Paris: Why eight out of ten top earners dream of leaving

The vast majority of the higher earners in Paris don't want to live there anymore, according to a new survey.

Paris: Why eight out of ten top earners dream of leaving
Photo: AFP
Eighty percent of managers and execs or “cadres” as they are called in French, who work in the French capital actually dream of leaving the city. 
And these elite Parisians would be happy to put their money where their mouths are, with 54 percent saying they'd even be willing to take a pay cut to facilitate a move out of Paris.
A further 36 percent said they'd accept a lower position, and 48 percent said they'd even consider going through professional retraining for another career. 
At least, that's all according to a survey by that saw over 3,500 of these senior staff polled online. 
So where would they all go if they ever left Paris?
Given the choice, 56 percent could see themselves living in the south-western city of Bordeaux, mainly due to its climate and proximity to the sea. 
Close behind, 52 percent of people said they could also envisage a life in France's second city Lyon, and 49 percent saying they would be happy to call the western city of Nantes home. 
Following these three cities, the most popular choices in order were Toulouse, Montpellier, Nice, Marseille, Lille, and Strasbourg.
Rennes in Brittany was also a top choice and the city was named by The Local this year as the best place in France for foreigners to live.
Why Rennes is the best city in France for expats to live
So why do these Parisians want to up sticks and apparently move anywhere else?
Well, it clearly didn't have anything to do with their salaries as they'll unlikely find better salaries than in the French capital.
Instead, it was more than they were keen to avoid the headache of public transport nightmares, which 70 percent of respondents complained about. 

It must be noted that 83 percent of these respondents live in the suburbs, or banlieues, of Paris, so commuting times would be automatically longer than for those living inside the péripérique ring road.

However, 71 percent said they travel for more than 30 minutes to get to work. 

A further 57 percent took issue with their rent prices, and 55 percent weren't impressed with the pollution level of Paris, which in the past has been compared to sitting in a room with eight smokers.  
There was plenty more to complain about, in fact, with one in two saying life simply cost too much, 48 percent saying they weren't close enough to nature, and 19 percent saying they didn't feel “safe” in the capital. 
Where would you go in France if you had to leave Paris?
If you are also tempted by Bordeaux perhaps the link below will help.

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.