I've found quite a few ways of not settling professionally in France. Translations of my CV, leaflet and website into French was the foundation for a campaign targeting local authorities, development agencies and European-funded projects and project areas, (like Leader). Several dozen mailings later I got one invitation to tender. I tendered but didn't get the contract.
I went for an interview at the Chamber of Commerce in Le Puy, but decided not to follow that opportunity up after getting some 'not happy' vibes while there.
And an underlying 'all or nothing' approach to setting up as self-employed. To pay the tax and NI, you need a decent turnover, so there would be no point in starting if I haven't got a customer base.
Now I think I've found an alternative. With a few friends, I am going to set up an association that is dedicated to 'the cultures of the world'. We will be able to apply for grants for project ideas. I can work or volunteer, depending on my wishes and the project's needs. Haven't got a name for it yet. The first activities will be teaching English, especially to children and beginner adults. But the opportunities are endless - samba band, oral history, photography and so on.