How to find English-speaking job opportunities in Switzerland (or really anywhere)

Yes, even in a pandemic.

“My biggest problem when looking for a job is not speaking German” (or insert relevant local language)

I hear that quite a lot from the women I support in their job search.

Yes, your job opportunities are restricted by not speaking the local language. HOWEVER, that does not necessarily mean you cannot find openings for the job you want in English.

Whenever I hear “No one hires in English for my role”, alarm bells go off in my head.

Because it’s the same thing that I got told when I was searching for UX researcher openings in late 2017. I was targeting a super people-facing role. I was planning to work in the German-speaking side of Switzerland. 

It made perfect sense. Of course I had to speak German. 

I got rejected for a role that I’d interviewed for – biggest reason? I didn’t speak German. 

It was perfectly reasonable to believe that I needed to speak fluent German. 

And in truth, I had started to intensively study it. Which DID open new opportunities. Even though my German was far from perfect. 

(Perfect really is the enemy of done.)

And guess what… in 2018 I ended up working in an EXCLUSIVELY English-speaking UX researcher position, as a contractor for Google. 

Unsurprisingly, I feel strongly about restricting your job opportunities based on untested assumptions 😉 

So how do you find opportunities in Switzerland that are English-speaking?

Here is one way – step by step. If there are companies in Switzerland that hire in English for the role you target, you have a very good chance of finding them using this method.

It involves our beloved LinkedIn.

Step 1: Go on LinkedIn Search and write down the job title you target. If it consists of multiple words, make sure to put them in quotes e.g. “project manager”. Click Search.

Step 2: Select the “People” tab. You now have a results list of LinkedIn profiles belonging to people who are or used to be project managers. Time to refine the search a bit.

Step 3: Go to “All Filters” and for locations, write “Switzerland”. For profile languages, select “English”.

Step 4: Quickly go through the profiles. Visit the profile and go to the “Languages” section. If for example they work in Zurich and the Languages section indicates they speak English and not German, check out ALL companies this person worked at in Zurich / German-speaking parts of Switzerland. If they don’t have the Languages section filled in, scan their profile for their work history and education, and try to infer from there if they might speak German. For example, if they have a degree from a Swiss university located in a German-speaking region, chances are they might speak German (you’d need to dig a little deeper into the degree requirements to actually confirm that).

Repeat Step 4 for a bit, and ta-dah! – you now have a list of companies that are likely to hire in English for the role you target.

Want more articles like this, straight to your inbox? Subscribe to the Worthful Woman newsletter:

Know someone else who would enjoy the Worthful Woman newsletter? Share it with them today:



Let’s connect on LinkedIn: