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5 ways to make a living in France

PUBLISHED: 09:20 12 December 2014

Maison de la Roche in Languedoc-Roussillon

Maison de la Roche in Languedoc-Roussillon

Chris Haworth - Vanessa Fry Photography

If you need to make a living in France, there are lots of options open to you from running a gîte to finding full-time employment, but make sure you are well prepared

1. Rent out holiday accommodation

France is the most visited country in the world, so it’s easy to see why many expats choose to make a living from the tourism industry, but get your figures right – as a wide rule of thumb, it’s estimated that three or four gîtes would be needed to provide a family with sufficient income to live on. Honor Marks, who runs three gîtes at her property Maison de la Roche in Languedoc-Roussillon, says: “You have to love meeting new people and be passionate about your area. Offer accommodation that you would like to stay in. It’s important to deliver what you promised and more. I organise kayaking trips, wine tastings, cookery courses, in-house beauty treatments and even babysitting.”

Read our 10 tips for running a gîte and how-to set up a B&B or gîte if you are thinking of this route.

2. Run a bar or restaurant

Running a bar or restaurant involves long hours, hard work and lots of paperwork so think hard before you take on such a project. Be aware that you’ll need a good level of French to deal with the complex paperwork, as well as to communicate with customers. Note that licences are required in order to sell alcohol. The local mairie and préfecturewill be able to provide you with the information that you need.

3. Produce something you enjoy

One of the benefits that many expats find when buying a property in France is that you can get much more land for your money. We’ve featured many expats whose move to France has initiated businesses based on the produce that they make or grow including wine, cider, or organic produce, so why not give it a go?

4. Make your hobby your job

One way to find happiness is to use a hobby or interest as a basis for a business. For Tessa Meijer and Geoff Moss, who run a cycle hire franchise Mellow Vélos in the Gorges du Tarn, it required more than their love of cycling to make their business a success. “We knew the business had a good chance of success here because we knew the area very well,” says Geoff. “Our advice is not to rush into things; take lots of time and make sure all of the pieces of the jigsaw are in place before you go ahead.”

5. Use your existing skills

Using your existing skills and qualifications to find work in France makes a lot of sense. If you work in a regulated profession such as nursing, you will need to get your qualifications certified for recognition in France. You may require additional training and qualifications to work in certain fields (e.g. in the legal, building and health care sectors). Useful online agencies include www.indeed.fr; www.apec.fr and www.regionsjob.fr

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