On average, when I taught at Angers Pharmaceutical school, I was paid 4-6 months later. Good job I didn’t depend on that to pay for my monthly outgoings. OH got paid 2-3 months after having taught at the agricultural / vet school. Hopefully some are slightly better than that.
Having read your posts over the last few months (I moved to France in December for the WARP residency), it strikes me that you really seem to enjoy helping people and also have a lot of practical knowledge that you impart to people. I think that this might be an option - set up your own company and provide consultancy - and yes, there are already 1 or 2 similar ventures that I have seen adverts of, but, it’s also about your own personal network and how to make use of it. I think it’s important to identify your strengths, what you will offer, and your target audience.
Its not easy and it does take time to build into a viable venture (It took me about 3 years, but lasted me for 25 and allowed me to retire early).
Just a thought or two.
Happy to provide further thoughts
In that case, I would do your utter dammdest to get a job with a tourist board. They are always desperate for the staff to speak English / be able to translate stuff etc and having done loads of formations teaching said staff English for various different tourist boards, I can confirm that the workload is not exactly arduous. Plus it can often be quite enjoyable - mapping out guided walks though vineyards etc - less sitting behind a desk than most jobs, plus regular salary, sick pay, holiday pay etc etc. I would go the pôle emploi and make them find you a job in the sector.
Tourism’s not in great shape at the moment, but in addition to the sound advice above about that sector, I’d suggest starting a living in and visiting France blog aimed at overseas potential visitors/dreamers. It won’t prevent you from living on the street, but it can be a platform from which to build and I’m sure it would have a greater sense of ‘authenticity’ than most of the French blogs in English by Americans. I suspect that other anglophones, from outside the US - not just Aussies, but Canadians, Kiwis and the rest are likely to be more receptive to someone who isn’t American.
An aside to any SF US members - not being prejudiced, my mother was from Grand Rapids, MI and I loved her dearly
I agree with Yogesh Mehta.
The help you have given in the CdS field, amongst others, brings to mind a job very common in Spain, helping people, especially new arrivals, negotiate the admin which confronts those people. This skill and experience is worth money. As the visa requirements since 1st Jan are now of a different order to WA terms, the likelyhood of people needing help must be greater.
The freelance job of ‘gestor/gestora’ - much of setting up my life in Spain was negotiated on my behalf by a gestora.
Applying for a health service card [bossing a meeting at Social Services].
Applying for a ES driving licence [going with me for the medical and completing the ‘papeles’].
Applying for permission for a skip outside my building.
Applying for ES residency.
Accompanying me to the Interior Min meeting for ‘CdS’.
Getting me into the queue to register at the Town Hall register as a resident of Valencia City.
Assistance with obtaining Town Planning/Buildings Regs Certificate of Responsibilty prior to refurb of flat.
Researching good deals with utilities, signing me up and ‘supervising’ gas company contract sign-up.
Of course, it does depend on how geographically availble you would be. A lot in FR seems to be done on paper/on line - and then an interminable wait before the result appears by post.
In Spain, the bureacracy is as bad but after the reams of ‘docamenti’ compiled and completed, it’s taken to an office, you wait for hours - maybe they run out of time and tell you to come back tomorrow - but in the end you leave the premises with the actual CV or CdS in your hand.
I couldn’t agree more. As I said elsewhere (https://www.survivefrance.com/t/quick-poll-please-respond/
our arrival here in France was made MUCH easier by the help we had from the couple who had been the gardeners/caretakers for the previous owners. They had been in France for 15 years when we arrived, self-employed, spoke French and really know the ropes. Effectively, they came with the house and we were deeply grateful for what was an unexpected added bonus to the property we bought. Even before we had bought it, they showed us round as they knew it much better than the estate agent.
The wife especially, was there at our side for meetings with the notaire, EDF, phone company, CPAM, etc. etc. We paid for her time of course because if not with us she would have been looking after other people’s gites.
The key with these things is finding someone with up to date, accurate information, which is stating the bleeding’ obvious but actually isn’t necessarily easy I found. The amount of information I had from ‘hand holders’ and the like when I arrived that was either out of date, or just wrong, was shocking. I don’t believe that any of it was necessarily intentional, people trying to increase their pay by doing more work than they needed to, but rather people who were either using what they did when they arrived which had been superseded or were getting their information second, third or even fourth hand from Facebook groups or the like. People who really were treating it as a hobby job to top up their earnings rather than people who took it seriously and for who it was their primary focus.
I had one person offer to reregister my car for 400€ including sourcing and fitting new lights which may well have been good value in itself but 30€ or whatever it was to Mark Rimmer, 60€ odd for the CT and a new pack of beam deflectors and it was done for a quarter of the cost. If you can ensure your information is up to date and accurate and you really know your stuff (like someone like Mark does when it comes to cars) then you really will be worth your weight in gold, and could potentially earn your weight in gold as you earn a reputation for knowing your stuff and become in demand.
I’ve never really understood why none of the big firms who primarily deal with selling brits houses here offer this. It would be so easy for someone like the agents beginning with L who are on U.K. TV shows often selling property in France to either start, or joint venture with a company that does this. “Buy your house from us, then we’ll pass you over to our hand holding company who will help you get life set up in France, for a fee of course.”
Entirely agree. Which is why I feel people are often much better off doing things themselves as if you work it out you then understand the systems.
It’s the difference in being professional - i.e, making sure that you know what you’re doing and treating it as a hobby. Unless you know that you can add value and can charge for it, then don’t do it. That’s why it isn’t easy and you need to build your own brand and values.
That’s fine Jane once one knows what to do. One of the challenges we have found over the years is the reluctance of the French to offer unsolicited advice/information. This means that we have made some pretty naïve mistakes and learnt the hard way. Now we know what questions to ask a builder, the next house we restore will have fewer errors! First time round, not so much. And in those early months our French just wasn’t up to it. Even if we knew what to ask the chances were we wouldn’t understand the answer! Accents in SW France are pretty strong.
Yes - this suggestion of Yogesh, Christopher, Sue and Kirstea could well be viable, and as enterprise-start-ups go could be tested - trial trading - with little risk - I wonder if it could be done through Coopaname…
Geography could be a problem - new arrivals are everywhere in France, and there might not be enough local to Tory (although reasonably well placed in Perigord I guess) - not necessarily a problem as support could be provided remotely, but that in turn implies lots of desk-based work instead of real face-to-face.
Could also be combined with house-finding - a role distinct from estate agents - a bit like the role of the presenters on those ‘new life in the’ programmes: taking a brief, finding possibilities, writing a shortlist/report, organising viewing trip, helping negotiation, etc.
Good thought Geof. Again, going back to our experience, OH had come and stayed with a friend for a week and looked at a few properties. That brought home to us the sheer distance one might travel if such a trip wasn’t well organised. I found a woman in the UK to whom I gave a brief and she booked me up with estate agents for the five days I was in France. I zig-zagged efficiently down through Dordogne and into Lot et Garonne and saw 5-6 properties a day. It worked really well and by the Friday I’d found the place we eventually bought.
Maybe we are just grumpy types who don’t like relying on others! We spent a while identifying an area first. And then sifted through hundreds of ads, and marked the likeliest sounding ones on a map. And then looked at them on satellite to check locations, and eventually ended up with around a dozen that we came to visit. It was fun considering all the different elements and searching out info on the local towns and so on. Unfortunately our nearest town has gone a bit downhill in the last 12 years, but couldn’t really have predicted that as the next one along is doing ok.
But isn’t that the exciting bit? And sure sometimes we wanted to tear our hair out when CPAM demanded the same documents for the 4th time…but we learnt that one of the most important things is to have a copy of your dossier permanently up to date and to hand. But I guess we were very lucky as the man we bought our house from was a builder, so no issue getting advice. And to this days he still does some “after sales service”!
Well you obviously would not be buying such a service, but, I’m sure the market is there - and it’s a business idea that is being discussed
Isn’t possible to have two lines of discussion? Anyway, in setting up a business idea its also important to look at it from all sides. Thinking about those who might not want your service can help identify the market more precisely. After all, post-Brexit will there be such a steady stream of anglophone incomers?
Yes, those desperate to get out / get away
That is what I do as my bénévolat ‘good action’ to accrue good karma/ lay up treasure in heaven/ just give myself a nice feeling (paid work permitting).
I’d strongly suggest starting a blog - for better or for worse, because without an internet presence, you won’t get noticed. A blog’s only real costs are your time and creativity, but it will raise your profile in the field; also, if you decide to look for work in tourism, it could be a very valuable supplement to your CV.
You could become Tory’s agent for your area. Similar good vibes but passing on paying customers?
If it were me, I’d be learning to drive a truck or maybe a bus. Don’t laugh - it’s a genuine possibility.
Getting office jobs here is difficult without French qualifications. I have a list of UK financial services qualifications as long as your arm, and although I can easily understand French products and processes as a result, my qualifications mean diddly.
Any kind of self employed service business is always going to be hit and miss, with unreliable outcomes, so if you want to be certain of giving the kids holidays etc then you need a salary.
However, round here they are always looking for people to train as bus drivers, either for school runs or just normal services. No experience needed just a permis B. Quite possibly the same elsewhere. The rate of pay is not enormous, but it might do the trick.
There’s more money in trucks, and for both jobs you need a degree of intelligence to deal with the regulations, but you don’t need much in the way of written French.