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About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.

 

Soft landing to Switzerland

When relocating to a new country, one often comes with hopes and expectations for a new life, some aspirations to discover a new culture, to connect with new people and to embrace the local way of living.

The bubble of expectations could be getting some heckling when the new comer goes through the change rollercoaster. When not taking care, it could lead to a bitter feeling, to frustrations and even to a certain angriness and rejection of what the new country has to offer.

The Swiss media is full of articles about expats complaining about the locals not being friendly and about the encountered difficulties to connect with Swiss people.
Each country has its own culture and its inhabitants their specificities. Some are more permeable than others. Margaret Oertig-Davidson, in her book – Beyond Chocolate: Understanding Swiss Culture – uses a pertinent metaphor: The peach and the coconut cultures. She explains that the Swiss are like coconuts, it’s hard to get in but once you passed the hard shell, you reach a level on inclusion few people do offer.

In the first months following the arrival in Switzerland, during the acclimation time, new comers will have to manage simultaneously their own change emotional roller coaster and the coconut shell barrier.

Here are the 2 keys for a soft landing that I would like to share with new comers to Switzerland:

1- Independently about how happy you are to move here, you first need to take care of your personal resources because a change is and remains a stressful time. The earliest you will realize that you need to pay an extra attention to yourself, the most you will make out of your Swiss experience. A coach can be a good resource to help you understand your personal psychological needs during the relocation transition.

2- Be pragmatic, take things step by step and pace down the expectations you set on yourself and on the new country. Take advantage of the available new comers’ communities such as Internations.org, Glocals, Meetup groups to fulfil your social needs. Time will come latter to integrate deeper into the Swiss culture: when you will be more at ease with the local language and once you will have entered a more comfortable stage of your change roller coaster.

We tend to want it all quickly, but embracing a new culture is also embracing its tempo and aligning our own internal rhythm to the country one.

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven
job4U2

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.

 

5 tips to find part-time jobs in Switzerland

In Switzerland, 58,8% active women (63% of the female population) are working part-time. So do 17,1% of active men who are 74.14% of the male population.

With a fast calculation, you will have found that there are more than 2 millions persons working part time in Switzerland, 36.4% of the Swiss working force.

However in October 2018, less than 4% of the job posted on indeed.ch are offered as part-time jobs..

On LinkedIn, where traditionally higher-level jobs are posted, the ration falls to 0.3% of part-time jobs posted the last month in Switzerland (only 408 jobs on the entire Swiss territory, most of them entry level or internships.)

Where to find these 2 million Swiss part-time jobs??

One thing I should underline is that part-time employees turnover is much lower as full-time employees ‘one. This is an information to share widely with employers because retention is a key benefit for a company who is offering part-time positions.

As you can understand, these 2 million jobs do not easily get vacant however there are 5 tips I would like to share to help you capture them when they get available:

1- Focus on specialised job-board. They are not numerous but TeilZeitKarriere is one of them.

2- Target companies which have already adopted a part-time job offer approach.

If you speak the local language, you increase your chances: Indeed the top 100 companies offering part-time are not the most likely ones to offer an English working environment

3- Start with an 100% occupation rate, show that you are organised, efficient and that you create value for the organisation and negotiate a part-time job as a second step.

This approach can only work if you have the possibility to get organised around a full time job for at least 12 months.

4- Target SMEs. They are much more likely to be happy to control their cost and to benefit from talented professionals on a part-time jobs. They do not often advertise on line because they do not have the capacity to sort out hundreds of CVs.

Take also into account that SMEs do not frequently mandate recruiting firms for part-time positions as the cost for the search would be the same as for a full-time and because they do not have the same budget as big companies. The primary way for SMEs to hire new staff is via their network.

5-Set your own business, offer your services as an independent professional.

In 2018, 40% of Swiss companies reported that they were looking for external consultants when they had trouble to find the right profiles on the job market.

How can job4U2 help you?

First, we can give you a fair feed-back on the chance you will have to find an employed part-time job based on the industry you are in, your professional profile and your targeted region of search.

Then, we help you set your branding right and develop a comprehensible application strategy. Alternatively, we help you find an alternative path and provide you with support for the deployment.

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven
job4U2

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.

 

The unspoken challenges Dual Career partners are facing on the job market.

When we imagine ourselves relocating our career into a foreign country, the very first challenge that comes to our mind is the language.

Of course, speaking the local language(s) is greatly facilitating the job search however, there are other major pitfalls that Dual Career partners learn to overcome on the way:

Dual Career partners are more affected by the negativism of people crossing their way as they would have been back home because:

  • When in your country, in a familiar setting and a culture you know, a recruiter tells you “it’s not going to be possible”, you think “Well, he could be wrong, it’s only his own opinion, I will seek for more feed-back”. But when you do not know a thing about the local job market and that you do not have tons of opportunities to get alternative sources of information, you might let this one-person opinion destroy your confidence.

Dual Career partners do not have a supportive friend circles to cheer up their mood and encourage them in their efforts because

  • Friends left abroad are not aware about the relocation challenges and might demonstrate little empathy for the issues Dual Career partners encounter in their new location and might be sometime resentful for their departure. They might even think or say “if that’s so difficult, you should have stayed here with us” which obviously is not really helping,
  • It takes time to build a new circle of friends and most people who have not developed new friendships outside the working place for many years are a bit overwhelmed with the process.

Dual Career partners tend to misinterpret a rejection to a job application as a result of a gap in their profile and tend to quickly feel discouraged:

  • Because often, they are not sufficiently aware of the local job market reality and have a biased vision,
  • They can only rely on statistics and official numbers although a low employment rate might not always be synonym of an accessible market for outsiders.

Other challenges Dual Career partners are facing include missing the working life structure and its socializing opportunities, being overwhelmed by relocation domestic activities not providing much in terms of intellectual challenges, feeling disconnected from the working partner who is busy with getting up to speed with a new job, etc. The challenges are numerous.

Overcoming these obstacles is an incredibly powerful source of person development which greatly contribute to make the relocation worth it, however it sometime requires time and an outside help to get the best out of it.

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven
job4U2

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.

 

10 tips to refresh your LinkedIn profile during the summer

Before you take any of the steps covered in this article, I recommend you go into the privacy and settings menu of your LinkedIn account and set your “Sharing edit profile” to No.

I suggest you first pay some visits to the LI profiles of professionals in your field to see how their LinkedIn Profiles look.

  • Which ones are more appealing to you?
  • What is making a profile interesting to you?
  • What makes you click on one profile and not another one?
  • What do you find on others’ profile that is missing on yours?

Tip 1
Headline
By default, it is set to your last title, but you can customise it as you want. Pick a headline that is in relation with the role which you now target. Make sure you use wordings used by employers in Switzerland (check job ads title and use similar key words). You have up to 120 characters to express what is your professional identity about. Make the best usage out of them. If you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur, pick words that tell more about you and what you do, than “owner” “Founder” or “freelancer”.

Tip 2
Location
Make sure your location is set to Switzerland, otherwise you can’t expect recruiters and talent acquisition specialists to find you.

Tip 3
Industry
Pick the industry where you most would like to work, next rather than your current one.

Tip 4
Picture
Having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Use common sense to decide which picture to use. A few hints: good image, resolution, close portrait, recent, smiling, enthusiast, professional but nothing more than your usual dressing code in the type of job you target. If you are in a less “corporate” type of industry, you can allow yourself to a bit of fantasy. Cook dressed as a cook, sport marketer in a sport outfit, etc…

Tip 5
The Summary
2 crucial elements to take into account to write your summary:
Your audience: Who are they? (Head-hunters, sourcers, talent acquisition specialists, hiring managers, clients?) What are they looking for? What are they key criteria to look for a new colleague?
The algorithm: Think SEO, imagine you look for someone like you, which key words are you going to use in your search?
A few hints: Speak with “I”, use bullet points rather than long paragraph, list your know-how even if you have outlined them at other places of your profile, think USPs, think Value proposal, get inspiration from other LI profiles in your industry or functional area, add your contact details (email), if you are, add that you are available upon short notice, add media (e.g. CV in an infographic format)

Tip 6
Your contact and personal info
Provide your phone and email address, these will be only accessible to your connection.
If You would like your email details to be accessible to all, I recommend also adding them into your Summary.
Website URL
If you have your own website or blog or a URL link to your CV, this is the place to add it.
Chose “Other” in the Website URL type option of LI, this gives you the possibility to adjust the text with, as an example: “About me”.
Profile URL
Replace the ugly string of character by a clean URL as close to your first name Last name as possible, check and update your contact info if necessary.

Tip 7
Experience texts
Include all your experiences but focus on the experiences which are most relevant to the role you are now targeting by providing more details for those. Less relevant experiences should be kept short.

Tip 8
Education
Look for the official schools registration on LinkedIn so that you can join the school LI alumni.
For non-academic education: add a courses section (this is sub-section to the LI accomplishments section), you can leave the number section empty.

Tip 9
Languages
Do not forget your mother tongue!
Use Linked Pre-set category. Be consistent with your CV. Do not be shy, other won’t.

Tip 10
Skills and endorsement
An efficient way to update your skills is to take your CV, to highlight all the relevant key words, soft and hard skills and then to enter these words in the skills search window and pick the closest one provided by LinkedIn.
Organise your skills with the ones most relevant to your next career step, first.

Bonus Tip
LinkedIN Career interest feature
Activate the career interest functionality.

With these 11 tips, you have improved your LinkedIn branding, to go further and to use LinkedIn to market yourself, the job4U2 career coaches are competent professionals to help you set up a targeted and efficient LinkedIn activity strategy in relation to the career objective you want to reach.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about the 4U2 programs method and content and please share this blog with your friends and networks!

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven
job4U2

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.