American Ageism, but is it as rampant in France?

After two months of searching for work with all my years of experience, awards, and degrees, the reality of not finding work seemed to be coming to fruition mid-August. In the US, if you have a qualified, older worker who is more expensive, due to their years and degrees, of course they normally hire the 23 year old right out of college. Vibrant, youthful, giddy and cheap. Hence why we are the land of botox, fillers, and fitness crazes. Young, young, young! But do the young every think, “Hhmmm, one day I won’t be young?” When we’re young, we do one thing and one thing only, we live in the moment. As we should always do so no matter one’s age. Why is it as we get older do we become more scared of the unknown and less the risk takers?

As La rentrée started, I woke up one day to a plethra of interview calls and multiple job offers on a single day. I experience many schools, some of which opened my eyes to the reality of private international schools. But then the perfect school came my way and sadly I had already signed a contract. Luckily, I have great French and English friends who were quite direct with me and said, “You need to be more French. There is always a clause. You’d be crazy not to take this job.” It was a harrowing experience and my heart sank for leaving my kids. Yet, I couldn’t pass up this new job. A job where my experience was revered and my expertise was wanted and I would be able to work with the most amazing people. With a CDI under my belt, I feel like the luckiest person alive.

As with all the jobs, I interviewed for, I got offered every one regardless of my years of experience. Does ageism exist in France? I’m sure it does, but at least here it is crazy, sexy, cool to have a few years under your belt and youth is simply a moment in time because the French find beauty in age and beauty in being more wise. After all, it’s why they say c’est la vie!Image

Bridge into Vieux Lyon. No cars allowed!

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The opera with new red lights. Don’t ask me why, they just like to change the colors every so often!

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