Pôle emploi : why register ?

Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

When I finally registered with Pôle Emploi (the French employment agency) I had a hard time understanding how things worked. I think I was removed from the register twice in the space of a few months because I thought that since my situation hadn’t changed I didn’t need to sign on every month… I carried on looking for my first job in France and, in addition, I had no unemployment benefits. In any event, with hindsight, it’s much better to sign on as a jobseeker as early as possible, even if you aren’t eligible for benefits. It at least means you can prove how long you’ve been in France, declare any small jobs you might have had… if you’re lucky enough not to have been on the black market (which I often was during the first few months! That’s how I got by, but it’s not great, especially at the beginning, when you have to sign on, claim benefits and health insurance…).

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