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Gary chez Chauffeur-Privé

I arrived in France, without speaking any French because I decided to follow my heart. I’ve found that there is a large generation of younger people now educated to a very high level of English and that companies may offer international careers for non-French speakers.

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My career now spans over 20 years. I was born and educated in the United Kingdom and studied my degree at Essex University. I graduated at the age of 21 with a BSc in Computer Science. I’ve spent roughly 17 of my professional working years based in the UK (across various sectors such as finance, travel, internet, public services) and had the privilege to work with people from or in the United Kingdom, America, Bangkok, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and now France. I therefore consider myself very much a European, despite what my fellow Brits might have voted for recently!

I arrived in France, without speaking any French because I decided to follow my heart, a story not unfamiliar to a lot of people. However, it’s not been all ‘plain-sailing’ as we say in England and regardless of cultural differences, I believe this poses the largest problem for people coming to live and work here. I’ve found that there is a large generation of younger people now educated to a very high level of English (and wanting to use it), and that companies may offer international careers for non-French speakers. I joined Chauffeur Privé in June 2016 and part of what attracted me to both the role and the company was its success story as a start-up, it’s aggressive, ambitious and achievable targets for growth and probably the key thing, the collaborative environment in which they’ve chosen to work.

Life at Chauffeur Privé is fast paced to say the least and I am learning every day from the people around me. Their ‘recipe’ for success indicates that hard work, intellect, passion, collaboration and drive (pun intended) have brought them to this point and will continue to push them forward for the years to come. I hope that my experience will play a big part in that future.

I think there’s a great deal of benefit for French tech companies to take more ‘chances’ on overseas talent and vice-versa. Every country complains of the ‘brain-drain’ (to differing levels) where the newly graduated immediately leave the country to experience something new, why shouldn’t they! It doesn’t have to mean there is a shortage of talent available if you consider the pool of talent that exists at a global level.

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