Category Archives: Dual career

What about my career!

What about my career!  – Second session with Sara –
“Bonjour, asseyez-vous je vous prie Madame Da cotta” he said
– “Euh, merci. Is it possible to continue in English? I will certainly be able to explain myself better in English than in French.”
– “Oh your French is quite good. But it’s fine; It’s good for me too, to practice my English.I guess you know that it is very difficult when you don’t speak French or German to find a job in operations here in Switzerland. What about your German level?”

Sara was red, and her eyes were tearing up when telling me about her first and only interview in Switzerland.
He even told me, I need to have my first job and then it will be

easier to be hired! I thought he was kidding but he really meant that!

Although it was not the first time a client relayed such an interview experience; I felt, once more, disheartened and disappointed about the attitude of some recruiters with newcomers.
This is far from a generalization, in fact some recruiters I know are truly interested in people and show a lot of respect to applicants, Swiss or foreigners. But unfortunately, Sara had not been lucky enough to meet one of those that time.

I noticed my next question to Sara surprised her quite a bit because she changed her position. She started thinking and searching for the answer in her previous professional experiences.

Can you remember a time, in one of your last jobs, where someone came to you with a strong affirmation which in the end happened to be wrong?

As a matter of fact, she said while almost laughing, in my last company, it was all about that!
Our sales team said: “We lost these customers forever, they will never buy from us again”. That indeed was proven to be wrong!
Or on another occasion, the production staff said: “we can’t reduce the prices any further as prices had been reduced so much in the last few years. We have reached a plateau”. Again this was proven to be wrong!

Ok, I said. Now someone has told you “You can’t get a job here if you do not speak the language and do not have this or this diploma”. And you just agree?

Sara smiled, enjoying the provocation, starting to put together strength to fight any arguments that could come her way.

This is an extract of the Essay What-about-my-Career!” available on request here

“There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge”  – Napoleon Hill

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 key Ingredient to a successful job search

Positivity: not a stand-alone ingredient but the salt which changes everything.

No doubt, Job searching requires some thoughtful tactics and know-how such as a clear market positioning, art in the way to make your CV expresses who you are in a meaningful way for your audience, a strong and thoughtful application strategy and some presentation and convincing skills for the interviews.
However, attitude and mind-set play a major role in reaching the objective.
Positivity is not a stand-alone ingredient to success but the salt which changes everything.

Being positive in regard to reaching the objective, does not mean neglecting to learn from failures nor to implement corrective actions. No, positivity is the little plus that allows you to listen to the positive little voice in you that says:” it does not matter, you know you can do it, keep on.”

When something is not in your sphere of influence and induces a perception of failure, it opens up a choice: You can feel miserable and victim of the events, you can choose to disengage and minimise the pain, or you can also connect back to your positive feeling and look for the hidden present in the situation. This choice is not always easy, there are other storming elements interfering and exercising counter pressure against positivity.

4 tips to nurture your positivity

Positivity is a fragile balance that is unique to each individual, is highly dependent on our personality and cultural and social inheritage but there are ways to nurture positivity: here are 4 tips to boost your positive mind set:

1- Recognise and capture what is your inner state of positivity. How do you feel when you are positive? Serene, joyful, peaceful, confident, strong? Where is the feeling mainly located in your body? Your chest, your heart, your head, your stomach? Does it have a temperature, a colour? Something else?
2- Identify your personal needs and feed them. The fullest you will be of what is important to you, the more stable you will be to nurture your positive inner state.
Do you need calm, nature immersion, social contacts, a good book, activity, some empathy? Something else? Go for it.
3- Cultivate your self-esteem. Treat yourself with equal benevolence as you would offer to someone dear to your heart.
4- Find your cheerleaders. Identify who, in your surroundings, has the ability to cheer you up and to switch your inner state back to positivity. It can be a friend, a spouse, a parent, a coach, a mentor, etc. And keep away from people and networks who bring you down.

Practice positivity, observe what changes in your internal dialogue and in your behaviour, take time to note down all the effects that you notice around you and build your own empowerment cycle.
In your recipe to a successful job search, you will have secured a major ingredient and can now move to the following riddle:

If positivity is to the job search what salt is to the recipe, what would yeast be to your job search?

job4U2 career programs for dual career partners for Switzerland are delivered by qualified coaches who complement their Swiss job market expertise with their coaching skills to insure you uncover your own invaluable personal resources and mobilise them towards your success.

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. 

4U2 invent your Swiss career


You want to use the relocation as an opportunity to reinvent your career for more fulfilment? to find out what would give you sense and purpose and utilise best your skills set?

4U2 invent is for you!

 The objective of the 4U2 invent program is to use the relocation and its associated changes as an opportunity to orient your career in a direction more in line with your today
identity and/or with the possibilities and constraints related to the new environment.

Together we work on your areas of interest and motivation. It’s a journey, a discovery of the person you have become.
We identify and prioritise key relevant experiences, resources, skills and talents and help you defeat your own resistances and limitations.
We draw a general direction: a career general path.
Next, we map a bill of demand for the next career step and search roles fitting the demand pattern.
The professional projects that you have prioritized are fine-tuned and we help you find what you need to make a decision and validate your goal.
We set up a practical action-plan and support you in the implementation of the first steps.


Contact us for more information about this program.