“After my master’s degree in financial law obtained at the University of Strasbourg, I really wanted to stay in Alsace. Unable to find a job there, I had to move to Paris where I worked as a lobbyist for three years. There, I defended the interests of the members of the main asset management company union, in particular with the European Commission.
During these first two years, I discovered a comfortable life as a well-paid super executive and I was able to buy myself a small apartment. However, the third year, I no longer really had a project, I had gone around my job and the Covid appeared and with it, teleworking.
So I took the opportunity to telecommute from Alsace, which I had never wanted to leave. A little by chance, I started accompanying my father-in-law, a butcher. I especially helped during the Christmas period and I really enjoyed it! Jokingly, we said to ourselves that I should have learned the trade of a butcher…
A fight for a metro ticket
When the confinement ended, I returned to Paris in my small apartment… But I went to work backwards. One day, the trigger: two people came to blows to find out who had arrived first in the queue… All that for a metro ticket.
That day, I remembered my butchery adventures and my furious desire to return to Alsace. The solution was found: what if I quit everything to become a butcher?
At that time, there was only one obstacle left, the “what will people say”. How would those around me react to the announcement that I am leaving a job that is well paid and well perceived socially to embark on a manual trade, less sexy on paper and above all less remunerative? However, I was very lucky, I was immediately supported in my project.
Alternating for one year
In September 2021, I started this professional retraining to become a butcher. I needed to do something with my hands, to please people, so that they could tell me if they enjoyed my products.
I am doing this retraining to go further than the simple job of artisan butcher, I wanted to defend the French and Alsatian gastronomic heritage and highlight the breeders who love and do their job well.
In order to learn this job, I did a 1-year work-study program in Paris at the ENSMV (National School of Meat Trades). There are classes dedicated to converts with profiles similar to mine and where the teachers are truly passionate, for many better workers in France. As for the professional part, I carry it out at “Terroirs d’Avenir” with a small team of passionate butchers in promoting exceptional products from reasoned breeding.
My retraining is fully co-financed by the confederation of butchers and employment center, following the obtaining of a conventional termination from my former employer.
“I lost 15 kg”
As a butcher, I get up much earlier, usually at 5:45 a.m. and start work at 7 a.m. We are preparing for the opening until 10 a.m.: setting up the showcase, preparing meat, charcuterie and orders as well.
The rest of the day we alternate between sales preparation and customer advice because the shop is very small so there is no distinction between the preparation part and the customer area. Sometimes we debone beef legs in front of customers and they constantly ask us what it is… The situation is quite funny (laughs).
The big differences with before are that time goes by at breakneck speed (I don’t really have time to look at the clock), that I spend my day on my feet, that the work is physical (I lost 15 kg! ), that I have relationships with ‘real people’ and that I am much less stressed than before. It had a positive effect on my personal life!
A third of my income less
Regarding the salary, I am paid at the hourly rate of the minimum wage during my apprenticeship. But Pôle emploi pays me an indemnity equal to the delta between the amount of rights that I could collect if I did not work and my salary as an apprentice.
In short, I lose a little less than a third of my income compared to before. I manage to manage this loss of income because I am not a big spender and who says loss of income means less tax to pay. And above all, the day you find your passion – whatever it is! – we don’t really work anymore. We live it. »
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