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Old 13.09.2017, 14:45
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Retail job for non-german speaker?

Hi all,

Based on your experience and knowledge of the country, is German mandatory for a position in Retail?

BACKGROUND
I will be moving to Basel in October and considering the option for my girlfriend to join me in Switzerland but I am not entirely sure she will be able to find a job easily, given that she doesn't speak German and since she works in retail, this is not a small thing.

She currently manages 10-12 ppl, she speaks Italian (native), English (fluent) and some basic Spanish. She has EU citizenship (italian passport).

Her company doesn't have branches/stores in CH, therefore transfer is not an option.

Do you think there might be other options/roles/industries she should consider in order to (easily) find a position in CH?

Thanks for your suggestions
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Old 13.09.2017, 14:52
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

Assuming with retail you mean actively selling at a store, let me ask in reverse: do you think a German/English-only speaker would find such a job in Italy without speaking a word of Italian?

The answer is no. So the same answer applies here. Next to impossible, as other employees and the majority of customers speak German and will have no interest, motivation and/or ability whatsoever to converse in English, Italian or Spanish.


Beyond that, no one finds a job here "easily". Whether there's any options at all depends on her specific background/education. In general: without speaking the language, the more customer/client-facing the job the smaller the chances of finding one. The only exception are some particular areas in large multinational companies.
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Old 13.09.2017, 14:57
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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Assuming with retail you mean actively selling at a store, let me ask in reverse: do you think a German/English-only speaker would find such a job in Italy without speaking a word of Italian?
Fair enough
But still Italy is way less diverse and international than Switzerland, hence my question.

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The answer is no. So the same answer applies here. Next to impossible, as other employees and the majority of customers speak German and will have no interest, motivation and/or ability whatsoever to converse in English, Italian or Spanish.
Got it.

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Beyond that, no one finds a job here "easily". Whether there's any options at all depends on her specific background/education. In general: without speaking the language, the more customer/client-facing the job the smaller the chances of finding one. The only exception are some particular areas in large multinational companies.
My bad for having used the word "easily". I meant more "in a reasonable time frame (eg <6 months)"

At this stage I think the most viable option would be for her to learn German up to a decent level and start from there.

Thanks
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Old 13.09.2017, 15:04
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

Move to one of the Italian-speaking bits.

Tom
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Old 13.09.2017, 15:06
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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Italy is way less diverse and international than Switzerland
No, it's not.

In fact, in parts of Italy you are far better off speaking German than Italian.

Tom
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Old 13.09.2017, 15:09
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

There are plenty of jobs boards - do a search for "italian" or "english" on jobs.ch, monster.ch and so on.

Retail seems unlikely, but maybe in hospitality or office jobs - sometime "English plus one other European language" is a plus.
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Old 13.09.2017, 15:16
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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No, it's not.

In fact, in parts of Italy you are far better off speaking German than Italian.

Tom
I don't want to start a debate on this.
Thanks for your reply.
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Old 13.09.2017, 15:30
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

There are many jobs in Switzerland requiring English. In Basel at least one retail store works exclusively in English:

https://www.bzbasel.ch/basel/basel-s...ient-129015080

The Basel airport might be a place to look for an English-speaking retail job.

Here are two lists of job boards in Switzerland, which might be useful:

https://www.ag.ch/media/kanton_aarga...lenboersen.pdf

https://www.biz.erz.be.ch/biz_erz/de...m_Internet.pdf

These two "google for jobs" search engines are particularly worthwhile, imo. Search on keyword English with location Basel:

https://jobsuchmaschine.ch/en/

https://www.indeed.ch/

Good luck to you!
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Old 13.09.2017, 15:34
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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There are many jobs in Switzerland requiring English. In Basel at least one retail store works exclusively in English:

https://www.bzbasel.ch/basel/basel-s...ient-129015080

The Basel airport might be a place to look for an English-speaking retail job.

Here are two lists of job boards in Switzerland, which might be useful:

https://www.ag.ch/media/kanton_aarga...lenboersen.pdf

https://www.biz.erz.be.ch/biz_erz/de...m_Internet.pdf

These two "google for jobs" search engines are particularly worthwhile, imo. Search on keyword English with location Basel:

https://jobsuchmaschine.ch/en/

https://www.indeed.ch/

Good luck to you!
Airport might be a good option, indeed, given that she already works at the airport at the moment (in Italy!).
Thanks
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Old 13.09.2017, 16:42
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

Basel airport is on French territory! She would need French PLUS English, or French PLUS German, and preferably all three: French, German & English.

Don't let her resign her Italian airport job until she has a job with a contract in Basel. Otherwise there will be tears: she will be sent back to Italy if she cannot find a proper job, or you will have to get married for her stay with you here.

As Tom writes, why don't you both work in Tessin, the Italian speaking area in the south of Switzerland?
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Old 13.09.2017, 16:52
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

Presuming because he's already got a job lined up in Basel.
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Old 13.09.2017, 17:09
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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Presuming because he's already got a job lined up in Basel.
Yes well I am aware of that, but something has gotta change: new job or new girl friend!
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Old 13.09.2017, 17:12
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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Basel airport is on French territory! She would need French PLUS English, or French PLUS German, and preferably all three: French, German & English.

Don't let her resign her Italian airport job until she has a job with a contract in Basel. Otherwise there will be tears: she will be sent back to Italy if she cannot find a proper job, or you will have to get married for her stay with you here.

As Tom writes, why don't you both work in Tessin, the Italian speaking area in the south of Switzerland?
How does that work for residence / work permit?

Are you classed as working in France, or do the special rules that apply at the airport (regarding Swiss oversight / laws) also cover this?

Of course the OP could also consider living in France and cross-border commuting each day.
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Old 13.09.2017, 18:21
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Re: Retail job for non-german speaker?

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Don't let her resign her Italian airport job until she has a job with a contract in Basel. Otherwise there will be tears: she will be sent back to Italy if she cannot find a proper job, or you will have to get married for her stay with you here.
Obviously she is not going to leave the job in Italy before having found something else in CH.

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As Tom writes, why don't you both work in Tessin, the Italian speaking area in the south of Switzerland?
As Medea Fleecestealer pointed out, that is not an option at the moment.
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