Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job in the Middle East
Accepting a new job is exciting. Moving to the Middle East can be even more exciting. However, before you sign on the dotted line there are few things that you should consider:
Are you getting a good offer?
The salaries in the Middle East are often many times higher than in your home country. On top of that, there is no income tax in most of the countries in the Middle East. This means that your net earnings will be several times higher than what you would be earning at home. However, before you accept the new job, you need to make sure that your offer is competitive and you will have the financial resources to support yourself and your family. The best method for confirming the competitiveness of your offer is to get more offers. Alternatively, you can go through the job postings on various job portals and compare your offer with the salaries offered by the other companies.
Comparing your offer with the salaries of your friends, who already work in the Middle East, is not the best approach for validating your offer. The salaries can vary significantly between countries, cities, levels of experience, etc. Dependent on your specialization, you also need to accept a lower salary if you do not have any previous work experience in the Middle East.
In addition, you need to make sure that you understand the costs of living in the Middle East. It can be very expensive to live here. Housing and schooling are often the most significant expenses, which you will be facing. Make sure that you have taken this into account when considering your offer.
Can you bring your family?
Confirm this in writing with your future employer. Understand whether the employer will be covering any of the costs related to your family members; e.g. visa costs, medical insurance, relocation, annual leave tickets, educational allowance, etc.
What do you know about your future employer?
Check the background of your potential employer before accepting a job with them. The best approach for this is to connect with some of the current employees of the company, either by LinkedIn or Facebook, and ask them if they are happy with the employer. Check for the timeliness of the salary payments, overall attitude and professionalism of the management, company’s reputation, etc.
What skills do you need to succeed in the Middle East?
Succeeding in the Middle East requires often different skills than what you might have currently. Most importantly, you must have very good communication skills in order to be effective in your job. English is the predominant business communication language throughout the Middle East. However, the level of English can vary significantly. Understanding and adapting to this is one of the basic success factors for anyone who wants to the successful here.
What are your motives for taking a job in the Middle East?
When accepting any job, you need to consider your motives for taking the job and whether these motives will be met. The most common motives for accepting a job in the Middle East are:
- Money – Middle East is a good opportunity for earning and saving money.
- Experience – If you do not have any international experience or have just entered the labor market, then the Middle East is a good place where to start.
- Lifestyle – Unfortunately, this is often the most deceptive motive for moving to the Middle East. Working and living here is a lot different than visiting the region as a tourist.
Is it good for your career?
Accepting a job in the Middle East is good for your career if you lack experience, especially international experience. This will give you an opportunity to strengthen your resume and gain an invaluable exposure to working with the people from all parts of the world. However, if you are already a renowned international specialist or want to advance your career in the domestic labor market only, then taking a job in the Middle East might not be the best thing for your career.
What if the new job does not work out?
You need to ready for the very real possibility that your new job might not work out for any number of reasons. This is not the end of the world. People change jobs in the Middle East much more often than in the other parts of the globe. Make sure that before you accept a job, you check your employment contract thoroughly to ensure that you can change jobs without having to return to your home country.
Is the Middle East a safe place?
In general, the Middle East is a safe place. Especially, if you move to one of the Gulf countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Qatar or Saudi Arabia). Staying vigilant and being aware of unsafe areas and situations is always a good idea.
Are you ready for a lifestyle change?
You have to be ready to adjust your lifestyle when moving to the Middle East. This starts from the little things like food and weather but also includes other habits; e.g. entertainment, social network, family support, etc. Consider this before making your final decision. Most of the people, who move to the Middle East and then leave disappointed, were unable to adjust their lifestyles.
Are you willing to make a commitment?
The decision to move to the Middle East is not something that you should make lightly. The potential rewards that could be waiting for you in the Middle East are significant but they will require a commitment and sacrifice. Make sure you that you are ready for this commitment
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