25 February 2021, text: Michèle Schaub, photo: Thorsten Müller
Thorsten Müller worked in marketing staff development at Helvetia Austria in Vienna, where he had also been a trainee. But shortly before completing his training, he says, he started looking around for something different. "Last year a job came up with the Education Management Team in St. Gallen, and after talking to my boss about it I decided to move to Switzerland", Thorsten recalls – "though it took me countless sleepless nights to make up my mind." Moving to a different country, he says, created lots of uncertainties and raised plenty of open questions. "I'm very positive, I get excited easily. But my partner's different: she carefully weighs up the opportunities and challenges before making up her mind. It was really good to have her as my counterweight. A step like that really needs thinking through.
The decision to emigrate was by no means an easy one, says Thorsten: "You're parting from friends and family, you're leaving your home and your old life behind. Also" – he adds with a laugh – "we were a little worried that as Austrians, we may not be able to understand you Swiss." Covid didn't exactly made the situation any easier: "The borders were closed, and the only way of looking round our apartment was by video. Even so, we've settled in really well since making the move last summer." Are you – like Thorsten – thinking of leaving home and emigrating? If so, here are his recommendations for making sure the adventure is a success.
Open communication with your partner or family is crucial. It's important for everyone to talk to each other, taking all the time they need for this key decision. Everyone has to be happy with the move, after all.
All the deadlines and transport arrangements need to be carefully coordinated in good time. Moving to another country takes time – everything you take with you has to be declared.
It makes sense to find out as much as you can in advance about things like taxes, insurance and lifestyles where you're going. Helvetia has a team of experts with specialist experience of moving to Switzerland.
Once you've made the move, it's advisable to set up the best new home you can afford – especially now that we're all having to spend a great deal of time within our own four walls.
It's always a good idea to be outgoing and approachable. Say hello to your neighbours, buy a few colleagues a beer after work. And you should definitely be on the look-out for people who have done what you're doing, who could share their experiences with you.
Not for a moment do Thorsten and his girlfriend regret the bold step they took, or their new life in Switzerland: "If the place and the time are right, don't let the opportunity slip through your fingers: take a deep breath, and just go for it." We think this is a great attitude. After all, our employer brand's motto is: &Go!