Moving to Provence

4 Replies

Hi, We are considering a move to the Provence region and would welcome any advice on working. We would both require full time permanent employment and fully understand the hard work required. At present we are both in full time work, I'm an office manager in a transport firm and my partner has over 30 years in the NHS and currently in the HR department. We both feel that there is little left in the UK for us and are looking to start a new life in an area we both love.We have no job and salary expectations so are happy to start afresh in a new industry as long as we have enough money to live. As mentioned we do understand how hard the move will be, but have been prepared for some time to do this and appreciate how difficult it can be.If anybody could offer advice it would be massively appreciated.Kind RegardsSteve

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Ras-214972 1501600530

Well first of all, sincere best of luck with your decision. Indeed, UK life style, and particularly more recently, is not what some people are wanting for themselves, and France offers an alternative.

Saying that, there is a big difference between living/working in France, and being here on holiday. And note there exist some highly vocal people against expats and those trying to have a better way of life in France.

The main factor for employment is how well you speak French, as it is important for the strategy. I am assuming you don't speak it fluently. So getting full time permanent "conventional" employment will be difficult, likely impossible in more rural areas.

It is possible to get employment without full French language, but you would find it very hard to get employment in an ordinary French company (i.e. a general office job). So you would need to target fields of work or companies where this isn't needed.

Typically Anglo people find work in tourist related industry, the yachts and related (if close to the coast), construction / renovation / 'design' etc with expats and second home owners for client base, being domestic staff etc.

More technical professions (if you have specific technical skills, such as IT, engineering) could be applicable to "conventional" full time employment with a French company, particularly if the company is international (even better if they are UK/US headquartered). There are some international companies near the main cities, but less in rural areas.

appletrees-321263 1501606278

Your wife might find employment as a private nurse - but that might be somewhere like Monaco - not the region you prefer.

Steve-Egglesden-906257 1501608598


Thank you for your replies. 

As for the area, we are very much open to areas. We have not found an area in France yet that we would not consider a move to. So we are keeping all options open.

Thats a very good point though about my partner, her work history is probably more desirable than my own!

However our search will continue, this is something we feel more than ever we need to do. So if anybody else has ideas please keep them coming, we appreciate everything that will help us. Whether it's what we want to hear or not!

Ras-214972 1501623997

Keeping options open is fine, but I doubt it leads you to a conclusion quickly. Rather I would tend to target something more defined. Then, do the research etc, and you will learn doing that, first what is possible, and then second, what it is you are looking for.

You mention moving to "Provence" in your message. This suggests to me you are thinking of some rural idyll. Indeed, many Brits might dream of living in these areas, but sadly, they will not be good to find work and become integrated.

I would recommend you first look into the main cities. Essentially Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Toulon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille etc. Pick one or two of these and start to understand their economies  by reaching the internet and how you might find your niche.

I also suggest doing some research being on the ground. Sadly many French companies aren't always helpful via email etc. So plan to come visit some places to further your research - plan to visit say for a month (find some out-of-season holiday apartment to rent ),. I would suggest visiting through the autumn/winter, first as currently many people are on vacation in the summer, and second, it gives you a better feel for "normal" life outside of the holiday season.

Also, do whatever you can, however trivial, to improve your French language by enrolling in courses etc wherever you are now living in the UK. Generally the adult education course start around September, so check what is available.

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