Finding a job in Paris isn’t easy, and it’s even harder for English speaking expats! While learning French as quickly as possible is essential – we wouldn’t recommend speaking English to a Frenchman – when it comes to finding a job, you’ll need a slightly different approach. Instead of looking for jobs that don’t require a huge amount of local language skills – bartending, working in touristic restaurants, etc. – try to consider your English skills as an asset and job-hunt accordingly:
The easiest option by far, if you don’t need a working visa. Online freelance and remote work ranges from graphic design to customer service, translation and many kinds of programming work, as well as writing, coaching and teaching jobs. In short, there is something out there for most 21st-century skill-sets. You’ll need to be proactive, though, and ideally you should start this kind of work before you move, to get a realistic idea of the income you’ll have and whether it covers your expenses.
Teaching English is still the classic job for English speakers in France, but these days, there are several ways you can teach English in Paris:
Teach in a language school
By far the most straightforward option, working in an established school will guarantee you students and more or less steady work. However, these jobs are generally hard to get and competition is fierce among the expat community in Paris.
If you have internationally recognized teaching qualifications to teach English or prepare the language component of standardized tests, like IELTS, GRE, GMAT, finding private students is a great way to be flexible while still earning a good income. However, you’ll need to be proactive and find yourself students who are able to pay, and you’ll have less stability than working for an established company.
Host a language immersion
Hosting students is a great way to combine work with your family life. A company like Daily English provides support and finds you students, while still giving you flexibility to choose when to work (find out more here). You’ll need to have room to host students though, so if you’re considering an option like this you’ll need to plan ahead and scout out the right location to live.
Work as a tour guide
Turn tourists’ disadvantage to your advantage! Brush up on your art history, music and cultural knowledge and your knowledge of Parisian history alongside your French and advertise yourself as a local, native English tour guide. Focus on creating a high-quality and unique service – think Airbnb Experiences rather than tours for backpacker hostels. Make sure you get yourself a website, Facebook and other social media accounts to spread the word.
While finding a job in a new country can be a daunting prospect, rather than trying to compete with locals, take full advantage of your native English skills to find jobs that only you can do. This will give you a better chance of balancing your budget in those first years while giving you the satisfaction of using your skills in your daily work.