Why is it so hard to find a job in France?

Yet again my OH has failed to get through the 'business language' part of his interview because his level of french is just not good enough! He has worked all over europe with only english as his only language, so why is it SO difficult to get a job here?

Serieusement?? As my daughter would say!! That would be fab Hayley, though my OH doesn't know that I have been whinging away about our situation (yet) but wouldn't do any harm to talk to a few people in the know...thanks...xx

It always sound so much nicer to argue in French ;-)

great replies and always nice to share these experiences, especially as a linguist! As I mentioned before but not in this thread, we'll be adding Occitan into the mix from September onwards, got MIL and FIL to speak to the kids in occitan which was a laugh! oh and just to complicate things, although not quite to the same linguistical lengths as Brian, I'll often use Italian when I blow my top - that way I can get the emotions out without anyone understanding the insult and feeling hurt!

Thanks John, nice to speak to someone that has worked in a similar field - hence you understand when 'politics' arise within certain corporations - but yes he is on Linkedin and most agencies will ask him to provide a targeted CV to match the requirements for the position. If we as a family want to stay in France, we need to give this one more concerted effort - I appreciate all the good advice!!!

They're just out to outwit us, as we probably all tried to do in our turn.

Mine's just mixed up - talks to me in English, has started speaking the odd little word in French to his friends and whines in Maltese. He's more intelligent than his mother.

And that too.

Same here. They also whine in French.

My children talk to each other in English amicably but argue in French, now figure that one out. As parents we have given up.

Interesting Suzanne, ours is the same situation - I speak English most of the time to my kids, 5 and 3, who were born here (France) but OH is French and we always talk in French so we have the same situation as you - our kids understand English but always reply in French. BUT, we're going to the UK in a couple of weeks (only go once every couple of years) so things will at last make sense to them when they see their cousins and have to try to speak English to communicate, on espère que ça va être le déclic !

Can't speak more highly for good old freeview. Only problem is that I fall asleep watching BBC4 - however when I wake up a few hours later I catch the same programme. Think we have resolved that issue having got a skyplus freeview box which allows you record (we were very out of touch with technology). Sad though - even though we still find french tv impossible to sit through - whether it is the length of the all evening shows or the irritating voices on the documentaries ... I understand why there is no corresponding surge on the french electricity grid during the commercials as there is in the UK at peak viewing times. Perhaps we should be grateful for that here!

I worked as sysprog in Grenoble many years ago Sharon and I had a touch of the old SDLC myself :-) At that stage I think the HP site was manufacturing only. They may well have moved that offshore now but regardless I would suggest that your husband's best bet is with the local professional services side of the majors and not with the internal delivery teams. Headcount is managed very strictly in US global companies and the direction is to use low cost offshore skills whenever possible. In order to get a local hiring ticket it needs to be shown that there is associated incremental revenue and/or a need to interact on-site with local clients. Probably somewhere buried within IBM Global Services, HP Services, Accenture, Cisco etc. there's a manager dying to sign a contract with one of his with clients that's crying out for your husbands skills. I'd suggest emailing the major's recruitment teams and asking what Networking skills are in demand and also what networking services their companies offer and if they have a contact point running that side of the business. Linkedin is probably the best entry point to the recruitment teams. Otherwise the companies websites will detail the services they offer and a good look at those will identify areas to pursue and make for a more targeted CV that should catch the attention better than a generic one.

Hi Suzanne, Thanks for your suggestions. My partner is French, bilingual and highly qualified and experienced in UK and France but is having a tough time finding work here in Brittany. When she completely revamped her CV it made a huge difference to the response rate from applications. Can you tell me the software you used to send out to a massive number of businesses please? We have been told that applications should be specific to the company you are applying to or did you find that mass-mailings worked for you.

mailings worked fro you?

Newbury has been 'refurbed' even with a House of Fraser..I know Longparish worked for social services in North Hants for years...lovely area..

LOL! My sister lives in Newbury and we would spend hours in bloody Camp Hobson!!! I'm not a shopper but she is - but I must admit its fab - sooo reminds me of 'are you being served' but as you describe it, sounds like it's been modernised now. Yes, love Newbury very pretty by the canal and I love going back to visit family there. We had a cottage in Longparish, Hants before we sold up to move here!

You'd always be welcome to 'pop-in' Hayley if you were down this way, though we are a good 25mins from Carcassonne airport! If you like teenagers this is the place to come, I'm inundated with them at the moment (my 18/16 yr olds - 15yr old french student + a varying number of friends arriving/leaving on mopeds) OH BLISS - summer is here, mdr!!!

Thanks Nick, that's so kind!

John, it's true to say his skills are very geeky too many bits of his CV I don't understand - SDLC projects/3G CS/PS etc. etc. his last tech job was for Telfort/KPN in Amsterdam/Hague and he was a Telecom Migration BA/Technical PM - they have offered him more work, but for the moment he is teaching Business/Computer studies in UK! His CV is on a few sites and from time to time french based companies will contact him about work - he had an interview in Grenoble for HP - and it was full-on until it went pear-shaped....

et moi :)

second that, John ;-)