Moving to Switzerland

by Alex Giurgiu February 12th, 2019

Amid all the political changes in the UK, you’re probably thinking this might be a good time for a move to another country. As Head of International at Hasson Associates I am exposed to the market throughout across the EU and if you are  a market research professional, a good option would be Switzerland. It’s a great country both for living and for working so there are a couple of  reasons why you should consider it.

ds10-d3-2014-5348-expats-rate-switzerland-top-for-best-work-life-balance_3075_t12

Anyone from countries that are part of EU or EFTA can work there up to three months without a visa and should you decide to stay longer, you have options – you can apply for a residency permit or your employer can apply for a work visa for you.

Career opportunities – Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Lausanne are probably the go-to cities to move to if you want to continue working in market research. Although there aren’t lots of agencies in Switzerland, some of the global agencies have offices there and you’ll have your pick from think tanks and client side organisation. Often companies like Procter&Gamble, Novartis, Philip Morris International GSK, Nestle, Johnson&Johnson, Siemens or Roche recruit for their internal market research or analytics teams. You will see vacancies in the areas of customer research, account management, analytics, consultancy, product research and  business analytics.

Culture – work and personal lives are kept very separate. Tolerance, punctuality, thriftiness and precision describe a Swiss work culture, while cleanliness, order, safety, nature, recycling and tranquillity describe the general life there.

Language – most organisations produce their deliverable in English, so language in the workplace is not a problem. For the international roles it’s generally accepted you only speak English, while for the specific Swiss market accounts, you’ll be expected to be fluent in French/German etc.

Lifestyle – everyone uses the public transport system which is very good. You feel very safe on the streets. You will travel to Germany or France for groceries – so culturally its well located. You will head to the mountains during winter, and visit lakes during summer.

Cost of living – starting with rent, if you want to live in a normal area a furnished 85m2 flat costs an average of 1750 GBP and in an expensive area that will be about 2300 GBP. A monthly ticket for public transport is an average of 63 GBP and a basic dinner for 2 in the neighbourhood pub is about 50 GBP. In order to lower your costs, you could choose to live in France and travel to Geneva, which is 10 km away from the border. There are a number of very charming and family friendly villages along the border where you could start a new life. While the cost of living is one of the highest in the world, so too is the average salary. Depending on the region, a Research Manager could earn an average of about 109,000 CHF/year.

These are just a few things to consider when making an international career move decision. Switzerland offers lots of opportunities for highly skilled workers and, being a truly international country where the English language is as valued as one of their national languages, you’ll have a hard timing finding a better place to relocate to.

I am currently recruiting for Account Managers, Qualitative and Quantitative Associates Directors and Directors for a few market research agencies. Get in touch if you want more information.

Alexandra Giurgiu
E: Alex@hassonassociates.com
T: 07972170194