Finding a job in Geneva: Association Découvrir

How hard can it be to find a job in Geneva? After months receiving negative responses (or none at all) whenever you submit an application, you start to doubt your own capability. Morale drops, your motivation is gone. It looks like you will never do any interesting work again. You are tired of applying all that energy in housekeeping (and the house is not even that well kept, because you are frustrated). Yes, it feels like a dead end. So here you go, climbing up the wall out of the impasse!

My most recent and valuable discovery in carving my way back into work in Geneva is Association Découvrir, a non-profit organization that provides support and advice for migrant qualified women.

From day one I was impressed by the warm welcome and their targeted approach. Their offer includes services like:

  • Adapting your CV to the local market

  • Simulating a job interview

  • Guidance on validating your degree in Switzerland

  • Improving your LinkedIn profile

  • Coaching and mentoring programs

  • Language classes (French, English and Spanish).

I had a first interview to present myself and discuss my professional project (which was far from clear at the time). Rocio, the founder of the association, advised me to take part in their coaching program, ProActe.

I attended the closing session of the program last spring to learn more about it. The participants, from different countries and professional backgrounds, glowed with enthusiasm and you could see determination in their eyes. One of them had found a job during the program. Another was maneuvering in the very tight space available for asylum seekers in search of her degree recognition.They had been able to regain confidence, expand their network and better target their job search. They were precise and realistic about their goals and how to get there.

So I decided to join the ProActe autumn class and it has so far been amazing and extremely helpful. The goal is that in 4 months we participants have a well-defined professional project and the tools to move forward. Group training sessions cover topics like identifying your skills, preparing a killer CV/cover letter and improving your pitch, while individual coaching is tailored to each participant's needs.

Découvrir's team really takes to heart the line that goes "be the change that you want to see". All the instructors are inspiring women who have themselves experienced moving between different countries and fields of work, career breaks for family reasons etc and therefore understand the challenges that we face.

It is well worth a visit if all you are getting is negative responses to your applications, if you are interested in steering your career into a new field, or need general guidance to navigate the Geneva labor market.

[bonus: if you happen to attend festive events, chances are that you will be treated to empanadas and other goodies, an integral part of Rocio’s Colombian hospitality.]


Me and my inseparable espresso during a Découvrir workshop.

Me and my inseparable espresso during a Découvrir workshop.

More about coaching and mentoring with Association Découvrir

ProActe (coaching) extends over 4 months with individual coaching sessions and group practical training on topics that include: defining your professional project; adapting your CV to the local market; identifying your skills; networking strategies and public speaking. Informative and networking sessions also happen once a month. To participate in ProActe, you must have a valid work permit and speak intermediate French.

Échange (mentoring): for those who already have a clear professional project. Targeted at both men and women with a valid work permit, it extends over a 12-month period. Mentees receive guidance from a migrant woman from the same field who is professionally established in Geneva and participate in workshops.

More info:

Association Découvrir
Boulevard Carl-Vogt 2. 1205 Geneva
Tel. 022 732 75 40
Reception open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9h-12h / 14h-17h30.

Check Découvrir's page on Facebook and LinkedIn.