Hayley, a talented expat partner who gets a job in France!


expat partner France

Hayley is an expat partner we welcome, discover who she is and the talent she is! She gets a job in France!

Expat partners are talents!

Hello Hayley, You are an expat partner in France.  Where were you before Paris ?

I lived in the Yarra Valley, just outside Melbourne in Australia.


Where do you come from ?

expat partner Melbourne

I am Australian, born and raised.


What was your job before?

I’ve worked in Human Resources and Recruitment for over 10 years.
The last company I worked for was a financial services firm in Melbourne.


Is it your first expatriation?

Yes, this is the first but hopefully not the last.


Were you happy to go abroad?

I had mixed feelings of excitement, sadness and curiosity.
It was hard at first, especially because I had not lived in a big city like Paris before.
There was sadness to leave my friends, family and the new house we had recently bought.
But, I love travel & going on adventures so ultimately this won me over.


How were your feelings when you’ve arrived in France?
What is difficult as an expat partner ? If yes, what was the most difficult for you?

When I first arrived there was a lot of excitement because everything was surreal.

The first two weeks we treated like a holiday, and then eventually the normal feelings of culture shock hit.
It was about the time when my husband went to work for the 2nd week
that I realized I was on my own for 8 – 9 hours a day.

After you’ve seen all the tourist traps and walked the streets to take in the city,
you suddenly realize there is no one else to share it with.

This was particularly difficult for me, especially coming from an environment constantly surrounded by friends and family.

This is where Absolutely French was really important for me. I was able to connect with other people
in a similar situation to me and it made the world of difference to my experience.

How to be integrated in your new country?


And now ? How do you feel in Paris ?

Now, I love it here. Yes, there is still the odd challenge (like plumbing issues for example) that test me.
But at the end of the day, I know I am not going to be here forever so I need to enjoy every moment of what I have.
My home will always be there and I can go back whenever I like (now it may be a little tricky with Covid, but I can still go home eventually).


Did you start a new project?

I decided to go back to study and complete a new degree online, which I have been meaning to do but never had the time.

5 millions expatriate women

A new job?

Yes, I am currently working for McKinsey & Company in their recruitment team.

It is only a 6 month contract but I am confident this will lead to other opportunities.

I’ve learnt a lot about the work culture here and gained new skills that I hope to take to my future employer.

This job came to me via LinkedIn, so if you haven’t already and you are looking for work

please make sure you update your LinkedIn page.

You never know what opportunity is waiting.


Do you think that this expatriation have brought you new skills as an expat partner ?

Absolutely! There is no doubt about it.


Do you think that these skills could be use in the professional world?

As someone who works in recruitment, skills such as adaptability, flexibility
and cultural understanding/awareness are very valuable in any workplace –
even more so in the world we live in at the moment and I believe expats are experts in this area.

Expat partners have had to problem solve in a different language and culture,
not knowing exactly how the interaction will turn out but you give it a go none the less.
You’ve also had to navigate ambiguity daily and do this all with a level head.
You’ve also learnt that the French word for « no » may not necessarily mean « no »,
it’s just you haven’t asked the right question to get a « yes ».

These are all skills that you would not have necessarily gained if you didn’t take up this experience as an expat.
So, yes. I do believe these skills could be used in a professional environment.


How do you see your life after? What do you want? Go back home? Go somewhere else?

Today, it is hard to stay exactly what life will be like after this expatriation.
I know I will not be the same, but that is a good thing I think.
If and when I return home, I think I’ll feel like the town is too small and I’m not ready to stop the adventure just yet.
I’d like to live somewhere else, but with Covid-19 it’s hard to say where and what this will look like.
We will have to wait and see.


What is your favorite quote? 

« Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain.
Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life – facing new challenges,
seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and in the process,
discovering our own unique potential. », John Amatt.


Something to add?

As hard as it may seem at first, put yourself out there to build your own community and connect with new people.
It makes a world of difference when you have a community of like minded expats to speak with.


To change how society views expat partners, Hayley is also our VP Expat Partners for Absolutely Talented


Absolutely French is the first French school ?? dedicated only to expat spouses.
Our main mission is to promote double career among expatriate couples.
With our fun, friendly and innovative French trainings, we guarantee you a better integration ❤️ !

You want to learn with us?

You want to register an expat partner?

Contact us!
E-mail: contact@absolutely-french.eu
Tel: 01 83 73 98 49
Address: 4, rue Faraday 75017 Paris


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