Tips for Finding a Job in Paris as an English Speaker

So, you want to move to France. Inspired by Emily in Paris, you want to live in a cute studio apartment, have dazzling nights out, and romance some locals. Of course, to support this lifestyle you’ll need to find a job in Paris. The only problem? You don’t speak French. 
Don’t worry: While not speaking the language does limit your prospects, it’s not impossible to find a job in the French capital as an English speaker. That said, you need to stay realistic, and be strategic in your job hunt. And while I don’t hold any true authority over the subject, I have lived in Paris for nearly 4 years and feel I have some advice to share based on my own experience job hunting and working here, as well the experiences of friends and acquaintances. So if you’re still interested, keep reading! 

See if You Qualify for Any French Work Visas

First things first, I would highly recommend you look to see if you qualify for any temporary French work visas. Many people I know, including myself, originally came to France under the youth mobility scheme, with working holiday and young professional statuses being the most common.
These visas are relatively easy to qualify for, with the former giving you the ability to freely live and work in France for 1-2 years based on your nationality, and the latter allowing you to work for a French company for up to 18 months under a temporary work contract or contrat à durée déterminée without the company having to go under the arduous process of sponsoring you for a work permit. Not every country has a youth mobility scheme set up with France, but you can find the list for working holiday here, and more information for young professional here.
Of course, these are not the only type of temporary work visas available: you could also look into becoming a student (which allows you to work up to a certain number of hours, and if it involves a masters program provides a path to easily changing to a work visa), an au pair, a teaching assistant… the list goes on! However, as I don’t have a lot of knowledge of these specific statuses, I will leave you to look for official information to see what working rights these visas provide, and what you need to qualify. 

Be Open to Different Opportunities

If you come to France without being fluent in the language yet, I’d highly encourage you to stay open minded regarding what kind of work you can do. While you may have built up a few years of work experience in a specific field back home, you may not have the certifications or diplomas needed to to carry out the same work in France, or it may be the type of industry where the companies operate entirely in French. As such, you may not initially find work doing what you usually do – but that’s not to say you can’t find work! 
Many friends of mine who only spoke English upon arriving in Paris typically found work doing things such as:
  • Babysitting
  • Teaching English
  • Serving in restaurants in touristy areas
  • Bartending in Irish/Canadian/American pubs
  • Working retail in shops located in touristy areas
If you’re interested in the first two, I’d recommend looking into companies such as Speaking Agency, who are known to work with people holding student or working holiday visas. If you’re interested in the other options, the simplest thing to do is to hand out your CV at shops, bars, or restaurants that are hiring, or to look for job ads on Facebook groups. 

Look at Multinationals & Startups in Paris

If you’re dead set on working in an office environment while in France, my main piece of advice would be to look at multinationals and startups. While companies that use English as the office language are relatively rare, it’s more common in these two types, which are typically more multicultural or looking to do business internationally, and already have English-speakers on their teams. 
LinkedIn is incredibly popular in France, and is a good place to look for job ads from multinationals. Monster and Indeed are also commonly used. If you’re looking to work more at a startup, I would suggest doing a search on Welcome to the Jungle

Look for Job Ads Seeking English Speakers

While searching on the websites mentioned above, I would try to narrow down your search to jobs that specifically mention seeking English speakers in the title or job description. Ads written in English are also a good indicator that the company is open to English-speaking employees
However, be warned: in several instances I responded to English ads, and exchanged emails only in English, only to have the actual interviews (be they by telephone or in person) be in French. So be very clear on your CV and in your exchanges about your French level, as it’s common for companies to be seeking an employee that speaks English, while also requiring them to speak a high level of French. 

Learn French

Which brings me to my last piece of advice: to learn French to a professional level (I would say B1/B2 minimum). 
As mentioned above, even if a company is seeking someone who speaks English, unless it’s a strictly international company, chances are you’ll also be doing a good portion of your work in French. In my case, for example, the majority of my written work is in English, while all my presentations, meetings, email exchanges, and so on are in French, with French being the office language. And while French colleagues and clients are understanding if you’re not perfectly fluent, in most jobs it’s expected that you should still be able to do daily work tasks at a good level. 
What’s more, being a native English speaker with a good level of French makes you a more attractive job candidate, and will open the doors to a lot more professional opportunities. So while I understand that learning a new language is hard, if you really want to work and live in France longterm, fluency is key! 


  1. This is really helpful 🙂 I’m hoping to move to Paris some time soon as my partner lives there, but I’m having difficulty figuring out what I could do for work. I got a degree in french but have forgotten everything, due to never using the language, due to anxiety, and the cycle repeats.


    1. Happy it could be of help! If you have a base in French I have no doubt you’ll pick it back up again once you move here. In the meantime, there are definitely jobs out there that you could do speaking English only.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful post. I’d love to make the leap and I have a few ideas up my sleeve. I’m middle-aged so taking advantage of any youth opportunities would be perhaps awkward, no? I’m an artist and writer. I’ve considered perhaps moving to London first.


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