The Big Reveal, part 2
So where was I yesterday? Oh yes, that's right, C's big decision....
He decided to call their bluff and quit.
Let's leave a moment of silence for all the dead fonctionnaires who just turned over in their graves.
And another moment for Cs family, friends and co-workers who all thought he was completely insane to leave a job that is guaranteed for life with great benefits.
Their reaction was basically why we didn't tell anyone else. It was like with the viager thing - everyone's reaction was so negative that it was hard to stay positive about the project. So C wanted to keep it on the DL for a while. It was not easy for me since it was a big event in our life and I am an oversharer, but hey, there are two of us now and I needed to respect his decision.
C had four months of vacation saved up, so he decided to take it all and use that time to study English and any other skills he would need for his new career. I was slightly worried that would entail him just sitting around at home all day and distracting me (since I work from home), but I needn't have worried. He got up every single day of those four months just as if he was going to work and went to study at the UNESCO library.
During that time, we talked a lot about rules for successful job hunting in the US - things like tailoring your resumé to the job description, sending personalized cover letters to each company and thank-you notes. These may seem obvious to the young Americans out there, but they are still things relatively unknown in France. Most French people just send out mass-mailings of a standard CV+lettre de motivation.
We also spent a lot of time talking about the interview process and the need for preparation, something else that is often lacking here. So C went back to his flashcard route and basically wrote up every interview question possible and then practiced his answers to them.
And then came the job hunting part. He spent so much time researching companies, salaries and careers, and all of his efforts paid off. He got tons of interviews and was offered almost every job. I was so proud that his hard work was paying off. I mean, how often does that happen in France? I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and be like "In your face all of you naysayers! See, it is possible to find a new job if you really try, even in this economy." But C as usual wanted to stay discret. (He is obviously better at being the bigger person than I am, lol). And anyways, most of those jobs paid just barely more than his civil servant job, and we were holding out for the big lot, so the hunt continued until we came across two job offers, both for foreign entities, that actually had more than decent salaries.
I will say that the one thing that we hadn't taken into account in all of this is that the hiring process in France takes time. Unlike C, most people don't quit their jobs until they find a new one, and there is often a 2-3 month notice period they have to give, so they don't actually end up starting their new job until a few months later. The hiring process has adapted to this, so when he came across these two amazing jobs and was raring to go, they were moving along the French timeline and going slowly.
The downside was that all of this was coming to a head at the end of his vacation period, which equaled the end of an income, so the stress was starting to filter in. And even more so when his boss sent him a letter saying that his démission had been denied and that he was to report back to work on Monday. And I was all WTF?? How can they say they refuse his quitting? Is that even possible? If you quit, you quit et basta! But wait, maybe the French government can do that? *cue panic attack*
What I can say is that there was a lot of back and forth, which included the police coming to our house and buzzing at the door in order to get him to come back to work (and me telling them through the intercom that they should be ashamed of themselves)...
Labels: Onwards and upwards