Finding a Job
Lyon’s economy is doing well. Yet, it’s not always easy for WHV holders to find a job in their preferred industry.
Tourism and hospitality do hire, especially for the summer season. Experience isn’t always required to work as a waitress/waiter—if you can show your skills, you’ll be given a chance. Do make sure you’re working on the books as under-the-table work is very common in the industry. Kitchen staff (except dishwashers) generally requires previous relevant experience.
Lyon is also the perfect place to find seasonal work. Here are three options you may want to consider:
- Farm labour (wine harvest, fruit picking): greater Lyon is located in the heart of many wineries, including the famous Beaujolais, Bourgogne, and Savoie wine regions. To find a wine estate, just ask around—word-of-mouth recommendations are the best way to choose the right winegrower. Don’t forget to read the warning, “Wine harvest is a paid job.” You can also focus on fruit picking (mostly cherries) in Ardèche or in the Monts du Lyonnais. The ANEFA is a national association supporting agricultural training and employment programs, you can check out their website for job opportunities. You can also ask producers on local markets in Lyon if they need sales help or workers on the farm. While farm labour is difficult and exhausting, it’s also a rewarding challenge because you’ll meet people, learn new skills, stay in the country and discover an important aspect of French culture.
- Ski resort: employees are needed for front desk positions, mountain operations, food and beverage services, etc. Read this article (in French) to learn more about various opportunities available.
- Holiday resorts: during the summer season, seasonal workers are needed to work in local beach resorts (Annecy, Aix-les-Bains, for example) or mountain resorts.
If you have experience as a camp counsellor, childcare worker or teacher, May/June (i.e. before summer holidays) is the best hiring season for related opportunities. If you want to find work in your field, check out job search websites and classifieds to assess the market in Lyon and around.
Interested in working in the food and beverage industry? Talk a walk in the most touristic neighbourhoods (enjoy the stroll!) to spot potential “help wanted” signs. You can also bring copies of your resume and ask owners/managers directly for job opportunities (just don’t show up during the lunch or dinner rush!). Checking out classifieds (online, on bulletin boards at university, etc.) is also an option. Don’t forget to let people know you’re looking for a job, networking is a good way to tap into the invisible market (i.e. opportunities that are never advertised, quickly filled through word-of-mouth recommendations).
Finally, staffing agencies can also help you find short-term contracts, both in the service industry and trades. Note that some branches focus on a specific sector (food service, construction, etc.).
HelpX, Workaway or WWOOF are international networks with many hosts members in Lyon, around, and more generally, in Rhône-Alpes. This can be a fantastic experience for a complete immersion in a local family.