Leaving Paris: They Did It and Tell Their New Life

From Bordeaux (Gironde) to Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône) via Dordogne, heading south to former Parisians Valérie, Marion and Lionel.

Valérie, training at 50

It is not easy, when you are past the fifty mark and have suffered a long period of unemployment, to find work. Valérie, a digital communications officer in Paris, looking for a new job, has taken the bull by the horns. She followed a support offered by Visiplus, an organization specialized in distance education in marketing, communication and management.

“I wanted to unlock the situation, even if it meant changing my life and going to the provinces. This eight-month training allowed me to add new skills to my CV and update myself thanks to a state-recognized diploma. This was decisive for the comeback,” he explains. Goodbye, Paris! “I quickly got a new job in communications in Aix-en-Provence, where I have lived for a year. Valerie has no regrets today. “The living environment here is great. The TGV station and the airport are not far away, the real countryside is five minutes away… Of course, you have to move to meet people and start a new life in the small village of Eguilles. But I belong to a sports club, that creates links! “.

The dream of a house with a pool is still far away. Here, the price per square meter is high. Valérie currently lives in an apartment. But no matter, her new region is above all an unexpected professional lifeline for her. This is confirmed by Regis Micheli, founder of Visiplus: “Our customers are often residents of Ile-de-France who are recycling between the ages of 35 and 45, at the time of a personal assessment. We support them in their mobility, summarizes the trainer. Many realize their dream of settling in the provinces by starting their own business. From this point of view, we can say that there was a before and after Covid. »

The lesson to be learned from Valérie’s experience: you can recover at any age, even unemployed, as long as you have up-to-date and certified training to attract a new employer. And do not refuse, on principle, mobility outside the home. Because you shouldn’t hesitate to explore job offers in the region. The province is often home to opportunities. But for that, you have to dare to change your life and your surroundings.

Marion, 31, professional love at first sight

Some leave Paris to change their environment, others because they fell in love… with a company in the region! This is the case of Marion, married, with two children, who nevertheless had a good career in the capital. “I worked eleven years as a production manager in a large company”, says the young woman. But I dreamed of joining Aphalte, a formidable Parisian box that designs and manufactures pre-ordered clothes to avoid waste, with a revolutionary, ethical and ecological approach. I had read articles in the press that talked about it and the mood seemed great to me. That’s why I approached them…”.

After a lost first date, Marion keeps in touch with William, the young founder of Asphalte. But the company is moving to Bordeaux! The second time will be good. “It was like a sign of fate, my husband got a new job… in this city. He left KPMG for a group of veterinary clinics. It was written ! », laughs Marion. Things came to a head two years ago. “I, left my old company in total confinement, was returning from a professional trip to the end of the world. Everything was done in a few days, it was an epic moment! “, she remembers.

So obviously professional love at first sight also exists. Since then, the entire little family has become residents of Bordeaux, living in a charming little house with an incomparable setting. “Life is quieter here,” admits Marion. As for Asphalte, her move to the capital of the Gironde brought her luck. “In two years, we went from 20 to 60 employees”, celebrates William Hauvette, founder of the company. He himself was, however, a pure Parisian… “All the officials followed me to Aquitaine. I have a very young team, with an average of 25 years. Bordeaux is a city with a human dimension and very energetic, confides the entrepreneur. We recruit 10 people a year and a half who come from Paris. Some choose to work from home, we don’t impose anything…”, he concludes.

Marion’s lesson: you only have one life and the pleasure principle at work is fundamental. You have to dare to step out of your comfort zone – a steady, routine job – if you come across your dream job, one that makes sense for you, even in a different professional industry.


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Lionel, 48, has put his company on the green

He dreamed of it, he did it. Five months ago, Lionel chose a small paradise in the Dordogne to develop his company Weebeego, which designs custom websites and software. “In Paris, I could barely fit two computers side by side in my 3m2 office,” he recalls. Here, I have a house of 155 m2 and a magnificent garden of one hectare. It took us a long time to find this gem, but what a happiness today! It’s a change from my small apartment in the Paris region in Carrières-sous-Poissy! “His partner also preceded him in joining his native region of Toulouse (Haute Garonne). “Our job allows us to work remotely, whenever and wherever we want,” he says.

In the provinces, Lionel made this choice with his wife, a painter, for many other reasons. In addition to the pressing desire to change the living environment and leave the oppressive suburbs and their unpredictable transport times, professional reasons counted for a lot. “It changes everything: I’m going to choose proximity by building a local network with elected officials, the department’s chamber of commerce, business associations. I’ll start by going on a tour of the City Councils, says the business manager. Goodbye, the big shows and the tiring and not always useful trips…”. And if asked: why the Dordogne? He replies tac-au-tac: “But because it’s the least polluted place in France! “.

Lionel’s Lesson: You Can Combine Business With Pleasure. In this case, more comfortable working conditions often allow the launch or relaunch of a liberal activity.

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