10 Steps to Create Your Very Best Career Opportunities in Switzerland’s Hidden Job Market

Many times, it can seem difficult to see through the complex system of the hidden job market in Switzerland.

In this blog post, I want to explain how the process works from A-Z so you get a better understanding of the hidden job market in Switzerland and how you can use it to create the very best career opportunities.

This article is an overview over a series of 10 blog posts. Every one of these blog posts will dive deep into one of the steps outlined below. 

If you are signed up at jordico.com, you will receive the series by email.

Note: On Wednesday, 16th October, I am hosting a live webinar called 10 Steps to Break Into the Hidden Job Market in Switzerland. Join me there if you want to create your own opportunities.


Why “Creating” the Best Career Opportunities?

As you may have noticed in the title, it’s not about merely finding good jobs. It’s about creating the very best career opportunities for yourself. This guide is NOT for people who just want to get another job.

It is for people who think bigger. The outlined steps are meant for people who want to do work they love, meaningful work, work that matters, work that changes things, and at the same time be able to finance an extraordinary lifestyle while shaking things up.

I went from having a high-paid corporate job to doing work I love and creating an extraordinary lifestyle in the process not long ago. You can do so too.


1. Creating a Communication That Gets You Interviews

Most people start out the wrong way when they start looking for a new job in Switzerland. They either blindly apply for jobs, which is the worst thing you can ever do, or they waste their time with trying to make their CV look perfect (there is no such thing as a perfect CV).

Before you start doing anything else in your job search in Switzerland, you need to task yourself a few tough questions. You need to make sure you really know why you do what you do and if you are pursuing the right path.

Here are few example questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Do you truly love what you do?
  • Are you pursuing your passion or merely a job?
  • Why do you work?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • Why did you choose this career?


These questions are certainly not easy to answer for most people so don’t feel bad if you can’t come up with these answers fast. I developed an entire 34-page workbook to help you with this and to guide you along the way to create your own Why-How-What statement.

Whenever I do this with my coaching clients, something wonderful happens. Their entire communication changes from communicating like everybody else to communicating emotions that connect them to the people they talk to and eventually helps them to create their own opportunities.

To create your own powerful Why-How-What statement, download the Communication Excellence Workbook here.


2. Create Your List of 90 People

After changing how my coaching clients communicate, I help them build their list of 90 people. This list is essential and most people try to skip this step until I state the importance and how many opportunities can slip through if you don’t work with this list.

The list of 90 people is essentially a listing of your closest friends. The most important factor so that somebody gets on that list is trust. If you trust this person and this person trusts you, put the name on the list.

Why is it 90 people?

I chose the number 90 for a reason. If you stay in touch with only 3 people every day, you automatically keep in touch with everyone on that list every month. This will increase your chances vastly to get referrals and introductions from those people. Most people you contact, even your best friends, will not be able to help you the first time you talk to them about your intentions.

However, if you keep in touch, you will be astonished how many of them can help you.


3. Create Your Target Company List

If you start your job search in Switzerland without a clear list of target companies, you act like the sales person who starts calling people in the phone book starting with A. You don’t want to be that sales person.

To succeed with your goal in the most effective way, you need to know exactly which companies you are targeting. How else will you know where to look for relevant information and connections?

I recently published a List of 160+ Technology Companies in Switzerland That Hire English Speakers. That should help you getting started if you want to move into the technology sector. More lists will follow in the future.

The number of companies in your list can be anything from 10-100. I suggest you start with 10 so you can work focused.


4. Define Your Ideal Job

This is another part of the foundation that I work on with my coaching clients. Without knowing exactly in which direction you walk, you will find yourself spread all over the place with no real results. Focus is crucial.

Your ideal job consists of three parts.

1. Function (Or responsibilities)

2. Industry

3. Type of company

Every single one of these components has to be included, otherwise you lose focus and momentum. Define every part very specifically and in details.


5. Reach Out to Your List of 90 People

Now, let’s start with the pro-active part. This is where most people get their first results if they have created a solid foundation.

When I say reach out to these people, I don’t mean send an email blast. If you do that, you waste the contacts that you have in an instant and you need to start from scratch.

Instead, call them up, go for coffee, lunch or dinner with them or if they are located at some remote place, send them an email to get back in touch.

Personal relationships are the heart of everything in career and business so treat the relationships you already have accordingly.

How well would you treat every single person in your network if each was worth CHF 1 Million during your lifetime? You may want to think about that since real relationships are priceless.

We will look into making new connections in the next step.


6. Connect With Likeminded People

Now it’s time to expand your network. This is where most people start. Unfortunately, most people have not done their homework from step 1-5 when they start reaching out to people on LinkedIn and they completely mess it up.

I see this happening every day when I get tons of LinkedIn requests from people I have never talked to inviting me to connect with them, using the standard message and then ending their efforts.

Reaching out to people you don’t know on LinkedIn is not rocket science. However, it’s also not work at an assembly line. It’s human science and social psychology. It’s not about manipulating people. It’s about thinking first and then doing.

As the title of this sections says, it’s all about connecting with “likeminded” people.

What does that mean? It means these people have something in common with you that is worth mentioning. By the way, the fact that both of you have an account on LinkedIn does not count as something in common.

If you both went to the same school, have worked at the same company or are both from the same cultural background (i.e. nationality), this counts as a strong connection. There are many more of these strong connectors. Think about what else could connect you to another person and search for these things.

LinkedIn Groups are a great place to start. You can find people with similar interests there, similar goals and similar cultural backgrounds. It has never been easier than today to connect with likeminded people, you just need to do it.

If you do a search for people on LinkedIn, don’t forget to include your target companies when you search. We created the list of target companies in step 3 so you can connect with people there.

There are plenty of other ways besides LinkedIn on how to connect with likeminded people. Two examples are Meetup.com and Glocals.com.


7. Build Trust Over Time

Trust is essential in relationships. This is why you only include people on your list of 90 who trust you. If there is trust, people will always be happy to help you because they would expect the same from you.

Trust is built by fulfilling commitments. You tell somebody you keep in touch and you do so. You tell somebody you get back to him with an answer and you do so. Trust is not built in an instant. However, it’s built much faster if you connect with likeminded people instead of just anyone.

You build trust automatically if you intend to make friends instead of accumulating business contacts.


8. Ask for Referrals and Introductions

There is an interesting concept that I came across a while ago that is called the “Networking Question”. Asking this question eventually leads to referrals and introductions as a result. It goes something like “Who do you know who knows anything about clean tech startups in Switzerland?”.

Because it’s an open question you make people think who they really know.

Important note: this question should mainly be directed to people who trust you. Don’t ask this question the first time you send somebody an email.


9. Use Market Information to Uncover Job Leads

I did this every day in my career as a recruiter back in the days when I was an employee. This was basically my main job and I think I was pretty good at it. Again, this only works if you have built and established a network first. It’s a process, not a bunch of points to pick randomly.

No rocket science is required to be successful in this step. The main skill required to uncover job leads is talking to people. Check this interview I did with one of my coaching clients to see how she did it.

You can gather market information through magazines, newsletters or job boards but you will never get the real insider information if you don’t talk to people.

Remember the list of target companies? This is what you need to focus on and hopefully you started building your network within these companies already.


10. Get in Front of the Hiring Managers

Once you get in front of them, the rest is peanuts if you have done a great job creating your foundation.

Getting in front of a hiring manager and actually getting the interview requires a strong Why-How-What statement, an established network within the organization or social circle of the hiring manager and enough market information about the organization and the hiring manager as a person.

If you don’t have these factors in place, you will just be another job seeker who drowns in a pile of 100s of CVs.

However, if you do have them in place, you will be seen as an authority who can help the hiring manager achieve her goals. Why would somebody not talk to you in the second case?

To see some real life examples of people who successfully did this, check the interview I did with my Italian coaching client who found his dream job and my Portuguese coaching client who organized 12 Skype interviews that lead to 4 face to face interviews and 2 job offers in Zurich.


Putting the Pieces Together

Only if you follow these steps will you be seen as an authority and leader in your expertise and therefore be able to create your own opportunities.

It may seem overwhelming at first to go through all of these steps above but it’s well worth it as you can see in the interviews I did with my coaching clients.

Get in touch with me if you need help with breaking into the hidden job market in Switzerland.