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Old 03.01.2021, 01:05
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Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

Hi All,

Happy New Year!

I should be excited at the fact that Iíve received a new work opportunity in London (70k£ + 15% bonus) for a Head of Clients role but at the same time I received an employment offer from my former U.K. employerís other branch based out of Zurich, 98.8k CHF as a senior digital consultant (this is the amount after negotiations).

Itís quite challenging to judge what is an equivalent salary as both roles are in different areas however Iím feeling that with my 7/8yr experience, the Zurich role is on the lower end (I have EU passport & UK EU settlement as of 2 months ago).

There are obvious benefits to accepting both roles (in London it is a more senior position) whereas the role in Zurich would allow my Basel based partner and I live in same place and end LDR (he is a chem grad and already on 100+)

Iím trying to get a feel for career progression if I do go for the Zurich role...perhaps after 1 year I will be able to land something better (ive been told I could aim for principle consultant within 1yr with the firm which would land me around 110CHF range) or perhaps to stick with this London Client management role and then try to land something in Switzerland again in future? Itís been 2years of constant applying and constant rejection with Swiss job applications!! I would be grateful if anyone could suggest an approach to assessing this situation as I am a) unfamiliar with Career progression in Swiss market 2) how Brexit will affect U.K. job marketóbest to jump ship? 3) perhaps some tips to keep in mind when negotiating swiss salary?

Thank you very much & apologies in advance for rambling on!
K
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Old 03.01.2021, 17:35
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

If you value your relationship, stay in Switzerland. Risk-wise, I'm not too confident about the UK economy, so for that reason I'd also stay in Switzerland. With covid-19... I'd stay in Switzerland. Especially as you won't be able to come back to visit your loved one until the UK has got things under control.

I can't comment on the salary or job. Outside of my experience.
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Old 03.01.2021, 18:02
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

GBP 70k will buy you a significantly better standard of living in London than CHF 99k will buy you in Zurich. The real question is lifestyle and whether you want to live in one of the world's global, vibrant, diverse and spontaneous cities or whether you prefer the conformist, risk-averse, hierarchical approach to life in Zurich/Switzerland.

In terms of work culture, the Swiss tend to frown upon job hopping and you are expected to stay in the same job/company for a few years before moving. Salaries tend to be based on rank/title more so than ability/performance, and generally any raises are based on your starting salary which is why it is CRUCIAL to negotiate as high a starting salary as possible. Also, the Swiss tend to offer below market salaries to foreign workers as a way to reduce staff costs so it is likely that a well-informed local would do the job in Zurich for CHF 110/115K whereas they are hoping to real you in on sub-100K knowing that, once in Zurich, you will need to hang around for a few years so as not to be seen as a job hopper.
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Old 03.01.2021, 18:34
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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GBP 70k will buy you a significantly better standard of living in London than CHF 99k will buy you in Zurich. The real question is lifestyle and whether you want to live in one of the world's global, vibrant, diverse and spontaneous cities or whether you prefer the conformist, risk-averse, hierarchical approach to life in Zurich/Switzerland.

Well that depends - the UK take home is going to be just over 4k a month on 70k. If you want to live anywhere remotely near London you're still going to be looking at a fair amount for rent, certainly renting a room will be similar prices to Zurich at 500 or so a month and a flat much more than that. Versus over 7k CHF so consider this the UK tax is a lot higher and given the 200+ billion spent on Covid costs/furlough so far is liable to go up in the near future and you'll be considered a high earner in UK and taxed heavily.

Live outside London and public transport is 3-4x the cost of here (I fly to Zurich from the UK normally weekly for less cost a month than I pay for a 40 mile monthly season ticket into London (£580)! Even there you're looking at £600 a month for a tiny one bed flat plus then the train fare on top.
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Old 03.01.2021, 19:04
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

You'll need to decide what's in your shopping basked, to count as "quality of life".

A vibrant cities with the latest shows and huge museums, shopping, buzz? London, definitely. Will you have time to enjoy it, if you're working all week and flying backwards and forwards over the weekends, or would your partner visit you, there?

Security, quick access to good medical care, systems that are mostly clear and transparent, phenomenally good public transport, and nearby access to nature for walking and cycling? Switzerland. What people see as dull and stodgy, in Switzerland, is also the same mentality that provides consistency and keeps things in good working order.

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... the role in Zurich would allow my Basel based partner and I live in same place and end LDR
If you choose this option, I'd recommend Olten, (the transport system's hub) so that you each have roughly half-an-hour's commute (at least to the respective main stations) that's not too arduous.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Olte...47.3778579!3e3

If you work in Zurich but move into his place in Basel, you're going to be doing another kind of Long Distance. Many people do it, though, daily, and some cycle at either end of the train journey. In that case, it's worth getting a year card, possibly first class.
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Old 03.01.2021, 19:19
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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In terms of work culture, the Swiss tend to frown upon job hopping and you are expected to stay in the same job/company for a few years before moving. Salaries tend to be based on rank/title more so than ability/performance, and generally any raises are based on your starting salary which is why it is CRUCIAL to negotiate as high a starting salary as possible.
On job hopping, 20 or 30 years ago maybe but really not any more than anywhere else, at least amongst larger companies.

Starting salary remains important but also less so than earlier. You describe the Switzerland I came to 30 years ago, a lot has changed in that time.
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Old 03.01.2021, 20:03
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

70k in London is a great salary.
98k for a senior digital in Zurich is awful.

Take London by a country mile.
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Old 03.01.2021, 21:09
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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GBP 70k will buy you a significantly better standard of living in London than CHF 99k will buy you in Zurich. The real question is lifestyle and whether you want to live in one of the world's global, vibrant, diverse and spontaneous cities or whether you prefer the conformist, risk-averse, hierarchical approach to life in Zurich/Switzerland.
A matter of opinion. I'm a proud Londoner, born and bred, but for general quality of life, give me Zurich any day -- all things being equal.

But all things are not equal. The bigger question is the salary differential. You're right that £70K in the UK, even in London, is a very good salary, while 98K CHF in Zurich is pretty ordinary. That said, what sort of accommodation and quality of life would you get in London after tax? It's not enough to buy a place (unless the OP already has substantial savings) and neither renting a bedsit in London, nor something bigger outside and having to commute, would be at all appealing compared with living in or around Zurich.

It depends what the OP values most. Personally I'd opt for Switzerland every time. Once you're here and settled, you can look for something better. The UK, and especially London, is not somewhere I would want to live anymore -- but then I'm certainly older than the OP, and may put more value on security, healthy air, and being surrounded by such a wealth of natural beauty. "Vibrancy and diversity" are over-rated virtues in my experience.
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Old 03.01.2021, 22:06
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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"Vibrancy and diversity" are over-rated virtues in my experience.
I agree with a caveat; that what is passing for diversity among liberal minded folk is really a divershitty.
I am all for subsidizing poor artists and literary/creative types with my tax money, so they can contribute to diversity and vibrancy of the city.
That is what diversity used to mean, alas not anymore.
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Old 04.01.2021, 00:48
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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70k in London is a great salary.
98k for a senior digital in Zurich is awful.

Take London by a country mile.
I know this goes against EF thinking but I think the same salary goes further in Switzerland than London.

Commuting is cheaper, tax is much lower. Housing not much different.

I moved from c £80k inc bonus to about 160k CHF and feel miles richer.
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Old 04.01.2021, 00:52
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

Hi,

I believe that if your partner is a priority, you should accept the offer in Zurich.

It’s really tough to find a job here and even more now. My personal opinion is it will be even harder in the future.

Once you will have you first experience here, it will be much easier to find something else. If you don’t speak any local languages, the salary is not that bad I think.

And if you want to go back to London, it’s always an option. But who knows how long it’ll take to get another offer here in Switzerland...
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Old 04.01.2021, 00:59
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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The real question is lifestyle and whether you want to live in one of the world's global, vibrant, diverse and spontaneous cities or whether you prefer the conformist, risk-averse, hierarchical approach to life in Zurich/Switzerland.
Call me an old fart, but Zurich is a bit global, vibrant, diverse and spontaneous for me.
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Old 04.01.2021, 03:24
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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70k in London is a great salary.
98k for a senior digital in Zurich is awful.

Take London by a country mile.
When I think of those trains into London, oh... that country mile would be the killer.
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Old 04.01.2021, 08:34
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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When I think of those trains into London, oh... that country mile would be the killer.

Yup - I did 20 years of it and after one year of Swiss public transport I took a perm role here and there's literally no way I ever want to go back to London public transport again.

Until you've suffered the Northern or Jubilee line in summer in close to 40 degree C temperature in the carriages you really can't know how bad travelling in London is. Never mind the 8-10 minute gap between trains meaning sometimes you can't even get on the train for 10-20 mins at peak hours at some stations as its 5 people deep at the platform. That's without the constant late running of almost all overground services on a daily basis.

For the Swiss folks if a train arrives within TEN MINUTES of it's scheduled time it's still considered on time in the UK. Compare that with the tuts you hear on the platforms here when a train is 2 mins late
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Old 04.01.2021, 10:00
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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Yup - I did 20 years of it and after one year of Swiss public transport I took a perm role here and there's literally no way I ever want to go back to London public transport again.

Until you've suffered the Northern or Jubilee line in summer in close to 40 degree C temperature in the carriages you really can't know how bad travelling in London is. Never mind the 8-10 minute gap between trains meaning sometimes you can't even get on the train for 10-20 mins at peak hours at some stations as its 5 people deep at the platform. That's without the constant late running of almost all overground services on a daily basis.

For the Swiss folks if a train arrives within TEN MINUTES of it's scheduled time it's still considered on time in the UK. Compare that with the tuts you hear on the platforms here when a train is 2 mins late
I also worked in london and took the Northern line for several years and had quite a different experience. 8-10 minutes gap is almost unheard of, you would have to be near midnight for that. During the busy times like rushhour, trains come between 1-2 minute gaps. temperatures are not 40 degrees in only exceptional circumstances. The tube is still a a great way to rapidly get across a huge city. It gets a thumbs up from me.

Swiss transport is much less frequent, so you need to get there on time. the density is less so the journey is more likely to have seating, therefore if its a priority for you that you must be in a relaxed, calm setting with no pressure, then swiss transport is better. if you need to get from A to B as easily as possible across a city, the London Underground is better.
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Old 04.01.2021, 10:41
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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I also worked in london and took the Northern line for several years and had quite a different experience. 8-10 minutes gap is almost unheard of, you would have to be near midnight for that. During the busy times like rushhour, trains come between 1-2 minute gaps. temperatures are not 40 degrees in only exceptional circumstances. The tube is still a a great way to rapidly get across a huge city. It gets a thumbs up from me.

Swiss transport is much less frequent, so you need to get there on time. the density is less so the journey is more likely to have seating, therefore if its a priority for you that you must be in a relaxed, calm setting with no pressure, then swiss transport is better. if you need to get from A to B as easily as possible across a city, the London Underground is better.
I travelled by tube until the last year in London.

I moved from Zone 2 to Zone 6. Train for Orpington to London Bridge was 15 minutes and I always got a seat.

Id Never rely on the Tube again even if I was physically forced to move back to London.
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Old 04.01.2021, 10:53
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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I travelled by tube until the last year in London.

I moved from Zone 2 to Zone 6. Train for Orpington to London Bridge was 15 minutes and I always got a seat.

Id Never rely on the Tube again even if I was physically forced to move back to London.
Yes I would use tube or train, both are generally reliable.
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Old 04.01.2021, 11:09
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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I also worked in london and took the Northern line for several years and had quite a different experience. 8-10 minutes gap is almost unheard of, you would have to be near midnight for that. During the busy times like rushhour, trains come between 1-2 minute gaps. temperatures are not 40 degrees in only exceptional circumstances. The tube is still a a great way to rapidly get across a huge city. It gets a thumbs up from me.

I disagree - 5-8 mins to the next train at rush hour is reasonably common and at least once every couple of weeks around 16:30-17:30. Temperatures are well into the high 20s and early 30s daily in summer - 40s is exceptional but to make out its a comfortable experience travelling on the Northern line is laughable when crammed in like sardines at rush hour with sweat dripping from you with your face in someone else's armpit.

I worked there for years and travelled between Euston and London Bridge on the Northern Line. Maybe you used the other branch of the line or in quieter periods?
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Old 04.01.2021, 11:28
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

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I disagree - 5-8 mins to the next train at rush hour is reasonably common and at least once every couple of weeks around 16:30-17:30. Temperatures are well into the high 20s and early 30s daily in summer - 40s is exceptional but to make out its a comfortable experience travelling on the Northern line is laughable when crammed in like sardines at rush hour with sweat dripping from you with your face in someone else's armpit.

I worked there for years and travelled between Euston and London Bridge on the Northern Line. Maybe you used the other branch of the line or in quieter periods?
Ok, so some numbers. This is the tfl report, there is a section on frequency https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/defa...s-mind_gap.pdf

peak times, trains about every 2 minutes.

I went from archway to bank, for several years.
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Old 04.01.2021, 11:39
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Re: Caught in U.K. - Swiss crossroads [Employment Help]

My experience would be 1-4 minute gaps on the busier main lines.

You might wait 5-10 on a branch line like Earls Court to Wimbledon.
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