I often get so wrapped up in my schooling that I forget the whole purpose of my pursuing a Masters in France – to find a job! It’s so easy to relegate everything else to the background when you are balancing a myriad of classes, activities, homework assignments, and thesis-related research. My first semester, I made a valiant effort to find a job. That’s to say, I submitted four different applications to the University libraries (already staffed by the time they looked at my application), filled out some information on babysitting websites, dropped off a couple resumes at the few English-language schools in Amiens, and randomly responded to an online ad for cours particuliers in English. Only the last one ended up happening, but I was too busy worrying about my grades, my group of friends, and my Sunday night cooking extravaganzas. Which is all good and well, but only a few trees out of the forest.
Since returning from the United States, I’ve had to think differently about my strategy here in France. One glance at my bank account is enough to convince me that I am no longer a study abroad student, an Erasmus, an American on exchange. I am living full-time in France without student aid, access to loans, or social benefits, neither from the United States or France. Now is the time to begin the job search in earnest.
This past week, I’ve been running to and fro between classes and trying to figure out how to find a job – a part-time job, a summer job, and full-time future job, a job for now, a job for next year… It’s not the easiest thing to do, let alone in a foreign country. And so I have begun anew, scanning the online advertisements, making phone calls (how I dread that), dropping off resumes, networking with friends, emailing contacts, showing up for an infinitude of classes in the hopes that now or soon or later something will come my way. And in the meantime, trying to do my best at doing everything well – school, friends, thesis, CAPES preparations. Certainly a rather tall order.
For all my fellow expats/foreign traveler and workers, if you have any insights or ideas on working abroad, feel free to chip in your two cents!