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Old 13.01.2020, 14:30
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Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

Hello all! I have been living in Switzerland now for over 8 months with my Swiss wife and our Toddler son. I am acclimating, learning the language(s), settling in and finding my "groove" in many ways. However, I have been struggling with finding a job. I have polished my CV, Swiss style, fillied out innumerable online applications, leveraged all the contacts I can, and finally started gutting it out by creating my own Fitness company and training clients just to pay the bills.

What I have found is that the Swiss seem to prefer extremely linear candidates when it comes to jobs. Someone who started their career at point A with an apprenticeship or internship, then proceeded to point B, and so on, until they have arrived at job opportunity J,K,L or M for which they are applying. My experience isnt that cut and dry. Being an American and a bit of a Renaissance man, I have a wide variety of experiences in different fields that all are founded in my strengths. I have taught for almost twenty years and with a Masters in Curriculum Design and Organizational Development, I have written, designed, implemented, pioneered and instructed at very successful levels. I developed and run my own successful businesses in both the fitness and construction industries. I have been and continue to be a writer. I have been a wine rep for a prestigious South African Vintner and slung coffee as a Barista fro the experience. Through it all my organizational skills, people skills, interpersonal communication style ability to learn and drive to succeed have served me very well.

In Switzerland, much of this seems like chaos rather than creativity. Confusion rather than career. I have difficulty getting interviews and have been told that i just don't have the right experience or paper! (This Swiss do like their papers!).

So I am asking if anyone can lend some advice or the name of a Headhunter or company that specifically works with English speakers in finding a job, mainly in the Zurich area. We live in Effretikon and are a short train ride to Zurich or Winterthur.

I am growing to love this country, it's people (even with all of their rules!)and the life that we are creating. But it sure would be better with a regular job!

Thanks to all of you who have made this journey ahead of me, cleared a path and are willing to send some advice and wisdom back my way!

-Brett

Thank you for
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Old 13.01.2020, 14:48
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

Not sure you can put it all down to the Swiss style of career progression or paperwork or CV, or whatever.

You seem to have quite a niche set of experience and, if you are only looking for English speaking jobs you've narrowed the field down considerably.

Why not spend a few months intensively learning German? It might widen your opportunities.
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Old 13.01.2020, 15:43
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

A few comments:
1. English-speaking jobs can often be found at the airports and in resort areas. Some may be seasonal.

2. "Hilfskraft" work, such as packing, cleaning, assembly, can often be done by individuals with limited local language knowledge.

3. 70% of job openings in CH are not published but are filled through networking. Activate and build a network!

4. Search on "English" with job search spiders such as indeed.ch and jobagent.ch.
- See this link for a list of job boards in CH.
https://www.ag.ch/media/kanton_aarga...lenboersen.pdf

5. Search for temporary jobs on internet boards such as:https://www.coople.com/ch/en/
https://www.tutti.ch/de/li/zuerich/stellenangebote
https://www.anibis.ch/de/job-job-ang...dvertlist.aspx

6. Advertise your services on internet boards such as:
https://www.tutti.ch/de/li/zuerich/dienstleistungen
https://www.anibis.ch/de/dienstleist...dvertlist.aspx

7. Many employers in CH look for identifiable specific skills rather than a general education. Be sure to identify specific skills in your CV.

8. Consider registering with RAV Swiss job service for their input.

9. Learn German! Even indicating your German is at an A1 level shows your commitment to being here. This can help with HR departments.

Good luck with your job search!
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Old 13.01.2020, 17:21
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

And if you are over 50, you can forget it.
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Old 13.01.2020, 17:28
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

In English, we have a saying the Swiss love :-

Jack of all trades, Master of none !
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Old 13.01.2020, 17:49
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

Looks like you'll need to severely tailor your CV for each application... proven experience is key pretty much anywhere IMO. Unless it's your first ever job/brand new role. But then different qualities would have come into play.
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Old 13.01.2020, 17:50
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

Hey Brett,
It is difficult. I feel your struggle.
Your observation regarding the "stream-lining" parallels my experience here as well as living in other countries in Europe. Our education system in the US is beautifully unique in creating a holistic citizen as opposed to an expert professional.

I agree, very much, with Mullhollander's post and encourage you to start with the links provided. (tutti.ch and networking built my life here)

If you are planning to stay, learning French or German may be helpful, but don't lose touch with your roots and sense of identity in the meantime. This is the only country I have ever lived in where, even though we can communicate in one of the three languages I speak, speaking the local language may be forced down one's throat a bit.
Have you thought about opening your own business which harnesses your unique strengths and fits with a gap in the local need? This may be an option for you that US citizens tend not to consider. It is more possible to make a decent salary in Switzerland as a small business owner and you do not need to register as a business until sales pass 100,000, I believe.
https://www.expatica.com/ch/employment/self-employment/starting-a-business-or-self-employment-in-switzerland-101586/

Or, sign up for a course. Maybe, decide where your niche is here, and take a short course to get the "papers".

Let us know how you get on!
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Old 13.01.2020, 17:56
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

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Our education system in the US is beautifully unique in creating a holistic citizen as opposed to an expert professional.
Um.... I'm quite sure you have professional qualification routes in the US, no? I doubt many are fully equipped for a senior role straight out of high school.

Last edited by RufusB; 13.01.2020 at 18:35. Reason: High not Hugh
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Old 13.01.2020, 18:15
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267998436_Higher_Education_Europe_vs_USA

Happy reading!
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Old 13.01.2020, 18:35
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

It's a 10 year old report? Education in Europe has evolved significantly in that time. Technology, new qualifications, new research, even national boundaries have changed.

10 years is a long, long time in education.
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Old 13.01.2020, 18:36
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

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Being an American and a bit of a Renaissance man, I have a wide variety of experiences in different fields that all are founded in my strengths. I have taught for almost twenty years and with a Masters in Curriculum Design and Organizational Development, I have written, designed, implemented, pioneered and instructed at very successful levels. I developed and run my own successful businesses in both the fitness and construction industries. I have been and continue to be a writer. I have been a wine rep for a prestigious South African Vintner and slung coffee as a Barista fro the experience. Through it all my organizational skills, people skills, interpersonal communication style ability to learn and drive to succeed have served me very well.
Mate, we've all done some other stuff along the way at college etc.... you just don't put it down on a resume, more is not better it's just more... and the problem with more is that it looks like you have little experience in any field.

So what if I worked as an undertaker while in college, worked in close protection in the Navy etc.... any potential employer I apply to is not gong to give a dam, it's just noise.

So start by cleaning up your CV and concentrate on the main work kills such as teaching etc... as a starting point.
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Old 13.01.2020, 18:38
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

Not sure what point you're trying to make? I get US undergrad degrees can be broad making it necessary to specialise post-grad - but there are still professional routes for those who want them.
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Old 13.01.2020, 19:05
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Re: Job hunting; The Struggle is Real!

Sorry, I just re-read the sentence I wrote- "Our education system in the US is beautifully unique in creating a holistic citizen as opposed to an expert professional. " it was too narrow! Of course expert professionals come from the US as well. However, in Europe, they just specialize sooner.
The 10-year-old paper is a good one that records the history of how the systems came to be. It is good, no need to re-write history more recently unless there are new finidngs. I hope you enjoy it.
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