Being the ‘foreign madwoman’ again :)

24 September 2010

I have been to the Maison de l’emploi et de la formation. They were good, they were patient and I have yet again qualified for the status of ‘foreign madwoman’. The nice man took about an hour to talk to me, but you see, I have all these ideas in my head about the way I’d like to work and how to continue my professional development. Only this does not tie in with French reality: I have been given the choice to either work in a hospital or in the community. Shift flexibility like working certain days or fixed hours is a big NO-NO here, at least in hospitals. I was told that your employer can expect you to be working morning shifts, late shifts, nights and weekends. When I said “no, I will not work this way”, I knew by the look the poor advisor gave me that I had definitely qualified for above mentioned status. Anyway, the choice is pretty easy, because most flexibility with regards to working patterns seems to be on the community service. I will try that, it will definitely advance my French and I will probably refresh basic nursing skills long neglected such as inserting urinary catheters, doing injections… ahhh!!! I hope they also provide a refresher course for me, because these are skills I haven’t needed in a number of years :). Language-wise, I did really well today… the man understood me and said that, in his opinion, I definitely did not need a language course. So I think the strained look on his face and the pulling of his hair were mostly to do with the content of what I was saying. Anyway, it was sound advice he gave me when he said that I needed a very good CV in French. (He didn’t even look at my English one, pretending not to understand a thing.) So now I will try and prepare a CV. I have a second appointment with another poor man next Tuesday. He will help me to optimise the contents of my CV. Isn’t the service I received today marvellous? Swift and practical help to get me started. I just hope I don’t drive my next advisor to despair too… But I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do now and a pathway I want to take to achieve my longer term goals. These plans are borne out of an attitude towards nursing as a career that I adopted in Britain and I am probably a bit spoilt through all my years of working with my out-of-this-world-fantastic-wonderful manager who always tried to accommodate both the needs of the service as well as the needs of her staff. I don’t want to give up the hope of finding employment in France which is compatible with my long term plans, therefore I am a bit picky and difficult to manage, I guess. But I am looking forward to finding a job which will give me more insight into the French culture as well as an opportunity to learn to speak *even better French* 😉 . As a foreigner, it can be so easy to stay on the fringes and just hang out with others who are in a similar situation and that would be a shame, because we only have another 4 years left in France!

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