How to Arrange Things When Moving to Switzerland

by | Jun 8, 2020 | Entrepreneurship

How many times have you thought that you are not a big fan of your job? Of your profession? That you would have chosen a different path have you had a chance to start everything from the scratch, from the very beginning. Maybe become an interior designer instead of accountant, or start your own floristic studio and quit this personal assistant job?  

And all this may cross your mind even when you live in your home city, where you were born and grew up. And what if you have also moved to another country? Became an expat? Changed the culture, language, rhythm of life and size of the city? How difficult it is to actually find your very own place and designation?

Photo: Daria Chizhova

I was born in Moscow and after school I moved to Switzerland to study business and banking. Obviously, it was not my personal desire, my father was of a classic conservative upbringing – he thought that a girl should get some serious education like Finance, Law, Banking, Wealth Management, especially when you are in the country that created Banking as a concept (and then also killed the Bank Secrecy concept, lol!). Little did he know back then of how different the world would be again in 2010-s. 

So I spent years studying Finance, Business, Banking in Geneva, Zurich, Lausanne.. moving from one part of the country to another, from one private university to another and still trying to find a spot for my skills and knowledge while they were still relevant – unfortunately, my nationality wasn’t an advantage, right in the middle of my studies Switzerland decided to go for stricter quotas for foreigners and the idea of turning my student permit into working one has slowly sank in the ocean of «NOs» and refusals from immigration offices.

And then I decided that if I can’t find a job – I will try to create it for myself. Thanks to the deep connections we had in the world of Ballroom Dancing and Professional Dance Sport that have been elaborated for years, my mother and I decided that there is a niche, where we can try to create something new, something valuable and something deserving an attention from local government, something that can prove my valuable contribution to the touristic, sport and cultural industries. That’s how my first company Hover Production was born.

Photo: Daria Chizhova

We went through numerous circles of Hell to plan, organize and finally hold these events: Pro-Am competitions, Professional Ballroom Dancing Championships, Debutante Ball. There were many difficulties and obstacles to continue with that business although I got priceless experience in Events field, but guess what – it was yet again not something I would love to do in my life. Business was put on hold when my personal circumstances were changing, the working permit has finally arrived and instead of continuing this business that demanded enormous sponsorship money and was mostly focused on foreign clients (thank God I stopped before the Corona-virus!), I thought that maybe I should finally get a job in the industry that I was studying for – Finance, Administration, Banking.. And guess what – that was the most demotivating thing I have done in my life. Getting again «NOs» and refusals, sometimes not even any answers, for months and months in a row…

Rare interviews that seemed to me as pretty successful finally finished with nothing, not even an email or a phone call saying «thanks for your time». Here comes a moment when you start to doubt yourself, when you tend to think about yourself as of inferior to all the others, not worthy of anything and just go deeper and deeper to this dark place, where your self-confidence and appreciation drops below 0.

So, years have gone by, I had no career, no perspectives in the corporate world (they made it pretty much obvious to me) with tons of master degrees that turned out to be absolutely useless in the real world and have helped me NONE with finding a job. Let’s be clear – I wasn’t looking for just any available position, otherwise I would have been already selling you Big Macs in Crissier, most likely! But I wanted something that I know I can be good at had anybody just given me a chance to prove myself. What happens next?

Few months ago I decided to go and get yet another education, but in the field that after all these years I have chosen myself. With support of my loved ones this time, with no pressure for specific area – I was able to choose something I felt excited about, interested in, something that made my creative mind work at stunning pace and produce tons of ideas. I made my own choice of something that makes me a happy person!

And then one after another, I started doing things that I always thought I shouldn’t do because there is always someone who does it better (at least I though so!) and you know what happened? People loved it! They like my little notes in instagram and my advices on where to go and what to see, they love my little documentary videos about Switzerland, they enjoy and slowly started to buy the jams and cakes I make! I got few proposals to become a part of the team or to try to work for certain projects.


And now I am questioning myself – why did I lose so much time swimming in my fears and insecurities? It is now the time when you should go and try things! Just start doing, start experimenting, find something that you love and what makes you a happy person too. Don’t be afraid, there is always something who will love what you do, because people are different and if there are people who like something else – there will be those who like what you do. I feel like I am just starting my journey and it’s finally full of joy and positivity, unlike I felt before. If you expect me now to say how successful I became – I won’t, because I haven’t. Yet.

If you have enough courage to go for something of your own, to become an entrepreneur – you should face your risks, you can fail and most likely you will, but out of your numerous attempts – one will be successful. I am now launching my website to sell the yummies, happily agreed to become a part of the team working on private events (that is exactly what I was studying recently), have growth of subscribers on my personal blog page in instagram, managing a group in Facebook and having more and more people attending each event I am creating for it. I am now seriously thinking how should I monetise each of them while I am checking out which project will be more promising.

So please, do the same – go ahead and chase your dream, it may be the one that really changes everything for you.

Daria Chizhova for SUISSEPIC

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