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Finding work on France


Anna France
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Morning all,

I'm a journalist with Living France magazine and am in the process of writing a feature on finding a job in France. I'm looking for some personal experiences to include in the article. Any input would be greatly apprecited. Did you find it difficult? Did you use the ANPE? What tips and advice would you give to people trying to find work?

Many thanks,

Anna

Assistant Editor

Living France

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The ANPE has been replaced by the Pôle Emploi.

In my experience it exists for the benefit of its own employees, who keep their jobs by putting you though box ticking exercises.

Very rarely are there any adverts that are for vacant posts, given the networking that goes on in France for even such simple jobs as working in a supermarket.

This is not everyone's experience. On another thread someone in Burgundy found them helpful.

I got a number of jobs by:

Keeping my options open and not being fixed on one direction.

Being ready to take a few hours work in many different places, and seeing which ones developed.

Not expecting my English qualifications and experience to count for anything.

Having a good grasp of French. I have worked in both languages in France, but always had to write such things as reports, fill in time sheets etc in French

'Putting myself about ' that is to say being seen as someone ready to work and talking with people in cafés, associations, shops etc.

Being prepared to work self-employed and mix this with paid work, even though this drives the authorities mad.

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Anna, as you have might read from my other thread, according to Eurostat there are only some 38,000 British citizens working in France, which is a surprisingly low percentage of the overall number of Brits believed to be living in France. The majority clearly being retirees.

Main reason is undoubtedly the language barrier and perhaps a more nationalistic attitude to recruiting employees in France.
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Link below to interesting article about record number of Brits seeking work abroad. However, France is not one of the favoured destinations, which is headed by Australia, Dubai and Canada.

http://www.international-adviser.com/article/number-of-brits-seeking-work-abroad-hit-2-million-in-q3

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to  me  pole  emploi  is a  joke....I'm  on  it,  and have been asking  them  to  take  a french  course  to  better my  language  skills  is  not  working  out...  oh I  can  pay  my  own  way,  but  they  will  not  sponser  me...its always another excuse  as to why  I  can't  get enrolled..

Don't  count  on  them  to  help  you, you need  to  do  this  yourself....

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I have an English friend here who was a French teacher in the UK (so has the language skills).  She started by making contacts, Maison de la Formation (where she now teaches English) and also used Pole Emploi and other agencies, (but had some similar experiences re "jobs worth" there, until she has a goodly array of teaching jobs, and is now working almost full time in a variety of posts, mostly but not all teaching.  I feed her information, and so she also takes in students for weeks at a time to help them learn English (again through an agency).  She also worked over the summer as a tourist guide (having made the contacts elsewhere), which though it was paid at the minimum, gave her more contacts and even (possibly) some translation work.  She has a variety of private lessons (arranged through an agency), work for the local authority equivalent, etc.  This all within a year of arriving here permanently.

I can only say that NormanH and my friend have done this in similar ways, and that it can be done, with perserverence and some good luck.

Look at your strengths, what is wanted (ie here we are talking English lessons)  and what you can offer and find people who can help you supply that want to those who want it.

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Exactly Judith.

At one point I was working 16 hours a week for the Region, 4 weeks out of 6, filling in with some supply teaching in the weeks off and at the same time I had a year's contract for evening classes, plus private lessons on Saturdays and Wednesday afternoons.

On the translation side I offered several restaurants a free translation of there menu, and got a number of good contacts doing more interesting work in return

What is rare is to get 'A JOB"  but you can pick up lots of work.

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[quote user="NormanH"]

What is rare is to get 'A JOB"  but you can pick up lots of work.

[/quote]

Is this not the new kind of "portfolio" career that has been talked about for some time.

Having said all that, I am still very grateful that I no longer need to work, (and at the moment I wouldn't have the time!!!) but it is always useful to  keep this type of approach in mind, if, for example, you want to do some voluntary work or make contacts for some activity you are interested in.   

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Self-employed and struggling. I get regular updates from my lovely elderly neighbour about her daughter who is about the same age as me, has similar skills and experience, was born here and lived in the town all her life, and has been out of work for nearly 2 years now. Daughter is single, used to have a good job and her own flat but has recently had to come back to live with mum. It's not just Brits who come away from the pole d'emploi empty-handed, if there are no jobs what can they do. Daughter gets depressed sometimes, mum is worried sick, yes I'd love a nice steady job for myself but if one ever comes up I hope she gets it.
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Well, Anna. I doubt that many of these replies are what you hoped for.

Will it mean that your proposed article will be spiked? Or will you write something challenging the commonly presented picture (in Living France, anyway) of France being crotch-deep in pixie dust?

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I have had occasion to use the Job Centre in the Uk in the past and they offered me far less help than the ANPE I can assure you.

However, I am a firm believer that there is always work if you want to work, I have lived in several countries and never been out of work - if I didn't want to be. Nobody in this world is going to give you a job, you have to work damn hard to find one and you have to believe in yourself. It is so easy to find a reason why, no one has given you a job, not so easy to truly put yourself out finding one.

I have been a sales manager in finance, an overseas service manager for Virgin Holidays and a hotel manager. However, I have also been a chambermaid, a pot washer, a bus driver and given leaflets out in the street.

A job is a job and if you are not happy with the job you have, then go get another one. Once you have a job, any job, it is easier to find a better one and if you don't have the language skills, then go get them.

If you are talking about a career, it is slightly different but for a career, we all make sacrifices, may be one of these would be to live in a different country. The people I feel sorry for are those who for health reasons can not find work, or due to age wont be considered or are genuinely not able enough to do a job, mentally. But for the rest of you -

The only job I really felt I couldn't do was inspecting rubber components in a rubber manufacturing plant! When I phoned in the second day to say I couldn't do it, the supervisor agreed - I would have died of boredom, so I simply went out and found a different job the next day.

I have worked since 1982, so there has always been periods of high unemployment as well as the fact that I grew up in a mining community that is no more, so I do know how hard it really can be.
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For probably about 20 years or so before his retirement in 1981 my father was a nigh shift works manager for a company that made rubber mouldings and rubber to metal bonded bushes, it was a dirty and as you have said, boring and repetitive job, less so for my father as the boss though.

It was however relatively well paid for manual work as it carried the night shift premium, it appealed to the real grafters who did not mind getting their hands dirty to be well rewarded, many of them had second daytime jobs like running a corner shop or market trading.

Throughout the whole time he never had more than 3 white people working for him and even they were Canadians/Australians etc, the English generally didnt like the work and the conditions and werent prepared to make a sacrifice even for short term gain like the immigrants or ex-pats (or should that be colonials?).

The rest of the night shift, some 50 or so were a mixture of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Ugandan Asians,my father sometimes had his work cut out with fighting between the various religions, by far the most loyal and hard working were the Sikhs, they pretty much all were shopkeepers, some still work in the shops with their descendants despite being in their 80's now, I think pretty much all of their kids are now successfull businessman judging by those that I am still in touch with.

That is not to say there werent the opportunists amongst them (I wont say what race or religion) but they were the ones that would be clocking in to more than one factory, working whilst also claiming social security, generally doing their best to avoid work whilst being paid, sleeping on the job, taking the maximum time off sick and calling in the race relations board when disciplined.

We moan at the loss of ,our industries to China but I reckon the current generation would be even less wiling to do these jobs if they were still available in Europe

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[quote user="Anna France"]

Morning all,

I'm a journalist with Living France magazine and am in the process of writing a feature on finding a job in France. I'm looking for some personal experiences to include in the article. Any input would be greatly apprecited. Did you find it difficult? Did you use the ANPE? What tips and advice would you give to people trying to find work?

Many thanks,

Anna

Assistant Editor

Living France

[/quote]

Anna ,  the title of your post reads; 

Finding work on France

what does, working on France, mean .

please also explain the meaning of the "word" apprecited as written in your text.

I await your response and ,

Kind regards,

Leo

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[quote user="LEO"][quote user="Anna France"]

Morning all,

I'm a journalist with Living France magazine and am in the process of writing a feature on finding a job in France. I'm looking for some personal experiences to include in the article. Any input would be greatly apprecited. Did you find it difficult? Did you use the ANPE? What tips and advice would you give to people trying to find work?

Many thanks,

Anna

Assistant Editor

Living France

[/quote]

Anna ,  the title of your post reads; 

Finding work on France

what does, working on France, mean .

please also explain the meaning of the "word" apprecited as written in your text.

I await your response and ,

Kind regards,

Leo

[/quote]

Since when has correct English been demanded of a journalist ?

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Poor wee lass, she'll be thinking you don't like journalists. A final pointer for Anna, if she is still researching, is, she might be wondering why there are so few jobs. If she hasn't already worked this one out she could start by finding out the levels of social contributions (NI) payable by the employer, and also how hard it is to dismiss employees, then she will understand why a lot of businesses are scared off employing someone. Which is why when someone gets a job, even at a supermarket checkout, they don't leave, so even in carp jobs you don't get the same staff turnover as in the UK. My local Mr Bricolage is about the same size as yer average B&Q, does home deliveries, installations and repairs, and has 12 staff in total. The boss comes out and prices up jobs, then goes back and types up the quotes himself, and as often as not he comes out and does the job himself too. I don't know how many people work at a B&Q but I would have thought more than 12.
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Norman, I can assure you it is still the number one qualification as far as I am concerned. Although many other editors look first for English degrees, I know that having one of these counts for far less than a love of the language and high working standards.

Unfortunately the magazine world is full of 'interns' - i.e. work experience students who work for expenses only, or a very low wage. Such people are getting training as journalists, which I hope includes the proper use of English, but in the meantime are working on 'real' articles. I only hope they have a good style sheet to follow, and that their work gets a close look from a good sub-editor before it appears in print. That is the case with all reputable publishers, though there are a few one-woman-and-her-dog outfits where even the editors have a less-than-adequate grasp of English grammar and usage.

I'm not saying this applies in this particular case, of course, and I do count Archant Life as a 'reputable' publisher. Neither is work experience a bad way into the profession; our own daughter-in-law started just like that and stayed with the same publisher ever since, rising to quite an enviable position in a few years before taking maternity leave.

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