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Old 22.03.2021, 13:02
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NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

Hi,

I have the option to move to either NY or Zurich and I don't know which to choose.

Both will pay very well, $>250K / year. Financially Zurich probably wins but money isn't everything although it's nice to build savings faster, especially at a young age.

My concerns are the social aspects. I speak very good German and English but I feel that at 26 I should choose NY for the social aspects.

I have the option to move to Zurich now and then in a year or two move to NY if I decide that Zurich isn't my thing, so it's not the end of the world, or I can do it the other way around. I can also choose to stay permanently wherever I choose to go.

What's important to me:
I love going out with friends after work, getting drinks, enjoying diverse foods from all over the globe. I'm not a party animal but I love bars for the social aspect of meeting up with friends and having a good time over a few drinks.

I also enjoy sports and the outdoors. I snowboard every chance I get, I used to swim a lot, play tennis and squash, and just bike. I visited Zurich a few times and I enjoyed waking up when it's still dark to catch the earliest train to the Alps. Fun!

What I like about NY is the power and importance the city has. It's the center of everything and everything happens there. The variety of restaurants and bars, and the city is so big that you can't experience everything because it rapidly changes. All music festivals happen there, everything is big and exaggerated, and the US also has incredible nature (at a flying distance though...). It's limitless in potential and are what you make yourself to be.

About Zurich I will enjoy the lake in the summer (though I now have a world class beach where I live), the surrounding countries and diversity of cultures, the alps, getting out of the hustle and bustle.

I'm worried dating and the social life in Zurich is sub-par when you're in your 20s and that the city is better for people in their 30s+ and that in that regard NY is better suited. NYC is heaven with a limitless supply of girls and people my age. Zurich is tiny in comparison.

Can anyone share their experiences?
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Old 22.03.2021, 13:04
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

obviously NYC.

unless you want to stay in zurich for a year to enjoy the outdoors during covid times and then move to NYC. that way you'll have experienced both and know you made the right decision.
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Old 22.03.2021, 13:36
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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obviously NYC.

unless you want to stay in zurich for a year to enjoy the outdoors during covid times and then move to NYC. that way you'll have experienced both and know you made the right decision.
Could you elaborate a bit?
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Old 22.03.2021, 13:48
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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Hi,

I have the option to move to either NY or Zurich and I don't know which to choose.

Both will pay very well, $>250K / year. Financially Zurich probably wins but money isn't everything although it's nice to build savings faster, especially at a young age.

My concerns are the social aspects. I speak very good German and English but I feel that at 26 I should choose NY for the social aspects.

I have the option to move to Zurich now and then in a year or two move to NY if I decide that Zurich isn't my thing, so it's not the end of the world, or I can do it the other way around. I can also choose to stay permanently wherever I choose to go.

What's important to me:
I love going out with friends after work, getting drinks, enjoying diverse foods from all over the globe. I'm not a party animal but I love bars for the social aspect of meeting up with friends and having a good time over a few drinks.

I also enjoy sports and the outdoors. I snowboard every chance I get, I used to swim a lot, play tennis and squash, and just bike. I visited Zurich a few times and I enjoyed waking up when it's still dark to catch the earliest train to the Alps. Fun!

About Zurich I will enjoy the lake in the summer (though I now have a world class beach where I live), the surrounding countries and diversity of cultures, the alps, getting out of the hustle and bustle.

I'm worried dating and the social life in Zurich is sub-par when you're in your 20s and that the city is better for people in their 30s+ and that in that regard NY is better suited. NYC is heaven with a limitless supply of girls and people my age. Zurich is tiny in comparison.

Can anyone share their experiences?
If your priority is on getting the most from your social life and getting laid with extremely hot people while enjoying world-class restaurants and experiencing the arts then NYC wins hands down. NYC is an especially obvious choice at your age as you are from Tel Aviv which is a very busy and hectic city full of very liberal and beautiful people with a big restaurant culture.

After you have had your fill of NYC and seen and experienced all it has to offer and want a more physically active yet peaceful and fulfilling life then come to Zürich.

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What I like about NY is the power and importance the city has. It's the center of everything and everything happens there. The variety of restaurants and bars, and the city is so big that you can't experience everything because it rapidly changes. All music festivals happen there, everything is big and exaggerated, and the US also has incredible nature (at a flying distance though...). It's limitless in potential and are what you make yourself to be.
LOL... pretty sure you won't believe this kind of naive and idealistic BS after a few years there.

Last edited by Chuff; 22.03.2021 at 15:55.
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Old 22.03.2021, 13:48
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

I don't think there's good snowboarding east coast but otherwise NYC all day long. I used to work just down the road from Grand Central. But I understand your dilemma. It seems you've experienced both places already. In either case you could say it will be what you make of it.

The problem with anywhere at the moment is of course the coronavirus.
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Old 22.03.2021, 14:04
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

Financially in the long term you'll be better off in NYC. It is not an unusual package for software engineers there. But in Zurich pretty much noone pays $250k besides Google (and couple tiny offices of other faangs), so you'd find yourself gold handcuffed to it with no possibility to have any significant raise besides the slow internal promotions.
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Old 22.03.2021, 14:34
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

Given salary/location options I am going to assume this is for a tech/finance position?

1) The job market is a lot smaller in Zurich so if you don't like your job/company/boss you can find yourself stuck as it can take up to a year to find another job with the same compensation/benefits when you start getting into the mid 6-digit range. In NYC the options are massive (although candidate pool is also bigger) so you won't feel trapped at work.

2) You get taken more seriously when you've come from a bigger market like NYC/London in banking or the Bay Area in tech. People (wrongly) assume you are better if you can hack it in a big/fast paced market.

3) The social part is an interesting one. The problem with Zurich is that it attracts a lot of ambitious Swiss people, but it's small enough that those people never really have to break ties with their friends from back home. If you move from Texas to NYC for a job you don't go home every weekend, you make new friends. Same if you move from Manchester to London or Calgary to Toronto. But here in the German speaking part of Switzerland, it's small enough that people can keep their childhood networks intact and, being a cautious and risk averse people, coupled with a dialect of German that most German speakers don't speak, not really feel much of an urge to make new friends.

4) Dating (under 30's) mainly done through social circles and apps like Tinder here. You can download Tinder and see if you get any matches in both cities to get a feel for how well you might do in each city. There isn't really a 1-night stand culture here like in NYC/London and people tend to go out in large groups to have fun and not really to pull/meet new people.

5) Final thing I would add as you mentioned girls /dating. The 2 main industries in Zurich are tech/banking, and those are male dominated industries. Zurich attracts a lot more single guys than single girls and you don't have the same volumes of single girls moving to Zurich to live the "sex and the city" lifestyle like you do in a major city like NYC. I would say Zurich is a great place to raise a family but not a place to enjoy your 20's.
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Old 22.03.2021, 14:40
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

Gee wiz!
Only 26 and already in a dilemma!
Yuppies these days.
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Old 22.03.2021, 15:44
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

NYC, kind of a no brainer to me as a swiss.

If you add Olten to the choices though .....

No seriously, go to New York.
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Old 22.03.2021, 15:52
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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Financially in the long term you'll be better off in NYC. It is not an unusual package for software engineers there. But in Zurich pretty much noone pays $250k besides Google (and couple tiny offices of other faangs), so you'd find yourself gold handcuffed to it with no possibility to have any significant raise besides the slow internal promotions.
Where did he say he worked in IT?
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Old 22.03.2021, 15:54
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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Where did he say he worked in IT?
His profile says software, so not the biggest leap to IT.
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Old 22.03.2021, 16:07
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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His profile says software, so not the biggest leap to IT.
I don't check people's profiles (why on earth would anyone care enough to do that), I only go by what's written in the OP.
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Old 22.03.2021, 16:08
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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Where did he say he worked in IT?
profile and username
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Old 22.03.2021, 16:36
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

I'd say there is something to be said for living in Switzerland and living in the center of Europe - train rides to Italy and Paris, 2 hour flight to London, 4 1/2 hours to Tel Aviv, etc...

You don't get that in NYC. Just a factor
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Old 22.03.2021, 16:59
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

NYC!

Come and retire in Zurich ;-)

Jokes aside, I have some 26 yo guys in my team and they moan about the dismal dating scene here. And you said it yourself - NYC has lots of people (girls) your age, whereas Zurich is much smaller.
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Old 22.03.2021, 17:02
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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5) Final thing I would add as you mentioned girls /dating.
Ok, is the OP a man for sure? Otherwise (lesbians, as Oscar Wilde may or may not have said) Zurich is a great city.

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I'd say there is something to be said for living in Switzerland and living in the center of Europe - train rides to Italy and Paris, 2 hour flight to London, 4 1/2 hours to Tel Aviv, etc...

You don't get that in NYC. Just a factor
Maybe because you don't need that in NYC. Disclaimer: I am happily living in Switzerland, just sayin'.

OP: since you speak German, you will like Zurich, you can enjoy not one but two communities of young, progressive, open-minded expats!
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Old 22.03.2021, 17:39
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

NY assuming you're single.
move to switzerland in 10 years.
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Old 22.03.2021, 18:13
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

If you are Swiss.....go west young man.
You can always come back and you will be richer (life experience) for it.
All the best.
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Old 22.03.2021, 18:30
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

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Can anyone share their experiences?
I came here when I was 1 year older than you and it's definitely one of the best choices I made so far.

Having said that, I'm the type of person that couldn't care less about nightlife and city buzz. I come from a small island, I love the outdoors, sports, living a quiet life, so Switzerland suits my desired lifestyle. The fact that, as others stated, I can travel within EU pretty easily and fast, is important too. I've traveled to the US for extended periods, and as much as I loved it and I always want to go back and enjoy it as a tourist, I don't think I'd be able to live there.

But from what you've written, it seems like you would enjoy living in a vibrant city, and this is not what Swiss cities are all about. So, I'd agree with the others and I think that you should go for NYC.
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Old 22.03.2021, 21:06
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Re: NYC or Zurich: Single guy, 26 y/o

Was your age when I went to NY then later came to Zürich. Definitely the right way round. Manhatten is a young persons City. Zürich is good for later. It‘s really a no brainer.

Last edited by justpassingby; 22.03.2021 at 21:07. Reason: .
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