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Old 04.05.2009, 14:19
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How to find work?

Greetings,

I am a college senior (nearly graduated) in business school (Finance degree) that soon needs to find a job. I was hoping some of the English speaking expats could advise me on how to land a job in Switzerland? I have encountered huge resistance regardless of my qualifications since I am American.

I have a huge amount of Swiss blood, my grandfather moved here (My father and I were first two American blooded generations) and I have a deep desire to live and work in Switzerland. Can anyone lend me some kind of guidance to help this happen? I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 04.05.2009, 14:26
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Re: How to find work?

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Greetings,

I am a college senior (nearly graduated) in business school (Finance degree) that soon needs to find a job. I was hoping some of the English speaking expats could advise me on how to land a job in Switzerland? I have encountered huge resistance regardless of my qualifications since I am American.
Given that there are many many Americans working here in Switzerland I doubt very much that your employment difficulties are purely down to your nationality. Could it be simply your American qualifications aren't recognised here, you don't have a work permit and you don't speak the local language?

Try applying to some of the American firms which have offices here and they might be able to offer you some assistance to secure a work permit, for example.
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Old 04.05.2009, 14:33
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Re: How to find work?

Perhaps you could check if you have inherited some rights to Swiss nationality from your grandfather?
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Old 04.05.2009, 14:47
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Re: How to find work?

The problem you face is simply that finance is at the moment going through retrenchment. It's got nothing to do with you being American at all as there's tons of Americans in Zurich.

The biggest hurdle for you is getting a work permit and it's extra hard at the moment because of the many out-of-work bankers now in Zurich and the fact that it's far easier for companies in Switzerland to simply hire people from the EU region as the work permit issue is far simpler. You're competing at this point with all the Zurich bankers and London bankers out of work.

Your best course of action is perhaps working for a finance firm in the US now and if Switzerland is still in your heart in a few years, you could transfer here or apply then as an experienced worker?

Best of luck.
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Old 04.05.2009, 15:29
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Re: How to find work?

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Greetings,

I am a college senior (nearly graduated) in business school (Finance degree) that soon needs to find a job. I was hoping some of the English speaking expats could advise me on how to land a job in Switzerland? I have encountered huge resistance regardless of my qualifications since I am American.

I have a huge amount of Swiss blood, my grandfather moved here (My father and I were first two American blooded generations) and I have a deep desire to live and work in Switzerland. Can anyone lend me some kind of guidance to help this happen? I would greatly appreciate it.
While I do not profess to know anything about the finance field, I can say this about the engineering field (but I think it relates to your query). A fresh-out-of-school graduate in any country in the world will have problems finding a job if they do not have previous work experience / internship experience in their field of choice. Try looking for 'training' or 'new graduate' positions. There are actually a lot of companies in Switzerland that accept 'trainees' or 'praktikants' and then maybe later you could be hired full time. Just a suggestion (don't know if it will help you).
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:10
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Re: How to find work?

Thank you all for the help and input. I know many Americans work in Switzerland, but the exact conversation I had with Credit Suisse for a graduate level position was completely kosher until she asked me for my nationality (after resume was reviewed, and duties discussed). She said they could not hire American's unless they possessed abilities/skills that an exhausting search of EU/Swiss citizens could not provide. Literally hinging the entire employment opportunity on my nationality.

I am sure this isn't the norm, or maybe it is, but I only apply for internship/entry level positions clearly because I have limited real world experience directly in Finance, and I am indeed an entry level candidate. (even thought I have done professional selling and management for 4 years.)

Does anyone have a good website besides the spam-riddled power sites that offer lackluster results to find employment opportunities in Switzerland?

FYI, to an above comment about my languages spoken. I speak Spanish and English, and have been learning German for about 6 months now. I would definitely not considered myself anywhere near fluent yet, but will keep on grinding until it occurs.
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:15
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Re: How to find work?

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She said they could not hire American's unless they possessed abilities/skills that an exhausting search of EU/Swiss citizens could not provide. Literally hinging the entire employment opportunity on my nationality.

I am sure this isn't the norm, or maybe it is,
It's the norm, in fact it's the law pretty much. And, with the finance industry in the toilet and in the process of suffering major job cutbacks I would have thought that without pretty exceptional skills or experience you are going to find it exceedingly tough to find a position that someone else who doesn't already have the right to work/live here couldn't do.
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:15
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Re: How to find work?

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Thank you all for the help and input. I know many Americans work in Switzerland, but the exact conversation I had with Credit Suisse for a graduate level position was completely kosher until she asked me for my nationality (after resume was reviewed, and duties discussed). She said they could not hire American's unless they possessed abilities/skills that an exhausting search of EU/Swiss citizens could not provide. Literally hinging the entire employment opportunity on my nationality.
The rule in Switzerland is that they can employ someone who is not Swiss or EU if they have cannot find a suitable candidate fitting that description.


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FYI, to an above comment about my languages spoken. I speak Spanish and English, and have been learning German for about 6 months now. I would definitely not considered myself anywhere near fluent yet, but will keep on grinding until it occurs.
Spanish and English aren't languages of Switzerland but you would be okay with German in the Swiss-German region. French and Italian are also national languages.
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:25
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Re: How to find work?

I understand the state of the Finance industry globally, but the whole work permit dovetails off an employment contract. If I cannot find a job, I cannot get a work permit. I just feel like breaking into this area is unreasonably difficult. The country has its ways and customs, but flatly basing your hiring around being Swiss or EU seems unjust.

If you were in my shoes, I will probably end of working locally in the US as I continue my endeavors, but how would you advise someone in my situation to ultimately land a job in Finance or Accounting in Switzerland?

I am at the point where it has me demoralized and doubting the efforts with ever pay dividends.
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:29
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Re: How to find work?

You may want to try the seach function of this forum. All the questions you may have on the matter have most probably already been answered before.

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I understand the state of the Finance industry globally, but the whole work permit dovetails off an employment contract. If I cannot find a job, I cannot get a work permit. I just feel like breaking into this area is unreasonably difficult. The country has its ways and customs, but flatly basing your hiring around being Swiss or EU seems unjust.

If you were in my shoes, I will probably end of working locally in the US as I continue my endeavors, but how would you advise someone in my situation to ultimately land a job in Finance or Accounting in Switzerland?

I am at the point where it has me demoralized and doubting the efforts with ever pay dividends.
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:36
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Re: How to find work?

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I understand the state of the Finance industry globally, but the whole work permit dovetails off an employment contract. If I cannot find a job, I cannot get a work permit. I just feel like breaking into this area is unreasonably difficult. The country has its ways and customs, but flatly basing your hiring around being Swiss or EU seems unjust.

If you were in my shoes, I will probably end of working locally in the US as I continue my endeavors, but how would you advise someone in my situation to ultimately land a job in Finance or Accounting in Switzerland?

I am at the point where it has me demoralized and doubting the efforts with ever pay dividends.
You could spin it on its head and argue that for a Swiss or EU citizen to get a job/residency in the US the same criteria (and perhaps more) applies.

You could always marry a Swiss - that would get you here and eligible to work .
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:43
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Re: How to find work?

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You could spin it on its head and argue that for a Swiss or EU citizen to get a job/residency in the US the same criteria (and perhaps more) applies.

You could always marry a Swiss - that would get you here and eligible to work .
That would require me to get in the place for more than a visit!
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Old 04.05.2009, 16:45
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Re: How to find work?

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That would require me to get in the place for more than a visit!
3 month tourist visa? Would give you time to look for work and reccy the place for accommodation, etc., too.
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Old 04.05.2009, 17:14
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Re: How to find work?

Emajin you are putting the cart before the horse.
It's not that they are choosing to discriminate against you and not give you a position.
It's that to work in Switzerland you need a permit, you don't have one, the bank knows they can't get you one because of the government regulations and their experience in other cases like yours, so they can't offer you a job.
The USA have immigration laws too.
Young graduates from my own country often aren't permitted enter the US on a visit even for sports events or family weddings.
You have been allowed in here, just they won't allow you to work...yet.
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Old 04.05.2009, 17:57
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Re: How to find work?

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I understand the state of the Finance industry globally, but the whole work permit dovetails off an employment contract. If I cannot find a job, I cannot get a work permit. I just feel like breaking into this area is unreasonably difficult. The country has its ways and customs, but flatly basing your hiring around being Swiss or EU seems unjust.

If you were in my shoes, I will probably end of working locally in the US as I continue my endeavors, but how would you advise someone in my situation to ultimately land a job in Finance or Accounting in Switzerland?

I am at the point where it has me demoralized and doubting the efforts with ever pay dividends.
Don't be demoralized! You have to have a little persistence. But look, you cannot say that it is unreasonably difficult to break into the EU/Switzerland. Im a Canadian, and even I had difficulties breaking into the US (when I was looking) because most engineering positions that I was interested in required you to be a US citizen no less, or required you to obtain security clearances (again you need to be a US citizen in order to pass these clearances).

What I would suggest is not to waste your time looking for jobs the conventional way since most of the jobs are found through unconventional means. But what I would suggest is, if there is a list of companies you would like to work at, go directly to their websites, and see what they have posted in terms of new graduate careers / graduate programs. Why I keep suggesting this to you, is that if you are accepted into a graduate program at a Swiss company, they might have an easier time obtaining a work permit for you, via an organization like IAESTE (Google it).
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Old 04.05.2009, 18:07
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Re: How to find work?

To be honest, your best way to get a job in Switzerland at your level experience is to work for a large multinational probably in the US, who has a culture/field where sending people to other countries is common (for short or long term contracts). You may need to bide your time for a few years, continue to work on your language skills, gain valuable experience. Continue to look for opportunities within your company to go to Europe, as that can be launching point to go to Switzerland. At some point, even if your company does not give the opportunity, you will have gained valuable experience which a Swiss company will likely need and will be easier for them to get you a work permit based on your skills, rather than your current status which gives you no advantage over other EU graduates.

Oh, i forgot, cultivate a wide network of people in your industry and outside your industry, this is likely where your opporunties will come from.

Don't fight the system and claim bias, work within the system. Life is not fair, deal with it. Being a youngster, this probably all sounds like bs, but this is how life works, you have to make your opportunities and have patience to see them through. Set your goals and work your way towards them but it won't happen overnight.

Last edited by dakman; 04.05.2009 at 18:34.
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Old 04.05.2009, 22:42
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Re: How to find work?

Don't despair Emajin. I remember seeing something about a bilateral trainee agreement between Switzerland and the US on the English Forum. See link below. Maybe you should mention this to potential Swiss employers. It seems some may not be aware of the bilateral agreement.

"trainee agreement" visa

Good luck and don't give up if it's your dream to come here.
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Old 05.05.2009, 13:29
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Re: How to find work?

Lots of jobs in the US offered by UBS. Get a job, prove yourself within the company then get a transfer.

Ok so maybe UBS is not the best choice, but look at the big Swiss names and go from there- Nestle might be a good choice or a large pharmaceutical.

Look at this web page for some other ideas. Go the US, and work your way here.
http://www.swissworld.org/en/economy...armaceuticals/
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Old 05.05.2009, 15:56
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Re: How to find work?

Does the US hire, then transfer scheme still require you to hold a position that was open to hire for a Swiss/EU citizen? I still don't see how this ultimately gets you there without a likely chance they deny you or filibuster the transfer indefinitely.


I appreciate the responses truly, I am just trying to sort through the ideas/advice.

Thanks
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Old 05.05.2009, 16:07
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Re: How to find work?

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Does the US hire, then transfer scheme still require you to hold a position that was open to hire for a Swiss/EU citizen? I still don't see how this ultimately gets you there without a likely chance they deny you or filibuster the transfer indefinitely.


I appreciate the responses truly, I am just trying to sort through the ideas/advice.

Thanks
If a big company needs you somewhere, they find a way to get you a permit. If you take a survey, most non Eu people working in Switzerland probably came over on a job assignment. Once again, they are not going to hire and immediately transfer, you will have to put in your time....just saying this is the most common route (besides the marriage route). Try other routes if you like but just telling you how things generally work.

You can always come to CH take a language course for a few months and test the water yourself. But just saying there is no quick and easy way.

Fillibuster the transfer indefinely? Then go somewhere else or look yourself once you have a sellable skillset.

Last edited by dakman; 05.05.2009 at 16:22.
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