Earning a Living

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Introduction and lots of questions...

Hi all,
I couldn't really find a particularly relevant section for this post, so I guess this is the best fit. First post here, so just to introduce myself. My name is Jasmin, and me and my partner are in our late 30s, from the UK.

I've lived and worked abroad before, and me and my partner both visit France frequently. We're both very concerned about the direction of the UK at present, especially in regards to brexit, but also more generally (minority rights, employment and social rights etc.). As such, we are beginning to think that if it seems certain Brexit without an EEA style setup goes ahead, we hope to move to mainland Europe, and are seriously considering France, as it's a country we've both have a lot of affection for, and have considered it in the past when I was considering post-grad study at Montpellier.

We're just starting to look at this - and it may or may not be feasible - so we'd really appreciate some guides or heads up on those who have gone before us. Given we are working age and (unfortunately!) will be for a while yet, work is going to be a big thing for us, so a lot of our initial concerns are in that area, so here goes!

* We are considering either the Hyeres/Toulon/Marseille areas, though we'd prefer to live outside the city but within commuting distance, as we aren't big nightlife/urban types. Do anyone know what the employment situation is like in this neck of the woods?

* I have previous experience in TEFL, but am currently working in IT (in the education sector) and would prefer to stay in this sector if at all possible. My partner works as a shop floor retail manager. What's the situation like for these sectors in France? Is there anything particular we should be aware of?

* We don't currently have much in the way of french language knowledge. Thankfully, my workplace here subsidises evening language classes for staff and family, so I've got that as a starting point - but any thoughts on how to further bolster it, and what sort of proficiency you need to have as a bare minimum to get started with on the ground would be good.

* Any ideas or any information any one knows of regarding what the visa situation would be like in a post-brexit scenario would be *much* appreciated!
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Re: Introduction and lots of questions...

OK, I'm sure there will be plenty of other comments, but in the interests of kindling the flames of controversy, I'll start.

Firstly, you'll almost certainly struggle to find work. Unlike the UK, France has much higher unemployment, a fairly robust history of looking after its own first, and a culture of employing people on fixed-term contracts so you might not, even if you could get a job, have much job security.

Secondly, by your own admission, you don't speak French. Apart from severely limiting your employment prospects, and speaking as someone who has well in excess of 50 years of learning French, and several of teaching it, don't underestimate how difficult it's going to be to reach a level where you can live (which isn't that difficult) and work (which is bloody difficult if you have poor French).

In short, you're not going to find it easy to get work, so if your whole project depends on that, I'd really seriously think hard whether you have the means (financial, mental etc.) to cope if it doesn't work out.

If your plan is to wait till after Brexit, and it seems wise given your circumstances, then I'd do that and see what happens. If anyone on here says they know what anything might be like in a post-Brexit scenario, they're using a Ouija board or a crystal ball. The French govt. just like all the others, has put in place some measures to cover how they'll deal with existing residents after Brexit, but it remains to be seen what measures will apply to Brits moving to France post-Brexit...depending on what bilateral agreements might be put in place.

Otherwise,I'd say if you want to quit the UK, move somewhere where the language issue isn't a barrier. And research France a bit more if you seriously believe it's unaffected by the same cancers as the UK when it comes to minority rights etc. Don't forget, if you move to France, you'll become a minority, a foreigner, "not one of us" and as such there's a whole nationalist movement flourishing in France which is just as hateful as UKIP and their ilk in the UK, and they'll be targeting non-French nationals.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: Introduction and lots of questions...

Not that I 'do' farce book .. but where is the 'like' button when you need it ?
Betty you have said precisely and succinctly what I would have said .. if I was as capable as you.
France is really not just a country like the UK but where French is spoken, rather than English. It has a whole different history and a whole different outlook .. thank goodness.
Computing - it's another world
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Re: Introduction and lots of questions...

Best of luck with your plans, but as you say yourself, earning a living looks like being the challenge. I'm not sure exactly what a shop floor retail manager does, but smooth communication skills are usually part of being a manager. Ask yourself would it be possible for eg a French person recently arrived in England, not speaking much English and not familiar with English retail policy and legislation, products, customer expectations, local customs etc, to come straight in and do that job? Would that person be likely to be chosen above the other candidates for the job? IT could be easier to get a foot in the door, depending on what role you are looking for, but I'm not sure how transferable expertise in the education sector would be if that means schools.

If you haven't already, why not start job searching on one of the online platforms eg indeed.fr to get an idea of what is available in your chosen area.

As regards Brexit, it seems you've been following it closely yourselves so your guess is as good as anyone else's. At present it looks unlikely that freedom of movement will survive, and that being the case Brits will lose their automatic right to look for work in France after Brexit. Likewise if Brexit happens then if you aim to be exercising your FoM as workers at whatever cut-off point is decided on, word seems to be that you would need to have been established in France as a worker, ie with a job, for at least 3 months at that cut-off point.
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