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Paris - Employment
If you're a non-European seeking employment in Paris, then plan before you leave. It is exceedingly difficult to obtain a work VISA that will allow you to work anywhere in France. However, if you have a sponsoring company that can accept you into its organization, then the government will allow you to obtain a temporary work VISA, which you can then renew after a period of time.
However, many individuals that cannot obtain a VISA will choose to move to Paris and hope to find work once already there. Again, networking will be essential to your search and eventual placement.
Many expatriates work as au pairs, tutors and waitresses. If you flip through your copy of FUSAC, you will see that there are ample opportunities available for qualified and interested individuals. Again, make sure that you call promptly and make arrangements to meet the employer for an interview right away. He who moves first gets the job.
Many English-speaking expatriates network by attending a class at WICE, an organization that offers classes to adults for continuing education. WICE is a community of expatriates and has an open-door policy with all programs and volunteer positions. Many long-term expatriates in Paris sign up for membership in the organization. Membership includes a course catalog of events, invitations to special art openings and connectivity in the expatriate community. You can also visit WICE, which is located in the 15th arrondissement, for some consultation with long-time Paris residents or to look over the bulletin board for job positions in the region.
If you are a European that has relocated to Paris, then you will likely not run into governmental obstacles to obtain a job. As in any other city, jobs can be scarce and networking is the most essential tool to use when seeking professional placement. Many people opt to network at parties and other outings, spreading the word about their job search to anyone that might be able to provide assistance.
Make sure that your resume is current and that you have a solid list of references. If you speak multiple languages, provide proof and list accomplishments. You can always apply to temporary job placement agencies to make an income until you land a salaried position. Many times, employees from temporary agencies will be hired full-time.
If you're seeking employment in Paris, here are a few things to be aware of:
- There is a mandatory 35-hour a week workweek.
- You will likely be required to be proficient in more than one language.
- Study business culture in advance. It is common, for example, to frequently shake hands upon greeting a co-worker everyday.
- Never talk politics at work or criticize the French government. It is acceptable for a French person to criticize the government, but never a foreigner.
- It is common to share a bottle of wine or pint of beer with your co-workers after work. Unlike many other countries, few people will look twice if you have one glass too many, but people will think it odd if you do not engage in drinking at all.
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