Living and working in Paris

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  • Living and working in Paris
  • Kit
    Member

    Bonsoir!

    I’ve been offered an interview for a job in Paris. Anyone here have any experience living and/or working there?

    I haven’t visited even since I was a kid, but expecting it to be mad busy and expensive, like that there London. I’d hate to live in London, but Paris appeals!

    fergal
    Member

    Yeah London sucks that’s why it’s full of Parisians!.

    Kato
    Member

    I’m there at the moment. It’s like London but the people are even ruder. I can get by in French too

    DrJ
    Member

    Completely different – much less crowded and expensive. Walking around is a pleasure, there are green areas, quiet areas, and it’s fairly easy to get out of the city.I worked there for 2 years and would love to go back.

    the people are even ruder.

    Not my experience at all – I find people very polite and warm.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    I agree with DrJ.

    Granted, I have not lived there, but get to France very often, have spent more than just holiday time in Paris, and I speak French.

    There are parallels to be drawn with London, but more on an historical and philosophical level. Physically, I would say that the city feels more spacious, while the people are slightly more ‘relaxed’.

    …Not that I find Londoners ‘uptight’; just that the city engenders a greater intensity… if that makes any sense. Anyway, that’s all just my opinion, so I could be wrong.

    Edukator
    Member

    There’s Paris and Paris. Live and work in pleasant parts not too far from each other and it’s fine. There are some areas I wouldn’t want to live or work and others just a km away that are desirable.

    Kit
    Member

    I’ve found London to feel quite claustrophobic, but a more open city sounds good! I don’t speak any French at all so I suppose they’ll all think I’m an arsehole πŸ˜‰

    How expensive is it to live there? e.g. you hear about how ridiculous rents are in London. Is Paris the same?

    The interview is in Paris so I’ll try and stay an extra day and check it out.

    Edukator
    Member

    Here’s an idea of what a one-bedroom flat in a desirable part of Paris will cost:

    leboncoin

    Edit: I hope you are single, you’ll learn the language in no time if you are.

    fanatic278
    Member

    I’ve been working mid-week in Paris for the last 10 months. I find it soul destroying 90% of the time. For some reason, in a work environment everyone turns into aggressive assholes. I haven’t finished a day here yet without feeling frazzled.

    However, I don’t technically live here. I commute home to Scotland at weekends. So my only experience of Paris is of work. I have been offered a full time job out here, so can bring the family. I am crazy enough to take it, but possibly only due to lack of better alternatives.

    Edukator
    Member

    You find pleasant corporate cultures and hellish employers wherever you go. I worked with lots of companies as a subcontractor and had one job as a cadre. Experiences varied from “let me outa here” to “another day for a chat with some mates whilst being happily productive”.

    Kit
    Member

    I am single πŸ˜€ Does this mean that French people are friendly, or that they like les Ecossais?

    The job would be very well paid, so 2000 EUR a month is easily manageable.

    How about living in France in general, compared with the UK. I have a chronic medical condition and rely heavily on the NHS, so getting the same level of care is something I’d worry about.

    Thanks for everyone’s comments so far, by the way!

    Mackem
    Member

    Was there for 6 months, loved it. Just go where the French go to eat and it’s not expensive. Like anywhere, there’s good people and bad, the French cant be arsed to be nice to strangers, but if you arent an arse they’ll warm to you. 2000 Euro a month isnt a great salary there.

    Premier Icon gaidong
    Subscriber

    Lived in Paris 2007-2014, now near Versailles. Wasn’t keen on Paris myself due to: noise, beggars, dogshit, tiny flats BUT I was experiencing it with a young family, less mobile, limited entertainment etc. A singleton could amuse themselves immensely I’m sure. As pointed out, €2000/month won’t go far here and you may have substantial difficulties getting a rental contract (many of my colleagues have to Photoshop their payslips…). Healthcare won’t be a problem. Good luck.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    Oh man the bakeries. Brilliant place!

    Parisiennes don’t make friends easily (polite way of saying they’re pretty rude), food is overrated, parking is a nightmare, mind the dog shit (although got better), don’t buy a new car as it will be bumped before you know it, take basic toiletries from UK; beers are breathtakingly expensive

    Having said that lifestyle is much, much better; wine is brilliant and good value; horse is actually quite tasty; you get proper lunches away from your desk; who needs vegetables, L’Entrecote for simple meal; no need to buy a big or even new car; easy to walk around; Mussee D’Orsay; people are very friendly outside Paris, the SAC at Medun for sport; no need to worry about deodorant or toothpaste πŸ˜‰

    On balance, a very nice place to live!!!

    DrJ
    Member

    2000 Euro a month isnt a great salary there.

    He means rent, I assume.

    Another advantage is that the metro is much cheaper than the tube.

    Edukator
    Member

    The health service isn’t something you should worry about.

    Having not spent much time in the UK in the last 30 years my comparisons are out of date and not very helpful – my contact with the UK is STW!

    Join clubs corresponding to your interests and you’ll soon meet friends, they’ll always be someone happy to practice their Scottish English – Scotland is a favourite destination when my friends visit the UK and Scots well thought off. Take up something popular in France such as rock and roll/Salsa dance classes and you’ll have a laugh (and maybe more). The French can be quite direct which some people take as rude but it can have advantages, flirting is less subtle for example.

    Edit:

    don’t buy a new car

    Buy a new car; second hand are over priced, clocked, not maintained and thrashed. Dacia Sandero TCE90

    Kit
    Member

    He means rent, I assume.

    Yes I do! Wage on offer is about 3x that and tax free.

    Looking forward just to visiting, even if I don’t get the job (highly likely πŸ˜€ ).

    DrJ
    Member

    What area is the job?

    dirtyrider
    Member

    DCRainmaker does

    Kit
    Member

    What area is the job?

    Geographical area? A block south of the Eiffel Tower.

    DrJ
    Member

    Aah – nice – lots of good areas to live nearby!

    Premier Icon orangespyderman
    Subscriber

    Yes I do! Wage on offer is about 3x that and tax free.

    If you’re physically working in France you will probably be liable to pay taxes in France on any income earned, so double-check that. There are some exceptions (diplomats, employees of various European Institutions, …) Your contract will be subject to French law, social contributions and taxes, generally speaking. Many overseas companies try to ignore this (famously Ryanair, for example) but that is at your (and their) risk.

    I’ve lived in France for close to 20 years and in Paris for about 14. Culturally it’s rather different, and as others have suggested employers vary.

    Let me know if you want to chat.

    globalti
    Member

    I lived and worked in Paris between 1985 and 1987. Here are the good bits:

    I’m a big Francophile and fluent in French so I found the French, even the detested Parisians, charming, polite and very correct. Had I not spoken French I’m sure it would have been different because the French are very awkward with foreigners. The food was excellent even in the company canteen. The city is lovely. It’s reasonably easy to get out to places like Fontainebleau to climb at weekends. I had a superb flat in Neuilly because my company paid for it.

    Here are the bad bits:

    Despite liking the French I was incredibly lonely; it’s said that over 50% of Parisians live alone because few people can afford more than a tiny one-person studio in what used to be a servants’ room in the basement or the attic. The big apartments in the Haussmann boulevards are expensive, difficult to maintain and generally owned by big old French families who seldom sell them. I found the office politics a massive problem as the company was dominated by a mafia from Cannes and Grasse (perfumery business) and they hated me as an interloper from Head Office in London. French people love to lecture you and I found the long lectures on what I should and shouldn’t do very tedious. Paris was dirty and smelly then but on more recent visits I’ve found it even worse, the city is in bad need of money to spend on repairs and refurbishment, the metro stinks of urine and there are graffitti everywhere and we witnessed an unpleasant incident in a station between Police and some Romanians. I’m not surprised there are 500,000 French working in London, which is far cleaner and more user-friendly to young professionals. The healthcare system is excellent but definitely set up to make as much money out of you as possible at the expense of social security and your private insurer. Generally it was a lonely and depressing two years; I didn’t explore Paris much because I was depressed and one day I decided I’d had enough, dropped my car keys and credit cards on my boss’s desk and walked out, got on a plane and went home. The company folded a couple of years later and the parent company in London a few years after that.

    So, go and make the most of it but only if the conditions are right and the office culture isn’t stacked against you.

    jambalaya
    Member

    Definitely come and have a look

    Yes I do! Wage on offer is about 3x that and tax free.

    Where do I apply πŸ˜‰

    Posting from Paris ATM, have lived here on and off for about 50% of last 3 years. I am also a big Francophile and am now married to a Parisienne. Drop me an email and we can have a call if you want.

    Your health issue we can discuss if you want, I like the French system with its mix of public and private I am sure your company will take care of the health insurance for you

    Pros
    You’re single πŸ˜‰
    Wonderful city
    Cheap to eat out, generally lower cost of living
    Easy travel around France via TGV – good road network, 3-5hrs to some great riding – so much to explore
    Easy connections back to UK and cheaper flights to holiday destinations (lower airport taxes)

    Cons
    Jobs less well paid, taxes high (doesn’t seem to apply to you !)
    Hard to find an apartment – normal contarcts 3 years (wifes family in real estate they can advise) – smaller than you’ll be used to probably
    No decent mtb near city (best about 50 mins away) most countryside quite flat (road bike ?)
    Edit: what @globalti says about office politics is very important (if your colleagues know you’re on €6k tax free there could be a lot of hostility)

    jambalaya
    Member

    @orangespy where do you ride ? email in profile (bike in cave unused for 9 monrhs πŸ™ )

    DrJ
    Member

    I used to ride in the forests near Bougival – not perfect, but close enough to where I was living.

    jambalaya
    Member

    @DrJ thanks have had a look up there around St Cloud also Parc St-Germain-en-Leves, Vincennes and Notre Dame in South East – however all a bit flat and gravel tracks. Best seems Parc National Haute Chevreuse (excuse spelling) they run an annual xc event and there is some singletrack and a few hills – quite a bit of strava activity and we see bikes out when walking

    Premier Icon orangespyderman
    Subscriber

    Montmorency, L’isle Adam, Rambouillet for MTB. Some really fun singletracks in Montmorency.

    jambalaya
    Member

    πŸ™‚ merci

    jambalaya
    Member

    @orange where do you park in Montmorency – Mrs B was not keen recently to have a look round there as she didn’t want to leave her car anywhere and its her car I’d use for riding

    Premier Icon orangespyderman
    Subscriber

    @jambalaya 49.028000, 2.248774 – there’s also the chateau de la chasse, but all really depends where you’re heading.

    Kit
    Member

    orangespyderman and jambalaya thank you, both, for your offers! I’ll need to see how the interview goes, first πŸ˜‰

    The job’s with the OECD and to answers orange’s question, the job ad states: “Depending on level of experience, monthly salary starts at either … EUR or … EUR, plus allowances based on eligibility, exempt of French income tax.

    globalti, shame about your experience. It’s an international agency I’d be working for so hopefully no overt office politics re: my nationality, but since the interview’s in Paris I’ll hopefully get a feel for the office environment. I’m not great at meeting people, but as a photographer I’m sure I’ll at least get out of the apartment!

    Edukator
    Member

    In your shoes I’d be putting more effort into that interview than your PhD viva. Those kind of jobs are gold.

    jambalaya
    Member

    @Kit if you are working for the EU you pay 10% tax I believe, not sure about OECD but tax may well not be zero

    Bon chance

    @orange many many thanks, will be onto those with Strava heat map

    mefty
    Member

    OECD is tax free, it was who I guessed the job would be with.

    jambalaya
    Member

    I hope Mrs B doesn’t see that ^^^ or I’ll get the full court press to contact them

    mefty
    Member

    I think they work on the basis of factual accuracy.

    Kit
    Member

    In your shoes I’d be putting more effort into that interview than your PhD viva.

    Not hard, I didn’t put much effort into prepping for my Viva πŸ˜‰ But no shit anyway, it’s going to be a tough job to get.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)

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