Employment in France

Expats wanting to move to France to find employment will have many opportunities available to them as the country claims to be the third largest economy in the Euro zone. But finding a job may prove difficult because of the language barrier so it is recommended to secure work in large organisation before moving to the country.

Finding a Job

There are many ways that expats will be able to look for jobs. These include:

  • Advertisements in local media
  • Recruitment companies
  • Online

EU, EEA or Swiss nationals are able to use an online portal called EURES – European Job Mobility Portal which will allow them to upload a CV and have potential employers find them after entering preferences.

Some job requirements may want you to be able to speak French at a good standard, if your French language is not great you could consider teaching English.

Majority of the job opportunities in France are in the less popular destinations, therefore you should make a consecutive decision when deciding on where to live as some areas such as Paris or the South of France may be difficult to find jobs.

Many people come to France after securing a job with a company but other expats may able to find work through networking or get transferred from a company in their home country.  Keep in mind your education will be given priority over your experience and international graduates will be given great opportunities to apply in the larger multinational companies. The main industries in France are hospitality, aerospace, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, construction and much more.

Facts about working in France:

  • Business hours: Working hours in France vary with some companies opening and closing between 8.30am-7pm. There is a 35 hour working week but some companies allow you to be flexible. Expats may find that some businesses are open from 10am-4pm
  • Business language: The main language spoken is French
  • Dress Code: The dress code for where you work can depend on the job location. You will be required to dress formal, stylish and smart
  • Greeting: A handshake is the usual greeting in business; some colleagues will kiss on the cheek to greet others

Opening your own business

Expats moving to France to open up their own business will find that it is relatively a standard process compared to other countries. To open your own business EU citizens are permitted to live and work in France freely, however expats from other countries will need a permit.

You may find that competition is quite fierce in the French market so expats must ensure their business plan is good, and to research which businesses already exist in the area you are looking at.

Expats will then be required to obtain advice from a lawyer to find out what the business laws are in the country.

Majority of people prefer to be self employed so that they have full ownership and control over the business. All businesses should also have a legal structure and should be registered as an individual or corporation.

You must ensure that you get the right assistance and advice before opening your own business in another country. Your business will need to be registered with the CFE and these offices can be found in major cities and towns. The application must go through them and they will be able to provide you with guidance.