Finding work in France

How do you go about earning a living in France or simply finding some extra cash?

Image

Owning your own home in France takes a lot of forethought and planning – deciding how to fund your new lifestyle takes even more. It is possible to find work in France, but you may have to jump through a few hoops to get what you want; then again, hoops are there to be jumped through! If you do your homework, think about what you really want to do, what you are good at, and, most importantly, what is feasible, you should be able to find something. Plenty of expats either earn a living in France or work part time to subsidise their income, so there is no reason why you cannot do it too.

Be prepared for the paperwork – and to learn French

To set up your own business in France, you will have to be prepared for a lot of paperwork, but your local Mairie should be able to help you with that. Next, you need to learn some French. There are ways of earning a living with little command of the French language, but getting yourself to a reasonable speaking standard at least will be extremely handy and may be crucial to finding the sort of work that you are looking for. For example, helping out in an estate agent’s or shop may be a possibility, and being English may even be an advantage if you are looking in a tourist area – but you will still need some knowledge of French.

Qualifications in France

You may be thinking of trying to find a similar job to the one you did in the UK, but bear in mind that you are still likely to have to qualify to work in France. The French do not accept English teaching qualifications, for example, to teach in French State schools – the same applies to other careers, such as architects, or dentists, for example.

Skilled craftsmen, such as builders, stonemasons, plumbers, decorators etc., can often find work in rural France.

Skilled trades

Skilled craftsmen, such as builders, stonemasons, plumbers, decorators etc., can often find work in rural France. Remember that most British people buy properties which need some sort of renovation, so there will always be work out there if you have such skills. British expats often like to deal with their fellow English speakers, and there is a huge market of expats all over France. 

Running a B&B or holiday home

Running your own business such as a chambres d’hotes or gites is a choice many Brits have made. If your house is large and you have some spare bedrooms, this can be an excellent way of making some money. To set up a chambres d’hotes, one must register with the local Mairie, providing as much information as possible including number of rooms, guests and operational periods. Since August 2007 all chambres d’hotes are limited to having a maximum of five bedrooms and 15 people staying at one time. The Mairie will then pass this on to the local prefecture who will process it and then once approved, will add the chambres d’hotes to its list in the commune. The Mairie should also be able to provide advice on standard charges and how one can advertise locally. A gite is a self-catering holiday home and must be separate from your own home. Chambres d’hotes are popular in France and require a reasonable level of commitment, providing breakfast, keeping the house clean and tidy with fresh linen and towels but once this is done, it can be a great way of using your property to its potential as well as earning you an income.

To set up your own business in France, you will have to be prepared for a lot of paperwork, but your local Mairie should be able to help.

Another simpler idea is to offer your services to people who run their own gites and need help with cleaning and changeovers: a nice little earner and plenty of work around across the country,

Teaching English as a foreign language or translation services

Teaching English or providing translation services are other real possibilities for working in France as an expat. There are plenty of internationally recognised courses such as TEFL http://www.teachenglish.co.uk/ and CELTA  http://www.oxfordhousecollege.co.uk/. If you are simply after a few extra cents in your pocket, think about offering your services locally for perhaps helping children with their English learning, household services such as cleaning or gardening or baby or dog sitting. You are free to advertise in local shops/bars and at your Mairie, and this type of work is something you will be able to fit around your life as you choose: the number of hours you do will be up to you.

Get networking

Finally, when you get to France, make use of all the contacts you will gradually make. There is nothing to stop you putting an advertisement in your local paper offering your services. Take advice from anyone you know who has sought and found work in France before you and remember to embrace the French way; you are then far more likely to find exactly what you are looking for


Further reading for Living In France

Image

Finding work in France

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in France.
Read more...

Image

Education in France

Are you emigrating to France with school-age children?

Read more...

Image

Social life in France

The best way to get settled in France is to find out as much as you can about your new community.
Read more...

Image

Healthcare

The French healthcare system is one of the best in the world...

Read more...