So, as many of you already know, I've found a new job, and to everyone's enormous surprise, it's here in Tours! I honestly didn't think in a million years that I would find something here - it's not exactly the hub of the intellectual and commercial worlds, especially when looking for English-speaking stuff.
So on the one hand, I'm happy not to have to pack up my apartment and leave (yet), rehome the cat, say goodbye to my friends etc., and on the other hand there's a big part of me that has been itching for a change of scene for some time now. That said, the initial contract only runs until the end of August, so there's plenty of scope for me to be back out on my arse again shortly (they have said there is a good chance of another contract at that point though).
I'm also kinda terrified at the prospect of going back to work! There's the whole issue of just adjusting back to a normal routine again, on top of the normal nerves from starting a new job. Plus it's a role I've never done before (electronic document and records management), and in a private company, which I've also never experienced either in France or in my professional career (not counting jobs here and there when I was a student, etc.) And while I feel my French has obviously improved over the last few years, the prospect of writing reports in French and perhaps having to deal with people over the phone gives me the jitters!
But on the bright side, yay a job! I just sent the contract off today, so it's all official! I'm still not sure what the net salary is, but the gross is looking pretty good for someone coming off the chômage, and it is a really good chance to get some new skills and experience in a different field of information work and environment. Plus it gives me some permanence for the next few months, since I've felt in a state of limbo, never quite knowing what would be around the corner and if I'd suddenly have to leave town or even the country. This means I've been able to plan (separate) visits from a friend and my sister, and a weekend in Paris for Ella's wedding, yay! And I am already plotting ways to spend the extra cash - nothing too dramatic, but all the little things I haven't been able to indulge in for the past year.
So, I know some of you have been wondering about the outcome of the IIO job in Brussels. The bad news is, I didn't get the job :( The good news is, they put me on the waiting list for future positions. Normally, I would think that was the employment equivalent of "but can we stay friends?", but they have asked me to do some fairly involved follow-up stuff which makes me think it is a little more meaningful than that. I'm not banking on something coming of it, but I'm taking it as a positive sign and presumably I would be in a stronger position in the future. I would still love to work there, so let's hope so! Looking back at the fact that two of the other candidates at my interview already had some sort of IIO connection going makes me wonder if they basically always waitlist people before hiring unless maybe someone exceptional with just the right experience comes along...