What do you mean, I can’t work for myself?

I’ve been spending my day working on my CV, trying to convert my “lawyer” CV into one that screams:


I spent almost 8 years of my life working as a lawyer for a big firm in Washington, DC. Many of my clients were big financial institutions from Wall Street and most of my work was for them. When I left that job back in 2009, I decided to pursue a different course, but I wasn’t quite sure which one to take.

I got to France last fall, but I didn’t really start looking for work right away. After all, I was here on a student visa, so my focus was on studying … learning French, bien sûr.

I had a few ideas, but the easiest seemed to be teaching. I tried to get a job with a company that focused on teaching English to children, but I never could get any gigs despite several applications. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough (I mean, I was distracted by the subjunctive mode), or maybe none of the families wanted a 38-year-old guy living in La Courneuve teaching their kids English. I don’t know.

In any case, earlier this year I had the bright idea to start my own “English language consultancy” … JE PARLE AMÉRICAIN. Pretty clever title, I thought. Unfortunately for me, it turns out that you need a special visa to work in France as an independent contractor. Going back to the US to apply for a new visa that may or may not be granted, leaving my French husband here in Paris all by himself isn’t really an option for me, so …

© Wall Street Institute

I’m back to the drawing board. There’s a big English language instruction operation here called “Wall Street Institute.” Maybe you’ve seen the ads: “Do you speak English?” “Yes! I speak Wall Street English!”

Well, who could be a better fit than a former Wall Street lawyer who speaks French pretty well and speaks English even better?! Well, maybe that beautiful model with a British flag on her tongue, huh?

Click here for an update on my epic job search …

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

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