01 October 2013

Becoming A Working French Lady - Part 1

I've had quite a few people ask me for tips on finding a job in France and to be frank I'm no expert in this department. There are probably a million different ways to find a job in France, just like there are in any country. Today I'll just be covering a few methods that I'm familiar with.

Let's start out by saying that if you're an American, the system is not set up to make it so that you can work in France easily. If you have any sort of claim to a European nationality, you should take it. It will make your life ten times easier when you move to France.

No long, lost Italian grandparent? Let's look at a few of the job finding options in France that are better suited for the rest of us.

(This post got to be way too long. So I've broken it down into two parts.)



If you don't already have a visa:

Au Pair


This is basically a nanny gig that gets you a visa. It's a great option for unmarried people (and occasionally married people) who love children and want to live abroad. All across France, especially in Paris, there is a huge shortage of childcare for young children, and French people love the idea of a bilingual nanny. I often get nanny job offers without even asking anyone. Think of all those French babies that need squeezing and kissing and loving. Make sure you check out what other nannies with a similar education and knowledge of the French language are getting paid. The more skills you have related to child care/teaching small children English, the more people are willing to pay you.

Student

As a student you're allowed to work a maximum of 964 hours a year. It's not much, but it's a start. Not to mention the fact that France gives tons of student benefits on prices. It's pretty great. Plus, studying here might open other opportunities that you wouldn't have had otherwise. I've also heard quite a few stories about people who were able to find a job here using their connections after grad school.

Work Visa

This one sounds like the perfect plan, but it's actually really complicated. You need to find someone who will hire you before coming over, and have them prove that you are more capable of doing the job than anyone in the entire European union. Usually this type of visa is reserved for specialized Engineers or other highly skilled people. This also costs the company extra money that wouldn't usually have to pay for a French employee, so most just simply aren't interested in the headache that it will produce for them.


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Stay tuned for the much more useful part 2 coming soon!
(i.e. tomorrow if I'm feeling less sick)

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