German Jobs in France
Due to France’s proximity to Germany, the country is not only a popular travel destination, but also represents an important economic trading partner. For these reasons, the desire to spend some time living and working in the neighboring country is obvious for many Germans. In some instances and industries, the working environment even seems more attractive than in the home country, for example because of the higher hourly wage. Overall, France is economically strong and diverse, and a job search for German foreigners is therefore promising. However, it is essential to have a command of the French language if you want to integrate in France in the long term. France, with its diverse landscape and vibrant cities, is an excellent choice for German professionals who want to gain experience abroad in a not-too-distant location. Since France is an important trading partner of Germany, the entry on the resume makes itself particularly “bien”.
What job opportunities do German-speakers have in France?
The largest country in the European Union by area has a relatively broad-based economy. Skilled workers are sought in industry and in the energy and environment sectors. But commercial employees and experts in the field of real estate and finance and accounting are also in demand. The largest sectors are tourism, services, chemistry, pharmacology, energy, agriculture and food. Among the French companies there are also well-known corporate giants such as Carrefour, which is the largest retail company in Europe. The group is located in the three largest cities of the country in the capital Paris, in the beautiful Lyon and in the coastal metropolis Marseille, among others. Because of the intensive cooperation between France and Germany on an economic level, there are also all kinds of branches of German companies in the neighboring country, which are very happy to receive applications from people with native German language skills.
Current job situation in France
Next to Germany, France represents the most important industrial country in Europe. Measured by gross domestic product, our neighboring country is the sixth largest economy in the world. In June 2020, unemployment was 4.22 million, below the German figure and below the EU average. France is also a little more attractive than Germany when it comes to the current minimum wage. Since the first of January 2020, the Smic (salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance), which is the French term for the minimum wage, is 10.15 euros. As for work models, in France there are usually no open-ended contracts. Moreover, these must always be in writing. A verbal contract for an employment relationship, as in Germany, is not allowed in France. Incidentally, a full-time job is defined here as 35 hours.
In-demand jobs in France for German-speakers
- Tourism & Leisure Specialist: In our neighboring country, tourism is a strong industry. In the role of Specialist for Tourism & Leisure, you will provide support in the front office of a tourist information office and help to expand the range of services. This includes, among other things, arranging and selling ticketing and bookings of tourist services and products. The participation of the conceptual development of the respective tourism concept also plays an important role.
- Digital Marketing Assistant: As a Digital Marketing Assistant you are responsible for the management of products on various marketplaces. You will also take care of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), tools on sales sites such as Amazon and the acquisition of new, already confirmed customers.
- Technical Client Advisor: The responsibilities of a Technical Client Advisor include taking inquiries via phone and email. In doing so, you identify and troubleshoot the client or customer’s problem. You will also document and close cases with your team and in consultation with the client in question.
- Administrative Management: In the area of Administrative Management, you ensure the smooth running of internal company processes. Thus, your tasks include planning and coordinating appointments and meetings or research tasks. In addition, you are in many cases the contact person for other departments.
- Agricultural helper*in: As the largest country in the European Union in terms of area, France also practices agriculture. Just think of the colorful lavender fields in Provence. Temporary workers are needed to cultivate the fields, especially at harvest time. The tasks include the harvest and utilization of plant products and the care of the land.
Who should apply for a tourism job in France?
The industry tourism & leisure has various facets and can be very varied. Here you can well bring in his own talents. Generally, you can find different positions in this area, for which different knowledge is required. Thus, there are jobs for academics, but also for career changers with different training. Knowledge of foreign languages is a head start in the application. Especially German native speakers are welcome, since France is a destination for countless tourists from German-speaking countries. Since tourism & leisure is a very popular sector, it can be a bit more difficult to get a lucrative job in some areas of France. However, the effort of the application phase is definitely worth it for those who enjoy working with people and as part of a team, and who also want to discover their new hometown in terms of tourism while on the job.
How to find jobs in France for Germans, Austrians and Swiss?
A prerequisite for a job in France is certainly the French language. This is because the French are very proud of their language and expect foreigners living in France to learn it. If your French is a bit rusty or you don’t understand French yet, you should definitely schedule time for an intensive language course. If you are lucky, you may find jobs that do not require French, but English. For these, a high level of expertise is often required. A possibility to work in German also exists in some cases: The wild card for (almost) all Europeans who want to work abroad is the call center job. Often, the customer service department serves different language markets under one roof. When applying for a job, there are some differences to be taken into account compared to German practices. In France, for example, the application consists of a cover letter (lettre de motivation) and a curriculum vitae. Certificates and references can be safely omitted and only submitted upon direct request. The text should be written very politely and modestly, as this is what personnel managers value when reading applications. In the cover letter, do not address a person, but simply begin with “Madame” or “Monsieur”. In the curriculum vitae, write your own family name in capital letters. To find suitable job offers, it is advisable to take a look at the Auslandskarriere.de job exchange, where you will find many attractive positions in a wide range of industries.
Living in France – the “savoir-vivre” or the French art of living
In Germany, the “savoir-vivre” (roughly: knowing how to live) is understood to mean the relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle of the French. What is surprising here is that the French themselves merely mean “good behavior” by the expression. No matter what you call it, the French art of living is very desirable for many people. In order to be able to live like God in France, some things have to be organized, such as accommodation. As far as rental costs are concerned, these can vary greatly throughout the country. As a rule, these are higher in the big cities. For whom a shared apartment comes into question, which should look for a “coloc”, which is the French name for WG. This will help you save on housing costs. If you decide to look for a room, you can check online portals like cohebergement.com and fr-fr-roomlala.com. All in all, the cost of living is on average a bit more expensive in France than in Germany. On the whole, this is balanced out by the slightly higher income, so that the standard of living is comparable to Germany.
As a global city, Paris stands out in terms of price. The capital is not only the most expensive city nationally, but also regularly lands in the top positions of the most expensive cities in the world in the international rankings. A 50-square-meter apartment in Paris costs around 1,000 euros – excluding warm costs. Other living costs can be compared via numbeo.com.
The US-American Tiffanie Davis shows in this video how expensive Paris is for her.