In the process of settling in a new environment and even more in searching for a job, socializing and networking remain powerful accelerators, making the adjustment process a human adventure rather than a long and frustrating stage.
However, when relocating to Switzerland, families will not necessarily land in dense urban zones offering gatherings and expat networking weekly events.
Indeed, the Swiss economic network is rich of SME and big companies who have settled away from the big cities, which are Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne.
Socializing and looking for a job for a spouse located in Lugano, Neuchatel, Baden, Bienne, Sion or Solothurn is therefore a different experience than for a spouse who has moved to Zurich city.
I would like here to provide some ideas of networking places available outside the big Swiss economic centers.
Meetup groups are available a bit everywhere. When not active anymore or not available: why not taking the lead and bringing your own meet up group to life?
You’ll find internations communities in Lucerne, Lugano, Neuchatel, St Gallen, Zug, Bern.
Clubs to improve public speaking skills and learn more about speaking in public available in various locations in Switzerland. Toastmaster Switzerland also has a linkedIn group.
For “ young” professionals; 8 local chambers, more than 3150 members, located everywhere in Switzerland and working in teams on projects to support local or International communities.
With over 40 different locations in Switzerland, BPW represents the interests of working women in a variety of ways and operates across all branches of industry, politics and religion.
A women network organizing Chill Out’s at various locations including In Aarau, Bern, Biel/Bienne, Fribourg, Luzern, St. Gallen
For professional women and entrepreneurs, a network offering activities in different location in German speaking Switzerland.
The 14 angloswiss clubs in Switzerland aim to provide a platform for English speakers and Swiss to meet.
- Economic development agencies of each canton
Most cantons organize events to facilitate networking for local professionals. Check their websites for more information.
Some examples: creapole.ch, standortsolothurn.ch, promfr.ch, business-valais.ch, etc
- Local economic Chambers (Wirtschaftskammer /Chambre économique)
Most economic regions have an economic chamber, which very likely organizes or promotes third parties events: Some examples are wibs.ch, adnv.ch, zwk.ch
- LinkedIn and Xing communities
Check the linkedIn and Xing groups: There are some communities and networking places available. e.g. Friends of Biel-Bienne, Meet and Greet Solothurn, ecoBILINGUE, etc
Of course this list is not exhaustive and many other networking places are available across Switzerland: sport clubs, language groups, professional associations, private initiatives, etc, etc.
I’d like to invite the blog readers to post additional ideas and feedback about networking places they experienced and found interesting.
Sandrine van den Oudenhoven
job4U2, "Relocation is a project for both"
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