How To…Get A Job In Dubai
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How To…Get A Job In Dubai

How To…Get A Job In Dubai

Gulf Business spoke to Toby Simpson, managing director of the Gulf Recruitment Group, to find out the best way to start a new career in the hotly favoured tax-free city of Dubai.

Gulf Business

There was a time when a well-heeled chap fresh off the boat could turn up to a mixer at a good country club and emerge a few hours later slightly dazed and running a not inconsiderable division of a retail bank. The bank would find you accommodation and assist with every aspect of supporting your life in this far flung frontier market, whilst you faced the daily battle with the overhead fan to stop papers flying off your desk.

Those days are gone. The leadership of Dubai has created in a short space of time a thriving economy with legal, transport and social infrastructure to rival anywhere on the planet. People want to be here, and the economy is large enough and advanced enough to create a genuinely efficient market place for human capital. Ultimately you will more likely than not now, be hired because you are the best person for the job, not because you have somehow managed to beat the system.

However this is not a world of absolutes, and as a professional with the Gulf Recruitment Group that has been party to the successes and failures of many an outstanding executive on the hunt for that glittering role in the region, we have learnt that there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances.

Treat the PA of any employer as the goddess she is. Anyone with a PA will often have to acknowledge over time that it is not they calling the shots, but she. It starts with the diary, then what you sign and before you know it you have disapproving looks when you dare to challenge the well-regimented order that has been laid out for you. The PA is therefore the best ally any job seeker can have, and those that talk down to them have as good as committed hari-kari to their employment chances. One employer who really valued collaborative cultures used to keep candidates waiting with a receptionist for ten minutes simply to assess how they treated people on a lower pay grade.

There are literally thousands of employers in the UAE, so the essential art to finding a job is to try and cover as much of the market as possible. Advanced job engines such as Bayt and Executive Appointments are perhaps the most effective way of reaching the wider market, but do not spray your CV around to unsuitable roles as you may be later automatically ignored for relevant roles as a CV spammer. The CV should also be a plain speaking eulogy of your experience with context, and long winded assertions that you are a “vertically integrated collaborator” should be tested only at interview.

Perhaps the hardest skill to master is patience. This is not yet a booming job market, and you may have to wait a while for the role to emerge where you are likely to be a preferred candidate. Purge yourself of impulses to go out and buy a new Armani suit to look cracking at interview as the budget may be better spent ensuring that you can endure a few months of grocery bills. And do try to enjoy the time off; stress and panic are not employable qualities, whereas a good smile is worth a million bucks.


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