Wednesday, April 26, 2006

random humdrum

I had an interview for english teaching work (unusually, in English!) but didn't give me much scope for optimism. Best case scenario is that I wouldn't get any steady work before September. I have like, 1 euro in my bank account. Waiting till September isn't really an option.
But at least we did have an interesting chat about the French job market (verdict - it sucks). One big problem here is that they're really big on you being exactly qualified to do what job it is you're applying for (even to the level of admin assistant or secretary). Which is all well and good. Except for what you're qualified for doesn't have anything on offer. So you try and diversify, 'polyvalence' is the big catch-word in these parts - though I'm not convinced that employers appreciate the true meaning of the word as they seem reluctant to apply the idea of 'diverse range of experience' to 'broad range of skills'. My CV is that of a typical Australian post-grad; diverse, patchy in a couple of spots, and not a 'CDI' to show for myself. CDIs - unlimited term contracts - are the employment pot of gold in France. Those protests a while back? They were a lot of students getting scared that when they graduated there wouldn't be CDIs waiting there for them with open job security arms. I personally had some trouble wrapping my head around the concept that under 25s were clamouring for long term job security. Before even entering into the job market. Before they had families. Before they do the mid 20's finding themselves experience in India - or whatever the new India for 20 somethings to find themselves in is these days. But at the same time - finding a place to rent without a nice little CDI contract in your pocket? Not so easy...Getting a loan - for a car, for a house, idem. And what kind of place do you think the guy whose surname is Ngalo is living in? Its a nasty vicious circle that doubles as a downwards spiral when France frustratingly doesn't seem willing to adapt its labour practices to a changing job market. Dangle a 'CDI' in front of the average young Australian and their mind may start to fill with visions of '40 years of loyal service, gold watch as a retirement present and a heart attack the year after' visions. 'Course working all these issues into your average job interview isn't always so easy...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

argh! this entry frightens me..i'm moving to metz next year to be with my boyfriend (i'm from melbourne) and god knows what job prospects i'll find...

Nyx said...

Hiya!
Well, it really depends on what your qualifications are - and to a certain degree how well you speak French. I happen to be looking in a particularly difficult sector, but you might get temping work no problem.