Finding the best job opportunities-in-Dubai is a challenge, but luckily, we’re here to help. Job hunting in Dubai is a little different from the rest of the world, due to the uniquely cosmopolitan nature of Dubai-employment.
Job-opportunities-in Dubai can seem a little thin on the ground when you start looking. The reason is that, even though Dubai is one of the most sophisticated cities in the world, the job market still approaches employment in a very traditional way. What does that mean? It means dense, thick contact networks, jobs passed to people in those contracts, and slow adoption of international HR processes.
Employers in Dubai are very happy to employ people internationally. When you’ve got the budgets that most Dubai-companies have, and the thirst for talent, it makes sense to hire from wherever you can. When you’re a large, international company, then you can poach talent from other branches. Inter-office transfers and relocations are very common, so if you’re already working for a company with a presence in Dubai, investigate getting a transfer.
If you can’t slip sideways into Dubai, then your job gets a little harder. You’re going to have to develop a network which will get your shoulder tapped for a job. ”What about the Internet-advertised jobs?”, you ask. Unfortunately, these are rarely easy to pin down. Unless you’re an extremely experienced specialist, you’re going to have a hard time standing out from the crowds of applicants for all jobs advertised on the Internet in Dubai.
Remember that anything you can see, so can the millions of other job-hunters spread throughout the world. Imagine being the HR staff in charge of picking only 1 or 2 project managers for an Engineering project. You might have over 600 applicants. Any little thing could be the clincher between a resume getting passed over or deleted out of hand.
Regardless of how experienced you are, how are you going to stand out from your equivalent in Jordan, Kuwait, New York, and London? Are you fluent in Arabic? Have you dealt with that HR firm before? Do you have a reputation in Dubai as a hard, efficient worker? Because you can be confident that other people seeing those ads will.
Sniffing Out Job-Opportunities-In-Dubai
The first and best step you can take is research. Approach landing a job in Dubai as an all-or-nothing thing. Once you’re actually in Dubai, keeping yourself ‘rolling’ is much easier than getting that all-important foot in the door.
Why? Because when you’re on the ground, you’ll be able to network more efficiently. Meeting people face to face is the way humans have built friendships, established trust, and worked up a rapport for hundreds of years. Imagine how much you’d rather see your friend for a meal rather than read an email from them.
How to find jobs in Dubai
That’s a different article, though. Let’s focus on how to get your radar up and pinging for job opportunities. As we’ve written above, research is key. Decide where your strengths are, and then figure out the jobs that are best going to be suited to you, from an outsider’s eyes. This is not the time for aspirational goals, this is about realistic assessments of your actual skills.
If you’ve got 3-5 years in a certain role, then map out what the equivalent position would look like from an employer’s perspective. Keep reminding yourself you’re not looking for the ‘next level up’. The time to get promoted is before you move to Dubai, or once you’re established there. You want to prove you can do the job, have already done it, and have done a fantastic job!
If you haven’t done these things, you can probably give up on the idea of landing a job in Dubai at present. If you’re not the best, they’ll cut you out and leave you to hang. Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily, instead, train up, work harder, and apply in the future. Dubai’s not going anywhere.
So you’ve got a good idea of the sort of job position you’re at. Remember that in Dubai you’ll probably be earning a reasonable amount more than where you currently are – a 25-35% increase in wages is not uncommon – and that your income is tax-free, and often you’ll be subsidized living expenses like food, vehicles, and accommodation.
Now that you’ve got a target, start looking. Be thorough. Here are some ways to start:
Check your social networking sites
Get on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, wherever you have online contacts. Find people who’re in Dubai, who’ve been, or who have friends there. Offer a reward for leads – a bottle of champagne, a dinner, movie tickets, etc will all push people from ‘noticing’ to ‘acting’, especially if it’s something that can be done with a few clicks. Seek out introductions.
Browse jobs advertised on job listing sites
Feel free to apply for any that seem particularly well suited. Make a note of the HR firms, and resolve to contact them directly later. Getting your name ‘into the minds’ of as many HR staff as possible, without spamming them, is vital. Try and find out who’s hiring. Visit their websites. Email their staff. Read staff bios. Read any blogs they have.
Get a good idea of the industry’s state in Dubai
Talk to people. Email them. Read between the lines. See how companies compete with each other. Map out who key players are. Google executives. See who makes press releases, who gives keynote addresses. If you can find mid-level managers on the Internet, figure out why. Build an image in your mind. Find out who’s won contracts, who’s lost them, who are expanding, who are tightening their belts.
Talk to old contacts
Ask specifically about Dubai. Let it be known you’re looking. Ask circles to check in with their circles. Remember that you’re only 3 or 4 professional contacts away from someone who can offer you a job in Dubai. Spread your message far and wide!
Work your industry
Deliberately travel more for your job. Attend conferences with international participants. Start expanding your networks, even to countries that aren’t Dubai.
What’s Your Time Frame For A Job Opportunity In Dubai?
If you’ve read through the above, you can see that finding a job opportunity in Dubai that’s actually worth taking up – something that will pay you well, reward you, and lead to a great career progression – is a challenge. It’s not likely to be a speedy process.
If you have any experience in social networking, you’ll have probably come across people that are annoying… ‘Enthusiastic’ in their postings. Having a stream or wall fill up with one person mashing ‘share’ on everything they come across on the Internet isn’t fun, it’s annoying.
Get career opportunity in Dubai
The same can easily apply in professional networks. Someone who networks only to benefit themselves, i.e. with a job, will quickly annoy others. It’s not hard not to be a spambot – don’t just post about what you want. Genuinely engage with others. Comment on their activity. Be helpful, friendly, and suggest ideas.
Goodwill and good Karma spreads through densely woven networks faster and in more ways than you can see or track, so don’t bother trying. Just act appropriately and present the best online image you can. Remember that, unlike in real life, you are in complete control of how you’re viewed online. Make the most of that.
So where are we now? We’ve identified the sorts of jobs that you’re likely to be able to achieve, and we’ve started building valuable networks. The message is out there that you’re hungry for work. What comes next is tailoring a resume, applying for specific jobs, targeting the best and most relevant HR firms, and negotiating the all valuable contracts. Head to our Archive section for more free, information-loaded articles.
Good luck on your job hunting in Dubai!