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Getting a Job in France (Finding Work as an American)

Finding a job in France may seem like a difficult task, but there is actually a large number of resources that can make this easier.

Finding a job in France may seem like a difficult task, but there is actually a large number of resources that can make this easier.

There are many reasons you may be looking for jobs in France. Job seekers often come to France because their spouse is being transferred or they just want to try out life in France for a while.

Whatever the reason may be, the idea of finding a job in France may seem a bit scary but it's much easier than it sounds.

There are many places you can look to help you find a job in France. Before getting a job in France, however, you'll want to be aware of the legal requirements of working in France including how employment works in France. You're in luck, though, as the labor laws in France were set forth to protect YOU, the worker.

Where to Look for Employment

Although the task of finding employment in France may seem like a difficult one, it is far from impossible. There are many places you can look to help you find a job in France. As in the US, you’ll want to be careful if it’s a service you have to pay for. It's a good idea to take a look at websites that offer free information on employment in France. There are many free sites that allow job seekers to find a job as outlined below.

Craigslist is not only a great site for those looking for a job (or pretty much anything) in the US, but can also be used to find pretty much anything in France. This can be a good place to start if you have no idea what you’re looking for. It’s great to kind of get ideas of what kind of jobs are available in France. also has listings in France and is great for those with more of a professional or management background. Some companies offer salary information and job descriptions on making it easier to tell between each job.

I strongly recommend those who are looking for jobs in France, to take a look at the ANPE website. This is likely the best place to find a job in France online. The website is in French, but you really should speak French anyway if you’re going to be working in France.

There are many Americans looking for jobs in France and whether it’s an American company in France or a French company, finding a job can be a daunting task. A large number portion of available jobs aren’t even posted online. This alone can quickly make something that is already difficult and turn it into something that’s well, even more difficult!

One of the best ways to find a job, for those not yet in France, is to ask some friends in France for their ideas. They would be more in the know about local employment trends and would best be able to help you find a job in France. If you are already in France, it's a good idea to take a look at the newspapers as many employment opportunities are frequently posted there. There are also many online newspapers that contain the same classifieds, so those are also great places to look for employment in France.

If you are an American who already has a job in France, you will need a Carte de Sejour (a visa.) This will give you right to work in France. You cannot obtain a visa until your employer can verify with the French government that you’ll be working for them. There are many other things that are also required to get a French visa, so I recommend contacting a French embassy for more information.

French Labor Laws

Upon getting a job in France, you will need to sign a work contract which is either for a fixed period of time or a permanent contract. This is to protect both you and your employer at your job in France.

In France, the work week is from 35 to 39 hours, depending on your employer’s status. If your employer has less than 20 employees the work week will generally be 39 hours. If the business has more than 20 employees, the legal work week is 35 hours.

All employees in France that work a full year will receive five weeks paid vacation and nine paid holidays per year. An employer can allow you to have extra days off if they choose, but they cannot offer you less. This is by French law, made to protect workers.

France has very strong labor unions and anyone is free to join a union in France regardless of where the worker is employed. In France, it is up to the employee to join a union, not the employer!


patty lambert on October 07, 2012:

i want to move to france for at least a year if not indefinitely.

i want to teach english if i can but want to live in a very small countryside village outside of paris. if that is not possible, the smallest village out marseilles would suit me well. and the farther inland the better. i prefer a very small country village.

i would also be willing to be a chamber maid/housekeeper if at all possible.

i wish to move by the end of next month. how do i go about finding a position there that would suit me?

Garima Malik on April 27, 2012:

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Can someone please tell me , how to apply for spouse visa if my husband is working in France on a work visa and is an Indian national?

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on April 11, 2011:

Great advice. I live in the Limousin, France, and jobs are scarce on the ground in this rural region. You really have to have fluent French and useful qualifications. Most people set up their own businesses here.

Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on January 24, 2011:

I'm glad you've found this hub useful!

Enjol on September 26, 2010:

Very informative!

traderx from Las Vegas on September 13, 2010:

thanks for the great info, I am always impressed by what people post on hubpages

William on May 21, 2010:

Thanks for your help. Bordeaux here i come

Gregory Williams on April 06, 2010:

I have visited this site and got lots of information than other site. I like to know more about this site and its vary helpful for me doing part time job

part time job

Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on July 17, 2009:

Yeah, that's what I've done - started my own business! Thank you for bookmarketing my hub, I appreciate the thought.

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on July 09, 2009:

Getting a job, that brings back some memories, start your own business is what I say, one way or another it's got to beat 9 -5. I will probably end up eating those words so I will bookmark this just in case.

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