The prospect of working in France holds great appeal for expats, particularly in a post-Covid world. While many of Europe's largest economies, including Germany, Spain and Italy, have declined considerably, France (the second-largest economy in Europe) has shown surprising resilience and positive numbers in spite of the pandemic. As such, there are still opportunities for talented individuals to find a job in France.

Expats are often attracted by the perks of the French working world, which include a 35-hour workweek, plenty of holiday time and early retirement. Finding a job in France is notoriously difficult for foreigners, though. Most expats who manage to find one do so through intra-company transfers or opportunities within large multinational organisations. 


Job market in France

Expats may be disappointed to discover that most of the jobs available in France aren't in the celebrated south or even bustling, romantic Paris. The top hiring regions are actually Auvergne, Bretagne, Limousin and Pays de la Loire. Expats willing to move to these less attractive destinations will find many opportunities, even though the area surrounding Paris claims one of the continent’s wealthiest and largest regional economies. 

Salaries in France are on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other areas of the world that attract expats, such as the US, the Middle East and Asia. 


Finding a job in France

Expats looking for employment in France will benefit greatly from speaking French, as fluency is a requirement for most positions. Expats should note that education levels are given priority over experience and accomplishments and that the French generally prefer to do business with acquaintances and friends. Many people find employment through networking and alumni organisations, so fostering connections is a crucial part of the job hunt.

The most prominent industry sectors in France are hospitality, telecommunications, aerospace and defence, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, construction and civil engineering, chemicals, automobile production and banking. Expats looking to work in France will need a valid work permit


Work culture in France

Expats working in France will find that French business culture tends to be hierarchical and reserved, with little socialising across hierarchical lines. In addition to this, appearances are important to the French. Expats would do well to invest a little bit extra in their work wardrobe.

Those working in France will also need to take a flexible approach to time and punctuality. Work culture in France is heavily influenced by bureaucracy, and as such, simple tasks may take longer than expected. That said, expats in France will also enjoy a 35-hour workweek as well as substantial holiday time throughout the year. This free time will allow expats to make the most of working in the country and embrace the French way of life.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

“Aetna

Aetna

Aetna International, offering comprehensive global medical coverage, has a network of 1.3 million medical providers worldwide. You will have the flexibility to choose from six areas of coverage, including worldwide, multiple levels of benefits to choose from, plus various optional benefits to meet your needs.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!

Moving Companies

Sirelo logo

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!