Trying to Find Work in France

Hi there everybody,
I’m new to France arrived three weeks ago. Staying in temporary accommodation at my brother’s place but can’t stay for ever…he need his space too.

I am seriously looking for a live -in position of work in any area of France.
My brother has been here for 18 yrs and therefore I have come and gone many times…in my time…but now i want to stay.

I have a CV for anybody interested maybe to view, but I’m highly experienced in garden / landscape / fruit farm / green keeping / and labouring…
(and nearly completed my degree in Digital Art and Technology so I have knowledge of web design, games development, mobile app development).

My french language in the past has been better but that’s just down to using it (use it or lose it) I tend to try to use it…

So anybody slightly interested please have a read…More seriously interested…drop me a line
Any advice will always be appreciated

Many thanks for taking the time

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Hello Roger

Hope this gets results, good luck with your plans.

Not sure how much brass tacks research you’ve done so far, but a quick heads up on a couple of important points, because if your plan is to establish yourself here for the long term you need to be clear what your status is in France. In view of Brexit, it’s very important to make sure you cross the t’s and dot the i’s, because post Brexit you’ll probably need to show a papertrail proving you’ve been exercising your EU rights correctly, in order to be granted residency. If you’re intending to exercise your rights as an EU worker, you’ll need an employment contract; working in exchange for accommodation won’t help you. If you’ll be self-employed then you need a registered business structure. Either way you need to be paying social security contributions in France, which will then give you access to healthcare and other social benefits. In view of your proposed activities, then you also need to be aware that social security arrangements for people who work on the land comes under an organisation called MSA, which doesn’t have quite the same rules as the other healthcare caisses, so that would need looking into carefully. You have plenty of time to get organised and probably you’re already aware of what papertrail you need to establish, but I just flagged it up because not everybody is.

Bon courage :slight_smile:

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Hello Anna,
Many thanks indeed for your head up…its something
you rightly say I have to do.I’m presently trying to find a job that comes with accommodation so that
I have a permanent address to register myself etc. I have been through
the french social security system before back in 2010…just ran out of
work prior to securing my benefits i think then it was 455 hours.
I also believe that things have changed and that I can at some point
register as a micro business…but again I need a job and a place to
live first.
Have you any advice on when or if i do secure live - in /work position
as regards contracts… in fact contracts in general and the steps i
should be taking first?
Am I doing the right things doing what I am doing? or is there better
ways round this?
As my brother of 18 yrs inhabitance here has never been forthcoming with
advice for me.
Look forward to hearing from you

Best regards


register at a micro business get your siret and insurances sorted and start advertising garden landscaping skills. soon be the time people are going to be looking. There are very few live in with pay jobs in france its not something that’s really done its normally lodgings for board bed and food which wont get your far.

The problem i see if you need work to get a place and without a place you cannot settle. Starting in a new country (even one your returning to) without any saving to fall back on is extremely difficult, I arrived here with a bit of savings and my medical money and even I found it very difficult, had my wife not got work almost instantly we would have struggled even more.

Main point is though you have to establish your roots, maybe at your brothers for now and expand from there once you have work (it seems the best option) and you can register at this address to start.

work will come in as you advertise, all depends on your level of french on how much work from the french you will get, again for work from the english speakers it will come slowly but as you establish a reputation for yourself work will begin to flow.

I took over a business that when I took over allot of the old clients left and it left me with little in the way of work to begin with. As my name began to get passed around I built up a good client base with many of the old clients coming back. It always will be a astruggle at first and even after yur established work will dry up for certain parts of the year so you have to ensure you get saving ready for those months and live frugally .

Its very difficult to give guidance if you yourself are not sure what work as a self employed person you are looking to do. What i can say is many people as a start up[ will happily give you a chance to prove yourself when you advertise on your region and from there if the work is good they will begin to recommend you when people ask on groups for your trade type. Im now recommended very often on groups that are over 100km from me and people bring dogs to stay with me on 3 hour round trips and longer. (even have one that does a 5 hour round trip one to drop off the ther to pick up.)

Hope you manage to get settled and look forward to hearing how you progress.

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Can’t offer any advice I’m afraid except to say, find out the correct procedures from official sources, such as the government website / URSSAF website / EU website / MSA website if you’re looking at agricultural work, and then plan around that.

The French system as regards healthcare was revised at the beginning of 2016 to make it more inclusive and flexible. As far as EU ressortissants are concerned it seems designed to be totally in line with EU directives on freedom of movement. Everyone who ticks the right boxes should slide into the system no problem, but anyone who doesn’t tick the right boxes, won’t. So you need to think it through logically so you know which of the various different routes you intend to take, ie what your status will be, because the boxes you need to tick depend entirely on your status in France. For instance you say

What exactly do you mean by “register myself etc” - register as what, and for what? If you mean, register for healthcare as an inactif, you’ll need to show sufficient pension/investment income coming into your account each month to make you self sufficient. I think they look for around 900€ a month. Perhaps you can tick that box but the fact that you are looking for work, suggests maybe not.

On the other hand, if you manage to get an employment contract then you are not required to tick the 3 months residence box, because workers enter the social security system automatically the day they start work and their employer registers them with URSSAF as an employee.

What I’m saying is, be very clear about the process, and not “clear” in the Theresa May sense. As far as CPAM is concerned the rules are very clear: an EU ressortissant is a pensioner in which case they need an S1, or an inactive in which case they need proof of income and proof of 3 months residence, or an employee in which case there will be a signed employment contract and the employer will have registered him/her with URSSAF. Or if they fit into none of those categories then they’re a visitor and not entitled to healthcare in France.

Land based activities didn’t used to be permitted under the micro entreprise scheme. There is now a new scheme for them called Micro BA but it is not quite as simple as other micros.

The other way to do gardening is as a general handyman offering property maintenance, but you are limited in how much gardening you can do, basically just the odd bit of trimming, weeding and tidying. Of course people do bend the rules but as always, if you do that there is a risk.

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The other thing with live in work is the cotisations, the paperwork takes 4 months plus to complete and the people you work for have to pay on a sliding scale its why there is little live in work.

Its why you cannot use workaways in your employment such as building work cleaning rooms in gites etc as its classed as fraud if you dont declare it and each time a person changes you have to resubmit the paperwork with their birth certificate passport etc. (each time its a 4 month plus wait too) and the payments the employer has to make can be the equivalent of a full pay too.

its very complex in france.

This is what was sent to me:

If they are helping you on the business then it’s seen as disguised employement and although no money is given to them, you are 'paying ’ them in food and accommodation and if you are not declaring them and paying cotisations, it is seen as working on the black.

have to declare any volunteers working on a farm to the MSA and pay cotisations accordingly - there is a sliding scale of how much you have to pay for them. It also takes about 4 months to fill in the dossier of all the relevant paperwork the volunteer has to supply - birth certs, passports etc if they are eu nationals they have the right to work here, but outside of that they should be travelling on a working visa

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that’s the one i knew it was micro something.

Yep. Again lots of Brits do it. It’s tempting to sidestep the rules and it seems easy enough at the time, but staying here below the radar inevitably keeps you outside the system. Up to now it’s been a way of staying in France with somewhere to live and pocket money to live on, because as an EU citizen you don’t need a carte de séjour and nobody bothers about you, but post Brexit, explaining to the authorities that you have been here, honest I have guv, unfortunately you don’t have any paperwork to prove it because you’ve been working on the black and had no healthcare - well it’s not going to get you a carte de séjour.

not just brits here the french employ them too. local gite here just got in trouble for it, they had 2 workaways at the time. When asked they were honest and said they had been using workaways for over a year but were not aware of the payments they would have to make, alas they dont take that as an excuse. luckily for their honesty they just have to back date the workaways and pay the dues but it could have gone a different way entirely, (then again they are a french couple)

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Hello Roger

Attached below is a link for recruitment at Estivel, they rent out holiday villas. I have worked for them for the last 6 summer seasons at their Mazamet site. They are recruiting for someone to look after the gardens, swimming pools and house maintenance. It’s only for the holiday season but may be worth a look. There is a flat available above the reception area which is tiny, just one room with a kitchen area and a bathroom but it would give you the address you need. The job is for about 7 months. Hope this helps.

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Hi Mandy,

Firstly many thanks for your help but
Would you be able to help with my application as my french is not that good and the website doesn’t convert to English.

Regards Roger

Hello Roger

Do you have a CV in French? If so then you just need to email that to the email address given on the site ( together with a covering letter which states why you want the job. I can let you have a copy of the letter I wrote to them if you want, although our circumstances will be very different of course. It will, though, give you an idea of what to say.

Hi Mandy
I’m currently working at tidying up my CV as its missing a few things but I don’t have it translated into french.

Are you good at french?

I could run it through Google translate, as for the covering letter i could do exactly the same. What do you think and either way would you look it all over before i send it?


Roger, I’ve sent you a private message.

That is a very big ask, Roger, and it would be extraordinarily kind of Mandy if she were to take it on. Definitely worth an equally big box of chocolates at the very least, I would say :wink:

As regards format, all the French CVs I have ever seen (one of my clients is a French CV agency based in Paris, for whom I translate CVs into English - but I don’t translate in the other direction) have been on 1 page, with a photo top left corner. Google translate for a CV? not a great idea IMHO.


Here are some examples and templates to get you off the ground

Thank you Paul
Very helpful indeed.

all web pages when you right click on the page should have the option to translate into english. I just clicked the link and it does translate.

Hello Roger,

I am a little late to the party but here goes …

If you have IT skills I would encourage you to put them to use. At least where I live (Nice area), you would find more competition for the live-in and gardening positions than you would for IT.

Here’s my experience: I finally received my residency in November and that gave me the right to work in France (I am a Mexican citizen). That same day I uploaded my CV to employment websites. That was on a Friday and by the following Monday I had interviews with at least 10 companies. Within two weeks, I had several offers. (By the way, my French is at a beginner level but English is the language spoken at all the places I interviewed.)

I opted to go freelance so now the challenge was to meet all the legal requirements like getting a social security number before my start date. In the end, with the start date just around the corner, I opted to work under an umbrella company or “portage salarial”. They took care of all my legal paperwork (they also mentioned they can help me get the right to work in the rest of Europe which is something I am considering - EU Blue Card). Now that I am working, they take care of billing the client, paying my taxes, health insurance and other legal obligations and then they pay me. I don’t make as much as I would if I billed directly since they get their cut but, for now, it has worked out for me. Plus, I am not worried about not meeting my legal obligations in a system I am not familiar with.

As I mentioned before, I live in Nice and there is plenty of IT work in the area. But, there is IT work all over France (especially in and around Paris).