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Old Nov 18th 2008, 5:47 am   #1
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Default Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Hi all,

I am wondering how difficult it would be to find a job in Paris with only the bare minimal of French? Is there any decent job sites for someone in my predicament?

I am learning French at the moment but feel only complete immersion will ever get me speaking fluently.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Merci
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 6:30 am   #2
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Hi Katrinab,
I don't mean to sound harsh, but your chances are virtually slim to none. You might possibly be able to get a job as a cleaner with the minimal of French, or to work in an expat English/Scotish/Irish pub but then you'd have to live on extremely low earnings and Paris is not the cheapest of places.
There are one or two English companies in Paris, but those again would need spoken French beyond the minimum.
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 7:44 am   #3
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

[QUOTE=G-J-B;6984185]Hi Katrinab,
I don't mean to sound harsh, but your chances are virtually slim to none. QUOTE]

You have little faith or maybe I have too much hope! I don't plan to move till next year and I hoping that my french would have vastly improved by then, we all have to start somewhere I guess.
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 8:14 am   #4
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Please don't let me dash your hopes or aspirations - if you want something badly enough there's always a means! I just urge a sense of caution, because if you came here without securing work beforehand Paris is an ugly and cold place to be if you're struggling. When things are going well, it's an extremely beautiful city.
A year can pass extremely quickly; if you practice and study hard you may have enough to get by. I took GCSE French 15 odd years ago, and had a year's worth of French private tuition, but it's still a real challenge.
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 8:47 am   #5
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katrinab View Post
Hi all,

I am wondering how difficult it would be to find a job in Paris with only the bare minimal of French? Is there any decent job sites for someone in my predicament?

I am learning French at the moment but feel only complete immersion will ever get me speaking fluently.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Merci


Hi there, welcome to the French forum.
You don't say what kind of work you are looking for?
That might help.
If you are working for a large company at the moment, would there be a chance of a transfer?
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 9:07 am   #6
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

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Hi there, welcome to the French forum.
You don't say what kind of work you are looking for?
That might help.
If you are working for a large company at the moment, would there be a chance of a transfer?
I was trying for a general survey approach!

I am currently working in sales and marketing for a small company based in the Middle East. Unfortunately they are only based in one location so there is no chance of a transfer. I am only trying to establish the feasibility of moving and have seen how useful this site has been.

I am open to all suggestions and negatives for moving!
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 10:35 am   #7
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Is there any means in which you could secure your own self-employment? Perhaps you have contacts out in the Middle East you could supply in some capacity? It's not the easiest of roads, but it's something you could start proactively doing now perhaps?
Despite Paris being the capital, competition is still fierce here. There are a lot of immigrants of every nationality competing with native French, and I've known people who have lost jobs and been out of work for a year or more, and this was before the recession took hold. The primary problem with securing work is that employers must make big state contributions, so less are willing to employ. If you can get a job as a civil servant you'll be set for life!
I don't know what your skillsets are, but you can check out English speaking jobs in Paris here: http://www.jobsinparis.fr/
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 3:21 pm   #8
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

I work in an entirely English speaking head office department of a multi-national based in Paris but I was transferred here from the UK division of the company (and I had virtually no French ability when I arrived). Having said that, there are English and Americans here who got their jobs here in Paris despite not speaking any French and despite not transferring internally. But, and this is a big one, they are extremely highly qualified and experienced actuaries and lawyers with very specialist knowledge. My wife does not have the same sort of specialism and actually has a marketing background. She has a very strong CV having worked for multi-natonals in Prague, Sydney, Zurich and London but she has very limited French and we have given up the idea of her eventually working here in Paris. Good luck anyway. Maybe having your own company as someone suggested might work.
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Old Dec 2nd 2008, 11:41 am   #9
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Hi there,
I have just read your question about work in Paris and after reading some of the negative answers, I thought I would give you a bit of light at the end of the tunnel! There is a website www.fusac.fr with job ads(small ads and big ads section) for anglophones in Paris. This site is updated every day and even with basic French, I'm sure you will find something. There are slightly more than "one or two" UK companies in Paris and they advertise regularly on this site.
Hope this helps!
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Old Dec 2nd 2008, 4:30 pm   #10
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

I may not be in Paris but I managed to get work just by sheer bloody mindedness and persistance. I had the experience they needed and it worked ok for both the company that employ me as a multi drop driver and myself who is picking up French, slowly mind you, as he goes. It ain't easy though so if you go for it please have both eyes wide open.
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Old Dec 3rd 2008, 8:32 am   #11
 
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

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Originally Posted by Neim78 View Post
Hi there,
I have just read your question about work in Paris and after reading some of the negative answers, I thought I would give you a bit of light at the end of the tunnel! There is a website www.fusac.fr with job ads(small ads and big ads section) for anglophones in Paris. This site is updated every day and even with basic French, I'm sure you will find something. There are slightly more than "one or two" UK companies in Paris and they advertise regularly on this site.
Hope this helps!
Usually, the negative answers are borne out of experience. It's still an experience, even though it may differ from your own. If there's light at the end of the tunnel, then that's usually represented here too. Again, if anyone wants answers here (or anywhere else) they need to be a bit more specific about the kind of employment they seek, for example. That's a great link, thanks for sharing it.
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Old Dec 3rd 2008, 8:44 am   #12
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Nobody's here to be negative; I'd love for everyone to fulfil their dreams and live and do as they please as long as it doesn't harm others. It was just a realist response, because whilst it may be possible to come over and find something at the drop of a hat, realistically it's a lot harder than most imagine it might be. I can't think of a worst position to be in, moving to a foreign city with expenses left, right and centre, and not being able to find full-time employment that can cover the cost of living.
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Old Dec 3rd 2008, 8:48 am   #13
 
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

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Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
Nobody's here to be negative; I'd love for everyone to fulfil their dreams and live and do as they please as long as it doesn't harm others. It was just a realist response, because whilst it may be possible to come over and find something at the drop of a hat, realistically it's a lot harder than most imagine it might be. I can't think of a worst position to be in, moving to a foreign city with expenses left, right and centre, and not being able to find full-time employment that can cover the cost of living.
Too true Gav!
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Old Dec 3rd 2008, 12:14 pm   #14
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Hello,
You could get a job teaching english.To be prepared before you come go on-line and sign up to a ESL teaching dipolma TEFEL.It takes as long as you want it to.I had a friend who did it in a month.It costs about 300 euros.With this you will be spoilt for choice for teaching jobs,there are hundreds of second language schools in Paris crying out for english mother tongue teachers.

Some schools and Chambres de commerce would even consider training you and give you the opportunity to take on your first lesson without any formal qualifications.I know many British people who have walked into jobs like this unqualified and are still here years later, earning a decent living from teaching in several different schools at the same time.
I would suggest you get your Tefel first.It is internationally recognised and you can use it all over the world.Nice to have under your belt if your original job dries up.

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Old Dec 5th 2008, 4:09 am   #15
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Default Re: Jobs in Paris for non french speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katrinab View Post
Hi all,

I am wondering how difficult it would be to find a job in Paris with only the bare minimal of French? Is there any decent job sites for someone in my predicament?

I am learning French at the moment but feel only complete immersion will ever get me speaking fluently.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Merci
G-J-B's posts may seem negative but are bang-on and realistic. Paris is indeed a tough city, foreigners are not exactly welcome with open arms, and rents are exceedingly high with substantial guarantees required up front. When my daughter found the flat she wanted there, and she was in full-time employment with a good salary, her father still had to guarantee a year's rental with bank guarantees to prove his solvency (and both daughter and father are French). Putting aside the difficulty of finding a job, compounded by the current financial climate, without being able to speak French you will feel very isolated. Many French people do speak English but there is a resentment to be forced to do so. I really am sorry not to be more positive and wish you the very best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
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