to discriminate in job hiring in Switzerland on the basis of race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, and age of the applicant.
What?
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Old 18.07.2017, 09:31
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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I am engaged to a Swiss man, and we will be planning on getting married which will grant me a right to work in Switzerland.

But my only question is....:
Granny speaking. You are 19 years old. My only question is, what is your Plan B?
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Old 18.07.2017, 09:34
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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...It is legal to discriminate in job hiring in Switzerland on the basis of race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, and age of the applicant.
Not entirely accurate. E.g.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi.../index.html#a3
Employees must not be discriminated against on the basis of their sex, whether directly or indirectly, including on the basis of their marital status, their family situation or, in the case of female employees, of pregnancy.

This prohibition applies in particular to hiring, allocation of duties, setting of working conditions, pay, basic and continuing education and training, promotion and dismissal
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Old 18.07.2017, 09:50
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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Hello

I am a 19 year old American with very little job experience and am still in the process of learning Swiss German. I am engaged to a Swiss man, and we will be planning on getting married which will grant me a right to work in Switzerland.

But my only question is;
How do you get a job in Switzerland with no college experience, no language skills, and little to no job experience?

Is there people out there that would hire someone like me in Switzerland? I feel like the only way to get a job for myself is through connections, which I do not have at the moment.

Does anyone have any idea?
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Get some qualifications.
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That was not my question.
No - get some qualifications. Better?

You're 19 years old and not planning on getting qualifications?
Gonna be a long, dull life. For your husband too

It's basically impossible for an unqualified foreigner to get a job here. It is actually very difficult at the moment for well qualified Swiss people to get a job here.
Connections? If you have a father-in-law who has his own company and a huge heart as well as some money to waste only.
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Old 18.07.2017, 10:10
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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It's basically impossible for an unqualified foreigner to get a job here.
Nonsense! There are thousands and thousands of employed people in Switzerland who are unskilled or semi-skilled. They pack, they clean, they assemble in factories, they labor on construction sites, they work in hotels and restaurants, etc. etc. etc. Some even start their own businesses.
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Old 18.07.2017, 10:23
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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Nonsense! There are thousands and thousands of employed people in Switzerland who are unskilled or semi-skilled. They pack, they clean, they assemble in factories, they labor on construction sites, they work in hotels and restaurants, etc. etc. etc. Some even start their own businesses.
Absolutely. Thousands and thousands, I do not deny that. In a 8.4 million people country ....

Maybe one of them will give up his/her job for her.
At the age of 19 she would even be able to get a proper education here. But as there are thousands and thousands of jobs for unskilled people why bother.

If I sound sarcastic - I'm surrounded with all those people with no chance but one of these (actually few, not abundant) jobs. So yes, I'm in the mood to tell 19-year old Americans to pull their finger.
I'm the very helpful type if the question is "right".
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Old 18.07.2017, 10:25
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

But are those thousands of jobs held by Americans? Permits?
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Old 18.07.2017, 10:33
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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Nonsense! There are thousands and thousands of employed people in Switzerland who are unskilled or semi-skilled. They pack, they clean, they assemble in factories, they labor on construction sites, they work in hotels and restaurants, etc. etc. etc. Some even start their own businesses.
And they speak the local language.

Tom
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Old 18.07.2017, 10:35
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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How do you get a job in Switzerland with no college experience, no language skills, and little to no job experience?
It's a multi-step process:

Step 1: learn the language
Step 2: go to college
Step 3: get a job

Or you can to the alternative track:

Step 1: Get pregnant
Step 2: Be a stay at home mom
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Old 18.07.2017, 10:42
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Re: Getting a Job With No Experience

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It's a multi-step process:

Step 1: learn the language
Step 2: go to college
Step 3: get a job

Or you can to the alternative track:

Step 1: Get pregnant
Step 2: Be a stay at home mom
get divorced at 25 ... do version 1 under much more difficult cirumstances and be told you're too old for x, y and z

Okay, okay, I'll shut up ...
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