Career in Switzerland

Hi all,

what do you think about the investment sector in Switzerland and career opportunities ther? I am currently wondering is it a good idea to look for a job and move there? What does the market for investment professionals look there? At the moment I work as a PM in a European country and have all the charters and more.

Another thing I wanted to ask is what does it look like to live in Switzerland? I have heard many negatives about living there - you cannot have a washing machine in your apartment, you cannot take a shower after 10 PM, people there will hate you for just not being Swiss and call the police even if you park your car 10 cm to close to the building. Somepeople told me that living there is like living in a prison.

I am not even mentioning such nuisances as stores closed after 7 PM and on Sundays.

Is it a good idea to move there to work as a PM? Or maybe it is very hard to find a job there as a PM? Are the salaries high enough to reflect extremely high costs of living?

I appreciate any help.

I can’t answer your question about getting a PM job there but assume you would be based in Zug if you did.

I lived in CH (Zurich) for nearly 4 years and really liked it. Yes, there are crazy things like no vacuuming or using the communal washing machine on Sundays / Public Holidays but my apartment came with a washer / dryer and there was nothing in my lease about not being able to shower after 10pm, etc. Some Swiss can be very particular about the rules but I sometimes miss that discipline. In the end, all those rules / courtesies make the quality of life what it is. Cost of living isn’t bad when you consider the extremely high wages. Just don’t go out to eat often and drink beer instead of cocktails.

That said, stores closing early and on Sundays totally sucks.

Thank you for your answer.

Can you also tell me what is the typical range of salaries of PMs, Analysts, etc. in Switzerland?

And do they use there English as the “office language” or do they usually require also German on the daily basis?

Mirabaud has a North American presence.

Switzerland is an extremely difficult country for outsiders. I’ve done some business there several years ago and it’s a whole different game. Beautiful place, and I love the efficiency of the country (and I actually like the stores closing early). But I can’t imagine working there. They are untrusting of outsiders. And I’m a white guy that can dabble in French and German (not good enough for real business though, just functional) and actually have some Swiss heritage.

What country are you in now? How good is your German?

^ Also, just a note: German and Swiss-German are quite different. It was like the first time I went to France after speaking Quebecois quite a bit growing up, only worse. After a bit I figured out some of it, but I was thrown off at first when someone is speaking what sounds like funky German but none of it made sense.

Friend of mine started working there as Sales and before he was released to clients, he had to pass some hands-on training in the HQ where they were speaking French…

I consider working in Switzerland challenging too

Yes, I have heard that Swiss-German are very different and when I was listening to some people speaking it on YouTube I could not understand almost any of it.

I’m Polish and my German is not very good, because I have been using it on rare occassions since I graduated form the University. You know, German is not the language that people here in Poland like to hear.

But I used to speak it quite well, so going back to that level would be much easier than learning it from scratch.

My colleague recently told me that his friend came back from Zurich to Poland (he still works for a Swiss company but now lives here), because he could not stand living there anymore. Everyone is hostile, unwelcoming and suspicious. And apparently at the moment there is some kind of an anti-Polish action there - people can even place a poster near your apartment, with your name on it, stating that you are a thief… It’s madness.

What I thought is that you work in an international environment and your personal contact with the Swiss people is minimal and it does not cause you any trouble. But unfortunately the more research I do, the more I am convinced that’s not the case.

Maybe there are other cities/countries you guys would recommend as great places to look for a job as a PM?

You speak Quebecois? *Shocked*

I used to work with a bunch of quebecois and the french would actually switch to english…one guy once said to one of my canadian coworkers: i think your english is actually much better than your french. Bam, it was like sticking a knife up his chest.

op: i live and work in switzerland. Its the best place i have ever lived in, and i have worked and seen most relevant countries in europe and had almost a year of nyc madness.

if you can manage to find something i would say go for it. Forget about all the bs you have heard. Most of the european countries are in deep s.hit - switzerland is doing well and has extremely little problems. Now if you have wife and kids, i would probably rethink.

Anyways dont forget its gonna be hard for you. They are about to introduce quotas and i am not sure whether poland is equivalent to germany or actually the next level below. Which would mean noone will bother with the administrational burden to hire you.

the job market is flooded with good people on the hunt. Credit Suisse just axed like 20pct across all departments, Ubs has shut down IB and is firing left right and center. Zurich financial services just announced a 800 people redundancy…

i think you would be better off moving to the city. Uk is a much easier place for you to get into.

btw- wtf are you still in Poland? You should have made a move right after college man…

I didn’t grow up in western Canada. And I’d hardly say I can speak it now more than just at a minimally functional level (and I’d be speaking less like a Québécois now too as 90% of my French speaking is with Belgium/France/Switzerland)… Not for business that’s for sure.

If you can find a job there then it can be a great place to live, but as others have said that is tricky now. The private banking industry has been really badly hit by the clamp down on tax evasion internationally.

I’ve never lived there myself but have visited and one of my co-workers lived there for many years. He really enjoyed lit but did have several funny stories about how anal the Swiss can be. Bins have to be left out at very specific times and in very specific locations. Stuff like that. For foreigners who may be used to a more casual way of doing things, it takes a bit of getting used to.

These must have been some pretty low class Québécois ; usually Québécois people (at least the educated ones) are able to neutralise their dialect and speak perfectly normal French.

On topic : Geneva is extremely international and I didn’t feel this obsession with the rules. Although a friend of mine who works there told me that you get bonus points at his firm (a major Swiss holding) for blowing the whistle on your colleagues when they don’t observe the dress code and stuff like that. wtf.

Lastly, yes, swiss-German is very different from German. I speak German fluently, but don’t understand Schwyzerdütsch. Swiss people (maybe not the ones from isolated villages of 50 inhabitants) can switch to normal German though, much like Québécois people can switch to normal French, contrary to what is being portrayed in this thread.


Low class quebecois - I am sure the head quant of my previous shop will love to hear that :slight_smile: No, my co-workers, lets call them uneducated and low class but overpayed quants, were simply unable to switch to something that was easily understood by metropolitan Frenchmen. The problem is not dialect - I am sure you know this - but grammar and old style of language; without going into details: FF=le weekend; QF=fin de la semaine etc).

I am a German native speaker and understand swiss-German without a problem. And so do all the other “low-class” uneducated Germans here in Switzerland :slight_smile: Real Germans don’t require Swiss to switch to high-German, contrary to what is being potrayed in this thread :slight_smile:

Now this is becoming rather off topic though. OP, what up man?


Well if they were unable to switch to some more neutral French, again, they must be pretty low class. There are people like that in Québec, unfortunately, but it is usually the uneducated ones. I have been around Québécois and French and mixed groups my whole life, and what you are describing is certainly not the norm amongst educated / well traveled people.

Of course there are the odd anal Frenchies who are too dumb to figure out that fin de semaine = week-end, that souper = diner, etc., and who will take notice of every little difference. If this is the type of French people that you are surrounded with, than they are probably annoying on many other levels.

On Swiss-Germans : in my experience, when Swiss people speak in German with non Swiss-Germans, they naturally speak Hochdeutsch, so Germans don’t have to require that they switch.

But hey, I’m sure we’ll find a topic on which we agree :wink:

fortunately, there is no need for agreement, since this is an anonymous community here. reading your stuff and thinking of how judgemental you are when you put other folks down and categorize them as low class actually makes me want to show you F0cking Low Class and punch you in your rich upper class “visage”.

But then I think of good old Any Rand who once said: for zat you will be very grateful to yourself. so I breathe, relax and wish you all the best, my french buddy :wink:



I don’t see why you’re that offended, but you went full-retard on that last post. Oh and I’m Québécois, not French, so I am qualified to talk about the subject. Not some merely bilingual German who thinks he can speak on the shades of the French language. Gtfo.

I agree with Viceroy. Those people were more the exception than the norm.

My comment on Swiss German wasn’t so much a functional issue as it was having all your coworkers or business partners speaking a language day to day that you don’t understand. I couldn’t live like that. Yes, they can all communicate with you. But you’ll be an outsider.

You dont have to speak Swiss German in order to have a conversation with the Swiss. You just need to understand it. Its not that hard and they appreciate it, if they dont have to switch language. I constantly have both business and leisure conversations in this set up. Well at least this is my experience here.

If you dont speak neither language its hard though.

where is our Polish friend? He might already be on his way!