Why I’m Moving to France, Part 2


There’s actually a second reason I’m moving back to France this September: I want to prove to myself that I’ll be able to thrive as well there as I have here.

Moving to my country of origin isn’t as scary as relocating to a completely new region where I don’t speak the language (like I did when I first came here), but it’s still intimidating. I’ve been away for more than thirteen years. This means I don’t have firsthand knowledge about general things such as how to get an apartment or what French university grads like to do in their leisure time and, even more importantly, how the employment system works in France. I have no idea how important different things such as university grades, language ability and cover letters are weighed when comparing potential hires, or what I should do to make myself stand out as a desirable candidate.

Can you find little Anne-Sophie in her 1st American class picture?

I know things are different there; they run on a different system. For example, graduating from a prestigious university is pretty much the only way one can hope to reach the higher rungs of management in France. Furthermore, start-ups, which are a great way to learn and develop oneself quickly on the fly, are not very common in France because of a cultural aversion to taking risks. This aversion to risk is probably the reason I’m so intimidated to throw myself back into France and flail around for a bit until I create a strong, secure footing for myself. Back to start-ups: I have loved working with start-ups in the Bay Area for several reasons (which will probably have to take another post, but here’s a shortened, concise-ish list O;] )

  1. Start-ups can’t afford to pay experienced professionals so they love to hire motivated, bright young things like me
  2. This allows affore-mentioned inexperienced, motivated, bright young things to stop making photocopies and dive right into meaningful work that actually yields visible, tangible results (very fulfilling =] )
  3. Diving right into this work with little experience is a great learning experience: you’re not watching a more experienced manager or executive do work–you’re DOING this work and reading everything you can to make sure you learn quickly and do it well!
  4. They often don’t have enough people to do everything so you get to dabble in anything you have the time and interest to

In the interest of stopping this post from “tangenting” into a post about the merits of working for a start-up (I definitely seem to be going on a lot of tangents today!), I’ll stop this list here. Take my word for it though, if you’re fresh out of college and looking for some good experience, work for start-ups–I’m definitely going to try to continue doing so! I’m disappointed that there aren’t many in France (although it seems this may be changing slowly), but I’ve been fortunate enough to nab an interview with one so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Let’s sum all this up before this post turns into a novel. I’m intimidated and afraid of the frustration and tough moments I’ll run into, but I know this challenge will be worth my time. Not only will I gain personal strength from this experience, but I will also become more resourceful, learn to make myself more marketable, and get to reconnect with my native culture.
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7 thoughts on “Why I’m Moving to France, Part 2

  1. Anne-Sophie: Relax you’ll do GRAND in GAY Paree! The French, like YOU, are Easy, Friendly & Helpful!

    Finding accommodations is not so difficult! Will give you suggestions if you desire?

    With your Brains, Abilities, Education & Experience you’ll not only do well, you’ll Excel 🙂 !!

    One more suggestion now: Place your professional photo on your blog–much more PROFESSIONAL !!!

    Olga Kovshanova, MBA, MA
    Sales and Guest Relations Manager CIS
    The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa
    Hotel Professional Extraordinaire
    Email: olinka@olinka.info
    Homepage: http://www.olinka.info/
    Skype name: olinkaru
    ICQ: 212336628
    M: +230-717-5790
    LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kovshanovaolga

  2. Hi Olia, thanks for your comforting words! Let’s hold off on looking for housing until I find a job (that way I can look for something nearby.) Also, thanks for your advice but I think I’m going to keep this picture up. This blog is more for fun (although of course I’m not going to post anything inappropriate since potential employers could find it!)

  3. These days, all employers CERTAINLY scour the web for background info on all candidates. ALL your photos and other material, even on your “fun” social media, will be most beneficial to you to be PROFESSIONAL–that will show your prospective employer that you are a SERIOUS and RESPONSIBLE and THE optimal candidate to be chosen over the myriad other applicants who will be nipping at your heals!

    Of course wait to find your Mission before looking for your abode in GAY Paree convenient to where you bureau will be situated. You will need an employment contract before any French landlord will rent to you. The offer to help you find a place was just to say that finding a studio in Paris is NOT that difficult, can even be FUN (because your get to see many different places) and not to worry about it!

    You will need a Parisian bank account, debit card and check book. As wrote previously, have been using Caisse d’Epargne (www.caisse-epargne.fr) for years without any major problems.

    Also, consider starting a blog in French on a French blogging site. When prospective employers find your French block (and they WILL FIND EVERYTHING!) they will be reassured that your years in American have not impaired your ability to write French.

    The major point is do NOT worry–moving (NOT back) FORWARD to Paris (The City-o-Light–most Beautiful and Cultural metropolis in our entire spacecraft _Earth_!) will be FUN 🙂 !!

    Certainly, You will be much Happier in France where, because of your years in America and absolutely fluent NATIVE English (and your intelligence, education, abilities, experience and BEAUTY) YOU WILL STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD !!!

    Frankly, proud to be able to say that I know You and hoping to be honored one day by You consider me your good Friend who cares about YOU.

    EnJoY a GRAND day 🙂 !

    Olga Kovshanova, MBA, MA
    Sales and Guest Relations Manager CIS
    The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa
    Hotel Professional Extraordinaire
    Email: olinka@olinka.info
    Homepage: http://www.olinka.info/
    Skype name: olinkaru
    ICQ: 212336628
    M: +230-717-5790
    LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kovshanovaolga

  4. How did it all work out for you???
    I’m originally from Strasbourg and moved to the Bay Area in 2000 when I was 18.
    13 years later, a wife and 2 kids, I am considering moving back…if you see this post, please reach out to me – I’m very interested in hearing your story!

  5. Hi Omar, Thanks for your message!
    Sorry about the delay in my response. As you probably noticed, my blog has fallen to the wayside recently. I greatly enjoyed rediscovering France, but spending 6 months there helped me realize I just feel more at home in the Bay Area so I decided to return there. Do let me know what you decide though! And send a link my way if you decide to start blogging about it — I’d be quite curious to learn how things work out for you!

    Sophie

    • Oh wow! You came back?? Well, we’re getting ready to pack up and leave soon hopefully. My wife is setting up a blog to share the details; I’ll send you the link once it’s up.
      I am scared to leave and come back…our friends and family think we won’t adjust and would want to come back 😦

  6. You never know! My mom has some family friends whose son went back and loves it there. It really depends on who you are, where you go… there are so many aspects to this kind of a move. Having a positive outlook probably won’t hurt though =]

    Do send me the link to your wife’s blog!! Would love to keep in touch ❤

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