Why Do You Really Want to Work in Switzerland?

When people approach me for my coaching services and tell me that they want to relocate to Switzerland, one of my first questions is usually why. In some cases, they look at my like it should be obvious to me why they want to relocate. 

I know that Switzerland is always mentioned in the top 5 places to live and work around the world but that does not have to be any indication for your specific reason to work in Switzerland.


The Wrong Reasons

Among all the reasons people tell me why they want to relocate to Switzerland, there are some that always show up at the top.

1. Enjoy the high quality of living
2. Earn a lot of money
3. Pay low taxes


Even though these reasons may be very well worth it for you to relocate to Switzerland from your country, I don’t think they are the real reasons.

Switzerland certainly has a very high quality of living but so does Austria, Sweden, Australia or New Zealand. What does high quality of living really mean to you and why Switzerland specifically? Don’t get me wrong. I love Switzerland but I love the beaches in Australia at least as much.

You can earn a lot of money in Switzerland but you also have to compare it to costs of living and the deductions from the gross salary.

It’s true that the taxes in Switzerland are lower if you compare them with many other countries. However, when you calculate your net income, you have to realize that there is also social insurance and your sickness insurance that you have to pay for yourself.

During my recruitment career, I worked with many people who were attracted to Switzerland because of the low taxes and at the end some realized that with all the deductions, they had a lower percentage of their income in their pockets than they had in their home country.

I say all of this not to discourage you from coming to Switzerland but to rethink your real reasons as it will have a large impact on your career transition to Switzerland.


The Right Reasons

Think deeply about what you want to achieve by having more money available or the high quality of living. Do you want to provide your kids with a saver environment they can grow up in? Do you have loved-ones in Switzerland you want to be close to?

What’s the emotional benefit for you to relocate?

You need to translate these materialistic goodies into emotional benefits so people you talk to can relate to your situation and understand why you really want to work and live in Switzerland.


Talking to Recruiters

When you work with recruiters and are not located in Switzerland yet, they will more than likely ask you for the reason why you want to work in Switzerland. 

You need to tell the recruiter a reason they can understand, which means you have to be honest and not tell them that you want to relocate because it seems like the richest people in the world live in Switzerland.


Talking to Human Resources

When you are looking to work in Switzerland, you will talk to HR eventually. HR wants to have a level of certainty that when you start working for this company, you will stay there for some time and not just run after the next job that offers you more money.

In almost all cases, HR will ask you why you want to work in Switzerland. Your answer at this point can decide if you get a job offer or not. These questions are very common either when you speak to HR the first time or in the job interview.

Rethink why you really want to work in Switzerland. Would you also want to work there if Switzerland was ranked number 7 instead of number 1 among the best countries to work and live in?


What’s your real reason for working in Switzerland? Share your thoughts in the Career Network Switzerland on LinkedIn