How French Bureaucracy Changed How I Use Start-Ups + Gidsy + InDesign
Anyone who follows my blog knows about my ongoing struggle to stay in France. As of last spring, my documentation and renewal process for my carte de séjour got much “easier” (mainly because I’m valid for a year, rather than three month chunks). In order to work in France, you have to have a particular status. I am profession libérale. As an étrangere I have the right to work, sauf salarié. This is awesome. I am a freelancer/contract worker so it fits perfectly with the work I do. However that one little exception – that I’m not allowed to work salaried (presumably for fear that I’d be taking a job from a Frenchman, despite the fact that I have created a skill set and knowledge base that very few possess) – only hurts me in one particular situation: I am not allowed to teach at a university. Even if it is only a 3-day course, by French law (always subject to change and interpretation), teaching constitutes standing up in front of students in a class room, and is ALWAYS considered salaried work. A pity, because when I was still on my student card, I had a shot at it, loved teaching, and ironically was allowed to work under that status. The catch? If I was married or PACSed (French civil marriage), I’d be able to teach in that context. Messed up, non? Instead, I’ve been forced to get creative.
Fast forward to the internet (something France tends to be a few steps behind on. I blame it on the minitel). There are awesome platforms that are starting to be able to help facilitate doing what I love and overcome the major road blocks France has put in front of me. (Throughout, I have also worked to create a job for myself that I can do from anywhere). Gidsy is one of the platforms which is allowing me to teach, but just in an independent context. The platform for “unique activities by real people, anywhere” is just what I needed to offer private, small group and team training InDesign workshops. The other bonus? Not only does the site work as a great marketing tool for new people to discover what you do, but you get paid through the service right after you complete the activity (a huge bonus for freelance types who are used to having to hunt down payments, or receive them 45+ days after a job is complete). And while my workshops are offered in Paris according to the listing, theoretically I can offer them as I travel as well. The current version of Gidsy offers a calendar, and I have a few workshop times listed, but my schedule is highly flexible, so I’m always happy to work with people to find a time that works for us both. I’m also happy to customize the workshop to the skills, whether it be marketing, blogging or Photoshop, so you get the most out of our time together.
If you know anyone who may be interested in my InDesign Crash Course, please share the link!