Lucas started a new job today. He's excited and also nervous for his first day in a "real" job. He's fianlly been hired under the type of contract that every French resident dreams of. A CDI, Contrat de duree indeterminee (Contract of undetermined duration) is very hard to come by. What makes it so elusive is the fact that with a contract like this it is practically impossible to be fired. French labour laws are extremely stringent, and this is the contract with the most protection. (When I first moved here, this sounded counter intuitive to me, I thought if the contract length was undetermined, that meant the opposite, you could be fired at any time. As happens often with me and French expressions, I was totally wrong.)
So you can imagine that we are very happy, excited and proud not to mention relieved. Before this he had been hired under a CDD, Contrat de Duree Determinee, which is a contract for a specified length of time. It would have ended in September this year and the best the company could offer him was another CDD until July 2007. Before having the CDD, he had been working through a temp agency, a pretty precarious situation where some weeks they would have nothing to offer him. Those days are thankfully behind us now. this is a really big step, not just because of the type of contract, but also because it's exactly the kind of job that he has been looking for.
It sounds crazy that finding a permanent job, especially when you have the level of education that Lucas has, would be so hard and such a big deal. But sadly this is the way the job market works in France, and the reason why my job search de-motivates me. If my highly educated, bi-lingual, French citizen husband had such a hard time, I wonder if the only option for me is what the temp agency keeps offering: call center jobs requiring English as a mother tongue. It's depressing.
But I don't want to take away from my honey's spot in the limelight. I know that he will do an awesome job and I am so proud of him!