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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've visited the Chamonix valley a couple of times for vacations and am totally captivated by it. I would dearly love to relocate there. The main problem from my point of view is that is seems to be REALLY expensive to live there. Additionally, I need to earn a good wage and it seems difficult to find professional jobs in the area. I know there are a lot of expats in the area. How do you guys make your livings ? self emloyed or just make do with the low paying service jobs ? I'm looking for any ideas on how to make this viable financially as I would love to try it.

Thanks
John
 

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What is your profession? Is it something that can be done remotely? A lot of the full-time expats in the valley have jobs that just require them to have a computer and the internet. Other people in the valley used to have jobs in the UK and created a new business in Chamonix (Transfer companies, catered chalets etc).
The problem with the service industry in Chamonix is during the quiet months. Whether you are an employee or a business owner, Chamonix shuts down during May, October and November. And the summer months, whilst there are more tourists, are much quieter for a lot of the service industry. For example, a transfer company I used to work for had 15 drivers and 10 vans over the winter. During the summer it had 2 drivers and 2 vans.

Anywhere in the valley near the ski lifts is expensive to rent a place. Somewhere like Taconnaz or Les Bossons have a much cheaper possibilities. And if you go out of the valley, places like Servoz and Passy are cheaper again.

There is a local forum in the area [ChamSocial] | The social network for Chamonix Once you have signed up you can place posts asking for jobs or answer ones already there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi James,

Thanks for your helpful response. I'm an engineer by training and currently work in a specialty thats not suited to working solo from home. I'm giving myself a couple of year to put together a plan for this, so I'm open to re-training into another career. I've not lived in Europe for 20 years (I'm currently in the USA) - so I've lost touch with the employment practices. What sort of careers allow full time working from a remote location ?

Thanks !
Mike
 

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France is just starting to open up to the idea of telecommuting and I wouldn't lay great store in finding a job with a French company that would allow you to telecommute. It's more likely you'd be able to telecommute through a British or US company. Or, you can set up your own business in France based either on the local economy or something that you can do long-distance via computer.

Retraining is fine, but the French tend to mistrust mid-career career changes and finding a job in a very thinly industrialized region like the Chamonix valley could be a real challenge. OTOH, if you could create a business and a job for yourself - you might be able to interest the local Chambre de commerce, Conseil général and other business support groups to help you, particularly if you would be able to offer employment to a couple of the local folks.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Bev is absolutely right. Of my friends in Chamonix who work remotely, they consist mostly of graphic designers and web designers. A few of them also have small businesses of their own on the side, such as knitwear and clothing brands.

I'm sure there are still plenty of niches in Chamonix that are yet to be opened up. You've just got to think of the right idea.
 

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Hi there

The work available to you would depend on your language skills too. If you don't speak French then half the market is closed to you and you'll be mainly confined to the service industry which is as James said, busy in the winter and quiet in the summer. It's also notoriously badly paid. There are a lot of people who work elsewhere but use Chamonix as their base, ie those that work on the oil rigs, for the airlines. This might offer a solution to you. You'll find that most people who work here and who aren't lucky enough to be able to work from home or return here from a well paid job, need to be very flexible and open to working as more or less anything.
Chamonix is a great place to live but as you say is very expensive. Having said that, although living expenses are high, the options of what to do in your spare time are fantastic. There are people here who have hardly any money and scrape around from day to day just so that they can be here, there are others who want a certain standard of living. As ever, it's up to you to find your happy medium.
Good luck
 
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