Pourquoi, et comment, travailler à l’étranger ?

L’idée de travailler à l’étranger est assez effrayante,  vu qu’il faut laisser son pays, sa culture et sa famille derrière et se mettre en route pour une destination inconnue. Pourtant, les avantages l’emportent sans doute sur les peurs, et dès que vous partirez à l’étranger vous commencerez à voir à quel point cette expérience peut vous bénéficier, d’une façon personnelle et également quant à votre carrière. Voici des conseils et des raisons pour lesquelles vous devez faire vos valises maintenant !

Alors, vous avez choisi votre pays d’accueil, vous connaissez peut-être un peu de la langue locale, et si vous avez la chance vous avez même trouvé un travail. Premier conseil : savoir auparavant les possibles difficultés que vous pourriez rencontrer (désolé, il y aura surement des difficultés où que vous alliez !), ainsi elles ne vous embêteront pas autant. Que ce soit une gaffe linguistique ou des difficultés à trouver un logement, vous allez franchir les obstacles avec une mentalité positive, sachant que tout fait partie de l’expérience.

Bien installé dans votre nouveau pays, vous pouvez commencer à profiter des nouvelles expériences qui vous sont désormais disponibles. Si vous visez apprendre la langue ou pas, c’est le moment de connaître les gens du coin et en leur parlent vous allez vraiment  découvrir la culture du pays. Certes, ils font les choses d’une manière un peu différente, ce qui peut vous paraître bizarre, mais ces différences font intéressante la vie. Vous deviendrez beaucoup plus ouvert d’esprit en adoptant quelques coutumes locales, tout comme la sieste en Espagne ou prendre du thé en Angleterre, et en plus ça pourrait vous plaire –  qui n’aimerait pas passer une heure en dormant chaque après-midi ? S’il  s’agit d’un séjour linguistique, insistez pour parler le plus que possible, sans avoir recours à votre langue maternelle… Oui, je parle à vous les anglophones ! Vous allez découvrir que, bien qu’on ait des petites particularités, les personnes ne sont pas si différentes.

Du point du vue du travail, la barrière linguistique peut provoquer des soucis . Si vous ne vous sentez pas confiant en parlant la langue, le conseil le plus important est de restez calme – n’oubliez pas que votre patron vous a embauché en raison de vos compétences et parce que vous êtes capable d’effectuer l’emploi. Ce n’est pas grave s’il faut demander à quelqu’un de répéter 4 ou 5 fois, mieux vaut faire ainsi que mal comprendre une instruction. Peu à peu, vous trouverez que vous êtes capable de parler, et que vous apprenez le vocabulaire spécifique à votre poste. Finalement, venir travailler à l’étranger vous rend attractif auprès des recruteurs, témoignant votre détermination ainsi que votre capacité d’adaptation.

Voilà pourquoi vous devez partir à l’étranger dès que vous avez l’opportunité. Vous n’avez rien à perdre, parce que votre pays vous attendra toujours si la vie à l’étranger ne vous plait plus et qui sait, il se peut que votre pays d’accueil vous plaise encore plus que votre pays d’origine !  Si vous avez aimé ce blog, vous pouvez lire plus ici, et n’hésitez pas à consulter nos offres d’emploi.

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Where Could French Take You?

You might be tempted to believe that French is just spoken dans l’Hexagone, but in fact French is your passport to some of the world’s most exciting and interesting locations. Second only to English as the world’s most widely spoken language, French is an official language in 29 countries as diverse as Canada and the Seychelles. So with that in mind let us give you a tour of some of our top Francophone destinations:

Montreal, Canada

Canada’s second city is an eclectic mix of old meets new, where a flourishing arts and restaurant scene buzzes against a backdrop of charming colonial architecture and soaring skyscrapers. Whilst this is a truly bilingual city, French is generally the preferred language and speaking it will go a long way towards winning the locals’ favour.

Top three:

  • Stroll through Old Montreal’s quaint cobbled streets, soak up the colonial atmosphere and visit Montreal’s very own Notre Dame!

  • Montreal has everything you could possibly want in terms of restaurants, but perhaps the most emblematic dish is poutine. This slightly questionable sounding dish of chips with cheese and gravy is so popular that it has sparked its own festival in February, where restaurants each provide their own spin on the classic dish. Trust us, it’s delicious.
  • Montréal’s music scene is unrivalled in Canada, and in particular you should take a look at the International Jazz Festival which takes place place from the 26th June to 5th July in 2015.

Speak the local lingo:

To speak true québécois you must learn to scatter your French with anglicisms; which should be ‘pas de troubles’ for our largely bilingual readership! On top of that there is a wealth of idiomatic phrases, here are just a few:

Ca a pas d’allure : Meaning something makes no sense at all, or that it’s crazy. Ironically this one makes no sense to metropolitan French speakers.

J’suis tanné : I’m fed up, I’ve had enough. (NB This has nothing to do with leatherwork!)

Chum/Blonde : Boyfriend/girlfriend, regardless of hair colour!

Nosy Be Island, Madagascar

This island, whose slightly unimaginative name (literally translated from Malagasy as ‘big island’) does little justice to its beauty, is Madagascar’s number one tourist destination and the perfect excuse for you to go and practise your French. Think rustic, unspoiled beaches, beautiful sunsets and an atmosphere so laid back that you’ll never want to be vertical again. Add this to the fact that the Madagascans are renowned for their smiles and friendly disposition and you have an ideal holiday destination.

 

Top three:

  • Every year, Nosy Be hosts the Donia Music Festival, where you can enjoy parades, music and immerse yourself in the fascinating and beautiful Malagasy culture.
  • Take the time to explore the local flora and fauna. Just off the island is Nosy Tanikely, a stunning marine reserve where you can snorkel with sea turtles, or alternatively you can visit the Lokobe nature reserve, where you’re likely to bump into lemurs and colourful reptiles.

  • In terms of culinary offerings, you would be mad to miss the fresh fruit in Madagascar, and it all tastes so much better whilst sitting on the pristine beaches of Nosy Be.

Marrakech, Morocco

Enchanting and bewildering in equal measure, Marrakech is brimming with life and boasts some of the world’s most beautiful Islamic architecture. The labyrinthine souks that run through the heart of the city offer an ideal opportunity to barter for anything from jewellery to spices, en français, bien sûr! Although the locals are generally native Arabic or Berber language speakers, colonial influence means that French is preferred as a lingua franca over English.

Top three:

  • The striking Jardin Majorelle was gifted to Marrakech by Yves Saint Laurent in 1964 and is not to be missed. Take a relaxed afternoon to escape from the heat and explore this leafy oasis in the middle of bustling Marrakech, and whilst you’re there enjoy a traditional mint tea in the charming café. For the culturally inclined there is also a museum showcasing Berber art.

  • In the centre of Marrakech’s old quarter (or medina) is the impressive Jemaa el-Fna square where you can sample the local delicacies against the backdrop of the towering Koutoubia mosque. Try a lamb tagine with cous-cous, or if you’re feeling a little more daring many places serve a delicious spiced snail soup.
  • The star feature of Marrakech is, without a doubt, its maze of covered markets (souks). You can quite literally lose yourself for hours browsing this Aladdin’s cave, and haggling with the vendors is all part of the experience! Set yourself a challenge and see what you can buy with 50 dirham (approximately 5 euros)

So there you have it! French can take you to places far beyond Europe. Which of these destinations would you most like to visit? Let us know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this post look out for more here. For those searching for jobs in the Paris area, consult our offers here.

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

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Have you ever lied in an interview or at work? The answer is probably. Basic human instinct is survival… therefore, exaggerating, omitting and embellishing the truth are often used to cut ahead of the rest in order to get hired or promoted. In an ideal world in which career progression were easy, honesty would of course be the best policy. But with youth unemployment at 22.8%[i] in France and promotions harder to come by, how much do you need to lie to survive in the recruitment process or is honesty really the best policy?

 

The CV

 

The first impression an employer gets from a candidate is their CV… it’s sink or swim!  It is not surprising that 53% of CVs contain falsehoods to survive this stage[ii].  These falsehoods may consist of made-up experiences or skills and even stretching dates of employment, resulting in a more employable and impressive candidate. But beware… whitewashing the truth on your CV rather than merely embroidering it is becoming more dangerous. There has been a recent rise in pre-employment screenings caused by the high demand for jobs; now candidates that have lied are being found out in the first round.

 

The Interview

 

The second impression that an employer gets in the recruitment stage comes from the interview. Candidates will primarily be asked about their CV and if they have not been honest they risk getting caught in their own web of lies and botching their interview.  Some questions, however, may require the candidate to exclude information and facts. Common interview advice is to avoid any negativity towards previous jobs. If asked “Why did you leave your previous job?” an honest reply such as “because I hated my boss…” is not an appropriate answer. Omission of the truth can often be essential in order to keep within the professional boundaries of an interview and to ensure a good impression is made.

 

The Workplace

 

Once in the workplace, careful attention must be paid. Lies are regularly used as a safety net to avoid punishment having made an error. Excuses such as “My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning” should be left in the playground as an apology is more effective in these menial cases. In more serious cases lying to cover up fatal errors or to put yourself ahead of anyone else is more treacherous. This can result in chronic lies causing paranoia and insecurities within the workplace until the truth eventually comes out. In fact, 15% of employees in today’s businesses have been caught lying while at work[iii]. Once found out as a liar the employee’s relationships and reputation will be permanently damaged and they risk losing their job.

Most bosses will be appreciative when told the truth rather than a cover up. Honesty is viewed as courageous whereas dishonesty is cowardice. Statistically, employees who told fewer lies had better relationships and smoother interactions within the workplace[iv]. An honest employee’s credibility and integrity speaks for itself, giving that person increased opportunities since the honest employee has proven themselves.  Furthermore, the peace of mind associated with a moral outlook in the office will result in higher productivity and happiness.

The Answer

In conclusion, there is far more to lose than gain from lying. When applying for a job it is understandable to want to present yourself in the most flattering light, especially in the current market. However, honesty is also highly valued and appreciated in the workplace and can be counted on as the best policy. The advice to give would be: Do not have a reason to be dishonest in the first place. Prove yourself to be a great candidate and employee on your own merit rather than lie and risk your reputation and job.

 

 Alternatively, lie your way to the top… just don’t get caught!

The Value of The French Language

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English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language. As English is now considered the “universal language”, does bilingualism in French have any value in the recruitment process?  The answer is yes.

Being bilingual in French leads to more benefits than just raw human dialogue. It opens a new world of communication skills that are essential in the work place. As the world becomes a seemingly smaller place, the influence of the French language is becoming wider in tandem with the internet and new markets. For candidates in the job market, a grasp of the French language might be what it takes to shine out from the rest as its value is ever increasing.

As the world becomes more socially, economically and technologically connected, competence in languages such as French is increasingly important.  There are a total of around 355 million French speakers worldwide including new markets that are considered economically important in the near future. The French speaking market is eminent and drives up the demand for French speakers in the job market.

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The French language is also opening new doors for international companies that were not considered valuable in the past. Half of the top-10 fastest growing countries in Africa have French as an official language and we can thus expect Africa to be an increasing focus of global trade and international relations.

Moreover, French is the third most used language on the internet ahead of Spanish. The internet has enabled entirely new forms of communication, research and business in recent years and is now considered a ‘basic need’. Bilingual candidates have goldmines of information at their fingertips that would otherwise be inaccessible to those relying on English.

Good communication skills are valued by many employers as “the most important of all life skills” and the candidate who can deal with a customer in their own language will without doubt have an edge. With the graduate job market crowded and a poor economic climate, bilingual communication skills are bordering on essential.  The recipe for successful communication skills is to understand the culture of the country you are doing business with which comes from being bilingual.

A grasp of the culture gives an understanding of acceptable behaviour and ethical differences that should be recognised for any real communication to take place. Miscommunications may have a serious impact on the success of the negotiation process. Whether it is following instructions or perceiving the motives of a client, it is essential in a working environment.

No one can deny the importance of the English language on an international scale however this does not reduce the value of French.  With the expanding Francophone sphere of influence combined with the necessary communication skills that accompany fluency, bilingual candidates shine out ahead of the rest.  The French language is therefore invaluable during the recruitment process and is becoming even more important with global development. Set yourself apart from the rest and learn French.

La langue française – va-t-elle disparaître ?

Récemment, j’ai lu un article de BBC concernant la tendance américaine d’utiliser des mots ou phrases typiquement <<britanniques>>. On peut affirmer la même chose de la France en ce qui concerne les anglicismes. Par exemple, best of, sponsor, fast-food, week-end, burn-out, come-back, shopping, prime-time ne sont que quelques exemples d’anglicismes utilisés quotidiennement.  Malgré les efforts de l’Etat et l’Académie Française, l’anglais s’infiltre toujours dans la langue française.

Est-ce qu’il y a une solution pour résoudre cette discussion ou est-elle une tendance qu’il faut accepter ?

Depuis la publication de <<Parlez-vous franglais ?>> dans les années 60, les anglicismes ont été un thème brûlant de la société française.  En 1990, l’Académie Française a publié un dictionnaire des anglicismes qui comprenait au moins trois milles mots. Dix ans plus tard, ce chiffre a augmenté d’environ cinq milles mots en dépit de l’imposition de la loi Toubon. Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas la loi Toubon, en 1994 elle a été créée pour protéger le patrimoine linguistique français. La loi Toubon a mis en place des mesures qui incluent l’obligation de l’emploi du français dans des entreprises exerçant en France ; l’orientation sur l’éducation pour souligner la maîtrise de la langue française et la promotion de diffusion des œuvres culturelles françaises. Cependant, il semble que l’influence de la mondialisation commence à avoir un impact.

Premièrement, les anglicismes occupent une place fondamentale dans le domaine de la technologie et de la science. Selon Bénédicte Madinier (Délégation Générale à la Langue Française), << …  l’anglais est devenu la langue de référence dans le monde globalisé et…si une invention apparaît à Hong Kong, à Rome ou à Buenos Aires, elle sera quasi systématiquement pourvue d’un nom anglais. >>  Par ailleurs, la présence des anglicismes dans les médias les rend << à la mode >> et l’émergence des faux-anglicismes comme  le mobbing, le zapping, un baby-foot, top etc. démontre encore plus l’influence globalisée sur la langue française.  En outre, les Français emploient des anglicismes par contraction, là ou un seul mot en anglais peut exprimer une idée qui nécessite plusieurs mots en français eg. baskets plutôt que chaussures de sport. Les anglicismes sont présents dans la langue française mais ceux qui sont allergiques au franglais n’abandonnent pas la lutte.

L’année dernière, l’Académie Française a introduit une nouvelle section du site-web qui s’appelle, <<Dire, Ne pas Dire. >> La section condamne les anglicismes et les emprunts et elle offre une alternative préférable en français. La liste inclut, par exemple, opportunité, en charge de et pitch en offrant les solutions occasion, être chargé de et idée. Une nouvelle innovation, WikiLF invite les interlocuteurs à participer à l’enrichissement de la langue française. Il s’agit d’un forum où l’on peut proposer un équivalent français pour un concept anglo-saxon, participer aux discussions et voter pour un terme proposé par d’autres internautes. Certains utilisateurs proposent que l’heureureuse puisse remplacer happy-hour, fashionista devienne modamante et  samdim prenne la place de week-end.

Toutes choses considérées, l’émergence des emprunts anglais et anglicismes dans la langue française grandit à un rythme remarquable. Néanmoins parmi les anglophones, en particulier aux Etats-Unis, on emprunte fréquemment des mots français comme au contraire, bon appétit, cliché.  On utilise ces expressions parce qu’il est difficile d’expliquer un concept dans sa propre langue et cela démontre que parfois une langue est plus appropriée à résumer une idée qu’une autre. La majorité des anglicismes courants en français existe parce que le concept est d’origine anglo-saxonne. Par conséquent, je crois que l’Académie Française n’a aucune raison de s’inquiéter !

Qu’en pensez-vous? Les emprunts anglais sont-ils un aide ou un empêchement à la langue française ?