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  #21  
Old 07.07.2021, 15:46
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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In Pharma there are many middle management jobs paying 200k plus bonus plus options, which is approx where you are in (equiv) UK at the moment. I guess you get a car or allowance as well?

I can't see a technical expert role paying off for you (but Pharam pays really well here in general), especially if your wife won't be working, not to mention the 10 years hard graft becoming a GP in the UK.

Good luck, and make sure to give them a hearty laugh if they offer 160k
Really depends on the area. 'Middle Manager' (60 to 80 underlings) roles pay better in science and development. In 'global functions' (HR, IT etc) the pay is not as high because there's a bigger pool to pick from. Also, take note of the latest Roche announcement that, on the face of it, is about cutting 'middle management' to 'speed up decision making'.

Once again, to the OP, be aware that it's not hard to let someone go in CH and then you'll not have the same number of opportunities as in the UK. That plus losing your wife's income should really give you pause for thought.
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  #22  
Old 07.07.2021, 17:17
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

Does your wife want to lose the job she has worked so hard for?

The above scenario is why many marriages don’t make it when they move to Switzerland. Unless you are struggling in the UK for any reason, I don’t recommend making such a move.

A pharma career in middle to lower management is a rough road in Switzerland - good that you are getting a permanent offer, but that sometimes doesn’t mean anything. I’ve been cut 3 times in the past 4 years and every day I wonder if it is my turn again, not the best option for a young family in a new country.

Good luck!
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  #23  
Old 07.07.2021, 17:30
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Hello everyone,

I am in the process of negotiating a permanent role in Bern. The interview process just finished and I am yet to hear from HR so I started to put together a salary justification. I am really struggling to get an accurate figure and I don't want to sound greedy by demanding too large a number. My salary expectations around Cambridge in my field are around £90k pa.

Has anyone moved from the UK recently and can you recommend an accurate calculation for equivalent earnings? I have used a a variety that I found online including the ones I found elsewhere on this forum:

Salarium

Salarie-uss

The best estimate I have found is from an MIT code (http://salaryconverter.nigelb.me/) using purchasing power. This gives me a ballpark figure of 160k chf. Does that sound reasonable? It is lower than the median wage for my field in Bern but is somehow significantly higher than the Swiss databases suggest. Some other calculators which suggest up to 190k chf.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I moved from c. £85k inclusive of bonus to c. 165k CHF inclusive of bonus. So you are in the right ballpark.

My wife went from c. £60k to c. 115k CHF.

So in our experience you should aim for double your pound salary in CHF, or just a little less.

I feel significantly richer following the move.
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  #24  
Old 07.07.2021, 17:40
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Does your wife want to lose the job she has worked so hard for?

The above scenario is why many marriages donít make it when they move to Switzerland. Unless you are struggling in the UK for any reason, I donít recommend making such a move.

A pharma career in middle to lower management is a rough road in Switzerland - good that you are getting a permanent offer, but that sometimes doesnít mean anything. Iíve been cut 3 times in the past 4 years and every day I wonder if it is my turn again, not the best option for a young family in a new country.

Good luck!
Exactly this. Think long and hard. It's a lot to give up. 90k a year for a job you enjoy in the UK plus a partner with a professional career... a lot to consider. Personally, I wouldn't move. Your quality of life may not change for the better.
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Old 07.07.2021, 19:00
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

We have to remember that some parents would prefer to stay at home with thhe children if financially viable, and this may or may not apply in the OPs case.

Feminism is about choice, and staying at home is equally valid as going back to work.
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  #26  
Old 07.07.2021, 19:12
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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We have to remember that some parents would prefer to stay at home with thhe children if financially viable, and this may or may not apply in the OPs case.

Feminism is about choice, and staying at home is equally valid as going back to work.
I am confident his wife will remember this issue.
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  #27  
Old 07.07.2021, 19:30
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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So you would make a "downward" move and your wife would give up a very decent job? I would be on the fence as well.

Individual contributors have a lower ceiling on salary unless you are a super expert. I have no idea about pharma though.

In my experience the main factor in lowballing foreigners is the very high salaries on paper when comparing to other countries without properly factoring cost of living. And cost of living is not only food and housing, but also ability to afford childcare vs second income.
Yes that is a bit how it feels in terms of title. I would still be a technical lead but without line management responsibilities. There are certain strategic career advantages in doing it though.

The whole picture is a bit more complicated, I was reluctant to lost too much detail but maybe it will help explain why I'm contemplating a pseudo demotion.

Main reason for considering it is we are very mobile while my wife is on maternity leave,. Typically it would be impossible to leave the country for a long period of time. She needs to come back to the UK contractually to finish working for the NHS and completing specialty training to get to Consultant/Specialist level. Thet are in theory willing to let me do 6 months in Switzerland onboarding and then move back to the UK working remote and flying over once or twice a month for about a year. After that my wife is interested in a research fellowship anyway. So she would have 18 months to get to C1 German or French to qualify for a post at a university hospital before we make the permanent move over.
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  #28  
Old 07.07.2021, 19:39
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Does your wife want to lose the job she has worked so hard for?

The above scenario is why many marriages donít make it when they move to Switzerland. Unless you are struggling in the UK for any reason, I donít recommend making such a move.

A pharma career in middle to lower management is a rough road in Switzerland - good that you are getting a permanent offer, but that sometimes doesnít mean anything. Iíve been cut 3 times in the past 4 years and every day I wonder if it is my turn again, not the best option for a young family in a new country.

Good luck!
Some very good points on this thread thank you guys... definitely worth considering the likelihood of being let go and things going sour in general. It all pivots on her ability to progress her research career while we are there and then transition to a local job. Tough decisions to be made for sure.
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  #29  
Old 07.07.2021, 20:05
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Yes that is a bit how it feels in terms of title. I would still be a technical lead but without line management responsibilities. There are certain strategic career advantages in doing it though.

The whole picture is a bit more complicated, I was reluctant to lost too much detail but maybe it will help explain why I'm contemplating a pseudo demotion.

Main reason for considering it is we are very mobile while my wife is on maternity leave,. Typically it would be impossible to leave the country for a long period of time. She needs to come back to the UK contractually to finish working for the NHS and completing specialty training to get to Consultant/Specialist level. Thet are in theory willing to let me do 6 months in Switzerland onboarding and then move back to the UK working remote and flying over once or twice a month for about a year. After that my wife is interested in a research fellowship anyway. So she would have 18 months to get to C1 German or French to qualify for a post at a university hospital before we make the permanent move over.
I see some possible problems with this. Your centre of life is supposed to be here in Switzerland; part of being granted a residence permit is that you spend the majority of your time here, i.e. 183 days a year.

As for your wife, depending on what she's specialising in it's almost certain she's going to have to get her qualifications recognised before she can get a job here. That could take some time.
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  #30  
Old 07.07.2021, 20:18
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

People get a job offer in CH and somehow feel obliged to take it, without factoring in all the hassle and risk involved.
Getting to C1 in German, with a baby, while finishing becoming a consultant doctor, is a pipe dream in my opinion.
It would need to be a substantial salary on your part (240k+) with excellent career progression, a dream job and part of a full blown Ďlife planí to dump what you have in the UK, I would say.
But good luck whatever you decide.
Would be great to know what they offer, for the record.
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  #31  
Old 07.07.2021, 21:30
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

Assuming Dr AliV has a UK medical qualification, then recognition in Switzerland should not be a big deal if done in the next couple of years. The Swiss and UK did a deal to continue recognition of qualifications (as per pre-Brexit days) for 4 (I think) years post Brexit.

Language....officially, she'd need German or French only at B2 for a clinical position. C1 would be better of course and personally, I don't think B2 is anything like enough to do a clinical role. I still struggle at times and my German is probably C2 level (C1 passed without any preparation 5 years ago and I've been in med school in Switzerland for the last 4 years).

However for a research position, English may be sufficient. Depends on the field and the interaction with patients. I was a control patient in a clinical study last week, and two of the medics didn't speak any German - the team switched to English to speak together.

I also get the impression there is more research funding available in Switzerland than in the UK, but I have only personal observation to support that.
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  #32  
Old 07.07.2021, 21:38
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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People get a job offer in CH and somehow feel obliged to take it, without factoring in all the hassle and risk involved.
Getting to C1 in German, with a baby, while finishing becoming a consultant doctor, is a pipe dream in my opinion.
It would need to be a substantial salary on your part (240k+) with excellent career progression, a dream job and part of a full blown Ďlife planí to dump what you have in the UK, I would say.
But good luck whatever you decide.
Would be great to know what they offer, for the record.
I appreciate the candid opinion and the strong arguments. I'm aware the UK and Switzerland signed an agreement where Swiss qualifications are recognised for GMC registration (https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-...iss-applicants). I think this is reciprocated by Switzerland (Although yes this is only one part of all the other paperwork and hoops).

To be honest after reading all your posts I'm in favour of staying in the UK unless their offer is somehow exceptional and addresses some of the risks and loss of earnings. Even if this doesn't progress I've had some exposure to the process and know what to look for and how to prepare.

I will definitely post the offer on here and a summary of the points from both sides.
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  #33  
Old 07.07.2021, 21:44
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Assuming Dr AliV has a UK medical qualification, then recognition in Switzerland should not be a big deal if done in the next couple of years. The Swiss and UK did a deal to continue recognition of qualifications (as per pre-Brexit days) for 4 (I think) years post Brexit.

Language....officially, she'd need German or French only at B2 for a clinical position. C1 would be better of course and personally, I don't think B2 is anything like enough to do a clinical role. I still struggle at times and my German is probably C2 level (C1 passed without any preparation 5 years ago and I've been in med school in Switzerland for the last 4 years).

However for a research position, English may be sufficient. Depends on the field and the interaction with patients. I was a control patient in a clinical study last week, and two of the medics didn't speak any German - the team switched to English to speak together.

I also get the impression there is more research funding available in Switzerland than in the UK, but I have only personal observation to support that.
Thank you Dr HeckenHocker much appreciated input. Atleast as an anaesthetist her patients are asleep most of the time. Provided this isn't all a pope dream, we acould consider living in a French speaking region if they allow me to commute as she studied in Montreal and has some French knowledge.
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  #34  
Old 07.07.2021, 22:05
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

I feel bad about being so negative (realistic?), but, from all the immigrants here, I don’t need the fingers on one hand to count the number of spouses who are working. Most just are stay at home whatevers, kids or not.
These are usually degree educated people.
My cleaner was a qualified dentist in her own country.
Obviously this does not apply to the OP’s wife, maybe it will all be fine, but with a dual income of (guessing) £160k plus in the UK, it’s a big ask to give it up.

Obviously there is a reasonable argument that one person here can earn double or more what a couple can earn back home, so why send 2 people out to work when one can do it.

Last edited by schoggiweggli; 07.07.2021 at 22:12. Reason: Bit more
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Old 07.07.2021, 22:31
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Obviously there is a reasonable argument that one person here can earn double or more what a couple can earn back home, so why send 2 people out to work when one can do it.
Because working isnít just about the money - especially for someone who has gone through the massive effort of becoming a doctor.

No shame towards anyone wanting to stay at home, but thereís a lot of day to day life fulfillment in work.
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  #36  
Old 08.07.2021, 11:25
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

30-40% salary bump is the norm, depends if they need you or you need them for negotiations.

When I came here I got approx 40% and was able to bargain hard as they can’t find anyone in Switzerland with the skills needed for that position. When I hire guys from mostly outside Switzerland 30-40% is the rule of thumb.
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  #37  
Old 08.07.2021, 15:03
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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I also get the impression there is more research funding available in Switzerland than in the UK, but I have only personal observation to support that.
Absoultely, there is an enormous gap between what Switzerland invests/spends in R&D (3.15% of GDP [1] ) and what UK invests/spends (1.7% of GDP [2] ).

UK goal for 2027: 2.7%

Sources:
[1] https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-s...earch/46654784
[2] https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk...fings/sn04223/

P.S. and Off-topic: regarding military expenditure, the UK throws away 1.7% of its GDP to take nice picture of Russian bombers, while Switzerland throws away 0.7% of its GDP to have 1-2 planes per year crashing into the mountains.
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  #38  
Old 11.07.2021, 00:34
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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We have to remember that some parents would prefer to stay at home with thhe children if financially viable, and this may or may not apply in the OPs case.

Feminism is about choice, and staying at home is equally valid as going back to work.
Sure. But why assume it's the mum who may prefer to stay at home?

And most professions tend to make it rather difficult for ex-SAHMs to get back in to the swing of things after a career break.
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  #39  
Old 11.07.2021, 01:11
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

not sure if it is your first child or not, but having young kids here is tough. the system is set-up against working parents and childcare is expensive. i'm paying 5k a month to have 2 kids in daycare.

on top of that, you'll be moving away from any support networks you have. no grandparents to help out. and hassle (and further expense) to find supplementary childcare if you ever want a day off.

if i had the choice to have the pre-kindergarten years in the UK, i would have preferred that on financial aspects alone! but the lifestyle benefits of having parents able to help out now as well as see them regularly would be worth many times that.
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Old 11.07.2021, 01:13
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Re: Salary conversion from Cambridge UK to Bern

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Sure. But why assume it's the mum who may prefer to stay at home?

And most professions tend to make it rather difficult for ex-SAHMs to get back in to the swing of things after a career break.
because i've met many mother's who'd prefer to stay at home but no fathers. having been forced to stay at home with kids due to covid, i can safely say that i prefer to work to looking after the kids because it is much more relaxing.
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