Updated: Sep 26, 2020
The Riviera has been notorious for its difficulties in looking for work - now more so than ever due to the restrictions the Coronavirus has imposed on the amount of work that can be conducted. If you've been applying to many posts and have not heard back from most (not even negative replies), it is unfortunately quite typical, but do not lose heart.
Having lived here now for more than 5 years, I've picked up a few resources and strategies to tackle the job hunt head-on.
We’ve put together a list of resources where you can go about looking for work besides the usual places such as LinkedIn and Indeed.fr (still very good resources to look at, of course).
Here is a list of contracting companies – what this means is that you’d be hired by these companies and sent on “missions” to larger organisations such as Orange, Air France, Amadeus, etc. You will have a permanent contract with the contracting company, not with the company that you are working with (Orange, Air France etc). Most of these contacting companies are constantly looking for technical profiles such as software developers, software testers, product and project managers, business analysts, and Agile coaches.
Ideally, you should have some experience and keep in mind that in France the more papers you have, proving your education path, the better. A caveat that has recently arisen during the COVID pandemic in 2020 - when these larger organisations need to downsize quickly, contract staff are typically the first to be relieved of their missions first. You will still have your permanent contract but without missions, you may find yourself on the unemployment scheme.
We have also previously created a list of English-Speaking Companies that hire executive positions throughout the year.
These refer to jobs outside an office space - we've found that these jobs are generally advertised for free on different Facebook groups and we've made a list below of the most active groups in the area. Mind you, you don't have to passively wait for jobs to be posted but you can also put yourself out there and announce what your services you're providing and see if that attracts a hirer's attention since many members are hirers who joined to post job positions.
Create your own Work
Despite all your efforts to find work, there is still a lot of competition out there. Another option, albeit of course with a lot more risk, would be to set up your own business and find a service to provide.
It is relatively painless to set up a small business in France, also known as a microentreprise. If you're not sure what services you could provide, here are some ideas of work you can kick off on your own:
Sports Instructor (Skiing, yoga, pilates, dance, bootcamp etc)
Property Manager (assist individuals in organising their home rentals - bookings, welcoming guests, cleaning the apartment after each guest leaves etc)
Business or Life Coach
Real Estate Agent
Tutors (language, school subjects, music etc)
Dog or Baby Sitting
Delivery person and/or Driver
Concierge (offer to run or organise different errands for clients)
Pros & Cons of Working for yourself
You'll need some form of French certification or license in order to provide most of the above-mentioned services. However, not all of them will take very long so it might be worthwhile in investing the time to get certified to carry out your activities legitimately.
Working for yourself means that you will not have any paid holidays (but you can charge for all hours that you work). You'll need to consider this carefully especially if you are an expecting parent.
You'll not receive a lot of unemployment benefits if you do not generate a lot of revenue.
If you're not European, this may not help you to acquire a visa to stay in France.
Even as an individual business, you can join a bigger agency to provide your services in order to get some clients to get you started. For example, if you're a real estate agent or a property manager, you can join agencies as a contractor where they may give you work as opposed as you finding your own clients.
If you generate less than a certain threshold for the year, you will not have taxes imposed on you
It seems quite typical for hiring companies to take several weeks to get back to applicants so don't be so quick to write off jobs that you applied for even a month ago. Keep track of all the applications you made, and I find that even recording the job description might be important as the post may have been removed by the time they call you back and you'd not be able to go back and read what the job description was about again.
However, it is also common practice for companies to not respond if they are not interested in your candidature. Be patient and as long as you keep good records about the job post, continue to apply for posts until you receive a positive or negative reply.
Did we miss out on other employment opportunities? If so, please list them in the comments to help others who may need work during these times.