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Geneva - Employment

Geneva is home to many international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – the United Nations and the Red Cross, to begin with. In total, there are 24 international organizations, 300 NGOs and 200 diplomatic missions and permanent representatives operating out of Geneva. There are some 130 multinational corporations that have global offices in Geneva, such as DHL, The Gillette Company, Lexmark International, Lockheed Martin International, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Patek Philippe, Procter and Gamble, Reuters and so on.

The main employers in Geneva are in the service industry – traditionally, Geneva's financial strength is in private banking (asset management and international finance). Precision machinery and instruments also have a traditionally strong presence in Geneva - watchmakers Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega all have their main headquarters and production facilities in Geneva. Other strengths include food and fragrance manufacturing.

The City of Geneva Cantonal Office of Employment (OCE or Office cantonal de l'emploi) is located at rue des Glacis-de-rive 6, 3938 Geneva (Tel: 022 546 37 80; website : www.ge.ch). The office operating hours are Mondays to Fridays, 830am to 1230pm, and 130pm to 530pm. You will need to bring along the relevant documents as advised in the website. This is the place to register yourself if you are unemployed, or looking for suitable employment in Geneva. Note that you will be asked to produce a valid residence permit to do so – Swiss residents have priority over job placements.

Apart from engaging the assistance of an employment agency, you can also scan the local newspapers for vacancies. Try the Monday edition of "Tout l'emploi", or Tuesday edition of "Le Matin", or Wednesday edition of "La Tribune de Genève", Thursday edition of "24 heures", or Friday edition of "Le Temps".

If you are an accompanying spouse of an expatriate, you can seek employment assistance if you possess the relevant work permit (E.g. Ci). If you are competent in your native language (not French or German), you can teach your native language at language schools. Spouse Career Center" is a career-related counseling center set up to assist dual-career couples through the process of relocating to another city and learn more about career transitions. This consultancy firm will be at Geneva's Expat Expo that is held on 11 October 2009.

Finally, when you decide to relocate (quit a job and move), there is a practice of you throwing a going away party ("une verree") – this party is organized by you, not your colleagues.

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