5 Things to Know Before Accepting a Job in Paris

Paris has been ranked not only as one of the top ten cities in the world to live in, but also as one of the three most influential and important cities worldwide. Facts like these may make Paris seem like an attractive option when it comes to choosing where to live in Europe, but the real question is how will accepting a job in Paris affect you personally and professionally? Before saying ‘yes’ to that job offer, first consider these top 5 facts about living and working in Paris:


1. Tourism is big in Paris.

70 million people travel to France each year, with the majority stopping in Paris as their top travel destination. This means that you, the intrepid expat, must be prepared to deal with scores of people coming and going from your home city on a yearly basis.

The summertime is the peak of the tourist season which is why it is said that many Parisians desert the city and leave it to the tourists during the summer months. If you work in tourism, living in the most visited city in the world is a big plus. However if you don’t, you’ll need to adjust your lifestyle accordingly in order to avoid becoming too irritated by the scores of tourists.

2. Work regulations create relaxed working schedules.

This may sound too good to be true, but in France once the clock hits 6pm you’re completely free from work-related activities. This year, a ruling made it illegal for employers to expect their employees to work outside the standard time of 9am to 6pm.This means that employees are legally allowed not to answer work-related phone calls and e-mails after 6pm.

Also consider that the typical work week in France is comprised of only 35 hours and all employees get around 30 days of paid vacation time per year. Indeed, if you are coming from countries like the USA where 40-hour work weeks and two weeks of vacation time per year are the norm, then working in Paris might seem like quite the luxury.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3. Paris is the perfect place for fashion-related work.

Paris is the shopping and fashion capital of the world and host to globally recognized fashion events such as Paris Fashion Week. If you work in the fashion industry, it can’t get any better than scoring a job in the hub of fashion itself!

Big fashion brands such as Chanel, Dior, Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent are known all around the world, and these brands all have their origins in France. But brands like these aren’t the only reason why people travel to Paris for their fashion fix: as a matter of fact, most fashion trends begin here meaning that if you’re working in the City of Light, you’ll have a head start on what’s à la mode.

4. You must know how to speak French.

Sure, in a big touristy cities such as Paris you will generally find some people who will deign to speak a few words of English to you, but if you think you can move to Paris without learning French first, you are utterly wrong.

34% of the French can speak English, but don’t rely on shopkeepers, policemen, and metro workers who are not able – nor willing – to communicate in anything other than French. It is also culturally expected that foreigners learn and use the local language; not all French believe they should cater to your language. When in Rome (or Paris)…do as they do.

5. Paris Syndrome

Yep, it’s true, there’s actually something called Paris Syndrome. Paris is one of those cities whose reputation precedes it and sometimes can be made out to be bigger and better than it really is. The media tends to gloss over the negative aspects of this city and instead focus on how glamorous, beautiful, and wealthy it is.

Paris Syndrome results when people travel to Paris and realize that it isn’t quite as wonderful as the movies and magazines portray it – which results in a sort of psychological shock. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of Paris Syndrome? Don’t set your expectations too high. Know that when you accept that job and move to the city, not everything will be rainbows and roses.

Like any city, Paris has its pros and cons and it’s great that you’re considering these before you decide whether or not to take that job. No matter what you choose, you’ll surely want to get a head start on French language classes which will make learning the language a breeze! But first, check out our free online French placement exam to help you determine what you need to review and where you need to begin as you start your language journey.