Clara* moved from the UK to Basel in 2012. Her husband had received a very good job offer, and together they decided that a move to Switzerland could be a great opportunity. Clara was not aware that her degree in Child Psychology would not be recognized in Switzerland and she was surprised to learn that she would also have to learn German before she could continue with her career. After one year in Basel without making any professional inroads, she felt useless and depressed.
Shane* came here from the UK with his wife. Shane was a successful social media project manager in London. In Switzerland, he was unemployed for two years despite his best professional efforts to find freelance work.
Dr. Ana Fidelio* came from Portugal. She had a Ph.D. and was a qualified Chemist. Like many expat spouses, she came to Switzerland because her husband, Dr. Fidelio, a specialist in Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs, received an attractive employment offer.
She had five solid years of work experience and saw herself very much as a “career woman”.
She did not expect to be unemployed for nine months; she also did not expect to have to send out forty job applications.
Clara, Ana, and Shane were all feeling despair and I was driven to get all that unused potential back into the workforce.
Unable to find any pre-existing training material that fitted the situation I developed my own training material, wrote numerous blog posts, and created exercises for self-directed learning.
With my experience and my self-developed tools, I want to help international mobile professionals and their families enjoy a globally mobile lifestyle.
This isn’t simply a textbook to read about the multitude of challenges that need to be overcome IN ORDER TO FIND A JOB IN SWITZERLAND or another country as a migrant or expat spouse.
While the book provides intercultural insights about why the Swiss labor market is often PERCEIVED AS HARDER TO CRACK.
This is a workbook that gives you step-by-step guidance and practical exercises to complete in each chapter.
It’s a clear, easy-to-use, and practical toolbox.
Most of the exercises would be valid in other cultural contexts and in other expatriate hubs such as Dubai or Singapore.
What do others think about the Global Career Workbook?
“The Global Career Workbook” by Angela Weinberger is a very helpful book, both for job seekers and global mobility coaches. It provides very useful practical guidance with concrete examples of the multiple challenges faced when looking abroad for a new job and moving to a new country. The clear structure with the concrete tasks guides the readers through the book, providing a reliable rucksack to hike up the mountain and reach the peak.
“The Global Career Workbook” is squarely targeted at that unhappy portion of any local population: the expatriate spouse who is struggling to find work after moving to a new country following their partner. Angela starts her book with an accurate description of the hurdles facing unemployed ex-patriates: everything from small/non-existent local networks, cultural clashes and disjoints, emotional issues around changes in your relationship as a result of the move, and, overwhelmingly, the apparent dislike of you by all and any local recruiters.
Angela steps up to the line, guiding the reader through the many pitfalls and opportunities facing them in their search for a job. Drawing on a career in HR, recruitment, and international employment, she writes in a supportive, accessible, and lightly humorous style. Having moved abroad, she knows the personal and professional challenges, and also many of the solutions to the situation.
The book is a mix of written advice, exercises for the reader, and useful references. Being based in Switzerland, some of the advice is highly Swiss-specific (e.g. good job-searching websites, and a section on gender and cultural assumptions). However, the majority of the advice and the exercises are relevant wherever you are based: knowing how to efficiently search for jobs, how to write a good cover letter, how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out, and how to answer interview questions are universal skills.
The exercises will challenge the reader to think deeply about what they bring to the job market: when facing challenges like linguistic and cultural barriers, the skills and experiences that make you unique and special, and thus employable, are extra-important. Angela guides you through writing your perfect 5-point summary, building your personal ‘brand’, and then flaunting yourself (modestly, of course – we are in Switzerland!) through online and in-person interactions to develop and leverage your nascent and growing social and professional network.
Best of all, she provides a glimpse of the challenges facing you when you apply to global companies: busy, overworked HR managers, multiple filters based in diverse offices, and so forth. This helps to rationalize rejections and explain the black box of the employment process.
In person, Angela is friendly and supportive – an excellent guide and coach through what can be a very challenging time. I really recommend this book to anyone who is stuck on their job search – even carrying out just a couple of the exercises should help boost self-esteem and give encouragement. Plus, the occasional downloadable freebie like a CV template is very helpful.
Dr. Emily Adams, Pfaffhausen, Switzerland
Interdisciplinary researcher and NGO Manager
“The Global Career Workbook” provides a step-by-step approach for expats’ spouses and all people who by their own decision decided to move to Switzerland and are about to find a job there. While you start reading it, you quickly realize that it invites you to a journey, where you will be the main character, not just a side observer. I strongly encourage readers to complete all exercises covered in the workbook, while being honest with themselves about their strengths and weaknesses. Another important asset of this book is that it enables the reader to step out of their shoes and look at their personal brand from a different angle.
Most of us have our profile set up on LinkedIn, but does it do its job?
Have you wondered recently why you do not get any new invitations or recommendations? By using all the guidance and completing tasks covered in this material, you will not only learn how to effectively network, prepare an outstanding, well-structured resume and get all out of the interview but also be able to negotiate your salary and benefits package once you get to the top of the peak.
I personally benefited a lot from the material by rediscovering myself as a professional and preparing for the opportunity of an international assignment, that will definitely come my way and once it happens, I will be able to support my spouse in this journey as well. Thank you, Angela, for this great reading experience and I’m waiting for the next publication.
Global Mobility Manager in Poland
* The people in these photos are models and due to privacy reasons the names of the clients have been changed