In January I celebrated my 16th anniversary of moving to Switzerland, the best personal and career decision I’ve ever made. You might ask yourself, what compelled me, a Canadian/Swiss dual citizen, to up sticks from Vancouver to move to Switzerland. I’ve thought long and hard about the reasons and came up with my top 10 list, in no particular order.
Let’s be honest, even though money isn’t everything…it is an important means to improving your lifestyle. Even though Switzerland is relatively expensive, Zurich and Geneva’s residents can boast of having the highest purchasing power globally after Luxembourg.
2. Great companies to work for
Google, Nestlé, Novartis, Roche, UBS, Credit Suisse; the list goes on and on. Thanks to Switzerland’s liberal economic and labor policies and stable political system, global companies have flocked here, meaning you have tremendous job opportunities you don’t have elsewhere.
Switzerland is consistently ranked as among the most stable and safe countries worldwide. Its neutrality (as well as the impregnable Swiss alps) have enabled Switzerland to become a place where one can live in peace and harmony.
Have I mentioned the skiing? Tourists from all over the globe flock to Switzerland every year to grab a slice of heaven. If skiing’s not your thing, the country boasts incredibly beautiful scenery and you can enjoy hiking and biking on established routes. Why not come live where others vacation?
5. Location, location, location
Thanks to its central location, Switzerland is a natural hub for flights operating from Europe and the rest of the world’s cities. It’s incredibly convenient and simple to travel anywhere in the world and that has been a factor in attracting top global companies.
6. Quality of life
According to a worldwide study, Zurich, the country’s top economic and cultural hub, was ranked the 2nd best city for quality of life, with Geneva also figuring among the top 10.
7. International environment
Thanks to Switzerland’s ever-growing number of global companies, expats can find comfort in the fact that they will not be alone. Hearing English on the street is common and expats can quickly find communities from their home countries to go out and have a couple of drinks (or tap water, whatever your preference).
Unlike the majority of the world, a car is usually not needed when living in a Swiss city. Switzerland has an amazing public transport infrastructure, which allows you to quickly crisscross the country to get to your work and enjoy life while looking at the scenery fly by. Even at night, it is possible to travel to your destination, thanks to the 24 hour network.
Do you like having money left at the end of the month to spend on life’s necessities? Switzerland has one of the most advantageous taxation systems globally. The tax system is a reflection of the federal, decentralized structure of the state. There is a healthy competition among the cantons to have low personal taxes. The global taxation rate for individuals with a gross salary of between 150-250’000 Swiss Francs varies between 20%-35%; far lower than the EU average of around 40%.
Last year, Switzerland ranked as the 2nd most happy country in the world, closely behind Denmark. Data was focused among others on GDP per capita, health, life expectancy, freedom of choice. People in Switzerland are happy because they know they live in an island of prosperity where you can realize your dreams by working hard and applying yourself.
If you are a career-oriented individual looking for a great work-life balance, Switzerland is an amazing opportunity you should definitely consider. Global companies offering amazing opportunities will allow you to further progress in your career, all while enjoying the amazing quality of life here. I know I made the right choice 13 years ago when I moved here and I don’t regret it!