Welcome to another edition of Dear Frau. It's kind of like Dear Abby except with an international twist. If you have a question about life in Switzerland, be sure to contact the Frau and maybe your little Frage will be in the next edition of Dear Frau.
I have been looking for a job in Switzerland and am confused by what the (m/w) means after the job title in the listing. And what is up with the age thing. I’m 38 and some of the jobs I’m interested in give an age range of 25-35. Am I over the hill already?
Dear Job Seeker,
Looking for a job in Switzerland can be tough. The Frau can relate. She once had an interview in Switzerland that involved reading in German, reading in French, writing in English, and naming the acronyms of Swiss political parties. Ja.
If all the language requirements weren’t tough enough, there’s also sexual and age discrimination to be concerned with. In this country, the discrimination is right there in the job listing: in Switzerland, jobs are still listed as whether they are for males or females or both. If you see (m/w), that means both men and women are welcome to apply. And the age thing, yeah, since you have to put your birth date on your resume, there’s no way to pretend you’re 35 when you’re really 38. And many jobs do specify an age range up front. This sometimes also has to do with the pay level. In general, older people get paid more in Switzerland.
The Frau doesn’t necessarily enjoy all of this upfront discrimination in the Swiss job listings, but she’s come to accept it. Because even though some countries, like the United States, would never be so openly discriminatory in a job listing, it doesn’t mean that the reality is any different behind the scenes. At least in Switzerland, you won’t be wasting your time at an interview if you don’t really fit the job specs.
Anyhow, the Frau wishes you luck with your job search. If you’re looking for more information or advice on how to find a job in Switzerland, check out a few more posts from the Frau:
How to Find a Job in Switzerland
10 online resources for finding a job in Switzerland. Included are sites especially for those in finance, communications, academia, as well as general job searching sites.
Trailing Spouse Advice on Finding a Job in Switzerland
How the Frau found her Swiss job and tips for finding yours. Hint: if you can, start looking before you move.
How to Land an International Assignment
You're Young. You're starting your career. You want to move abroad. What to do first.
Does anyone else have advice on how to find a job in Switzerland? What do you think of the open discrimination in Swiss job listings?