Is transferring from Zurich to MTV worth it?

Dec 14, 2017 29 Comments

Joining Google Zurich as New Grad soon and my manager was open to me possibly transferring to MTV.

I'm just wondering at what point it might be worth it financially - I'll be able to save tons of cash despite Zurich's high CoL due to Switzerland's low taxes and the higher base salary (compared to other offices).

Should I expect to have a higher earning potential in MTV and therefore make more money in the long run (even when accounting for significantly higher taxes)? If so, at what stage of my career should I make the jump? When my GSUs make up a higher percentage of my total compensation? Or is compensation for MTV always going to be lower than for Zurich?

Don't get me wrong, money isn't everything and I might still consider moving in the future but I figured I'd ask anyways.


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TOP 29 Comments
  • What’s your comp in Zurich?
    Dec 14, 2017 2
  • Google flipmode4
    I'd stay in Zurich. MTV is too boring. There is nothing to do on the weekend or weekday evenings. I used to drive to SF every weekend to meet friends and experience cultural stuff (museums, events, parties, etc.), but that's a lot of commitment too.
    Dec 14, 2017 0
  • Google / Eng ae521
    I have heard MTV has the biggest room for career progression in terms of the levels. But beware, it's extremely expensive to live here! Really small condo type things are well over a million dollars. And if you are single, expect to pay 35+% in taxes.

    MTV is a boring place to live if you are single. The traffic is terrible. TBH, if I were you and I were happy with my team/project and not eager to climb levels as fast as possible, I'd totally stay in Zurich.
    Dec 14, 2017 1
    • Zurich isn't that cheap either (lower taxes though, hence the question whether after-tax compensation in MTV can eventually surpass compensation in Zurich) and I'm a boring person & don't mind living in MTV (lived in the South Bay for a while :))
      Dec 14, 2017
  • Google uelU33
    You will make more money if you stay in Zurich. No capital gains on stocks holding longer than a year +10-15% better base salary and taxes so low you can only dream off in MTV. IMO it's also easier to get promoted in ZRH. But in MTV you have a lot more projects to choose from and in ZRH this is very limited.

    I would stay in Zurich until you're on L5 or 6 and the decide if you want to try out MTV. You'll have much more resources in hand if you do this compared to all your colleagues in MTV (e.g. buying a house if you want to stay). Only if you really think a project here is too good to pass would I go soon. Enjoy life in Switzerland.
    Dec 14, 2017 4
    • Google uelU33
      It's just my subjective experience. The higher you get the more you need visibility and it may be easier in MTV. But before that I would say ZRH is more reasonable in rating what you have done and if you should be promoted for it. In MTV I see a lot more people being stuck at L3 and L4 because of their managers or colleagues not giving good guidance on how to grow (and how to communicate it for promotion).

      One disadvantage I forgot for ZRH is time difference to MTV which means late meetings. Wasn't a problem for me but should be taken into consideration. Some just came in at lunch to work and others just dialed in from home into meetings. At least if you want to get to L5 or higher there's hardly anway around that.
      Dec 15, 2017
    • Thanks for the insights!

      I don't mind working late, I'd rather sleep in
      Dec 15, 2017
  • PayPal owGY88
    Good gravy you should stay in Switzerland and be glad you won the lottery.
    Dec 14, 2017 2
    • Why? I'm not from Switzerland, only been there a few times, no idea if I'll like it more than the Bay Area
      Dec 14, 2017
    • PayPal owGY88
      Obviously to each his own, but Switzerland is the best country in the world in my opinion. Zurich isn’t that great, but it’s a small and wonderful country. It’s often considered to be the best country to be born in.
      Dec 15, 2017
  • Twitter 80bo76
    Zurich no question. Hell even if you had to take a big pay cut it would be worth it. US also looks to just be going downhill by the day...
    Dec 14, 2017 1
    • The grass is always greener on the other side, right? :) without getting too much into politics - the US definitely has its flaws but so do other countries and sometimes you just want to experience something new, you know?
      Dec 14, 2017
  • Apple Bnhjk56
    If it purely money then Bay Area is better hands down even with the higher taxes. You get to work on way more high visibility projects thus getting much better annual rsu refresh. Also have the option of switching to Facebook to further increase comp.
    Zurich is good if you want a mix of good life and decent comp. but financially nothing beats Bay Area
    Dec 14, 2017 0
  • Amazon


    Zurich, two of my friends working there... Heard that it's easy to get promoted in Zurich comparing to MTV
    Dec 14, 2017 0
  • New / Eng Someguy.
    What did you choose OP? Currently living in Zurich or MTV? :)
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Google Teelow
    Zurich... MTV is boring AF
    Dec 14, 2017 0


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