There are funny similarities between commerce in Dubai and on the Internet. Both attract service providers from all over the globe.
These service providers or workers aren’t afraid to chop their asking price in half in order to have the job or project awarded to them. This is especially true for the IT job market in Dubai where you have IT professionals from all over Europe, the Middle East, South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) and East Asia.
With their aggressive pricing and willingness to work for a low wage, these professionals have made the IT job market extremely competitive and, some would say, even undesirable.
But, there is hope if you are willing to overcome the limitation of your geek nature…
According to research done by PayScale Inc., the average salary for a Network System Administrator with 5 years of professional experience is about AED 7,500.00 (US$2,000) per month for a 9-6 work day, 5 days a week (sometimes 6 days a week).
That’s low and shocking.
Dubai is not built around innovation in technology. It is built around innovation in luxury and hospitality. You would be extremely lucky to find an employer who values your passion to excel in IT. What most employers in Dubai want to see is that you understand their business and that you can be a good communicator of how great their IT and business is (even if it isn’t). More precisely, good presentation, good communication, and good business understanding is what employers in Dubai value. If you continue down the path of the geek Sys Admin, you’re not going go far in your career in Dubai. You have to position yourself differently.
If the only thing that you emphasize in your job application and interview is your IT skills and bombard your potential employer with the names of all the IT certifications you have, you are going to be categorized with the rest of the applicants. What you must do instead is emphasize other valuable skills that other job applicants may not have, such as: experience with Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) IT solutions, implementation of scalable and automated business information systems, automation of business processes using IT solutions, or any other fancy and vague skill that confuse your interviewer and make them think that you are smart, which you most definitely are.
To have the luxury of being selective and end up with the best offer, you must also first stretch your reach to employers in Dubai. You cannot be selective when you have only got one offer on the table.
There are many ways that you can widen your reach to employment opportunities. Work closely with recruitment agencies in Dubai. Do not hesitate to call them by phone and keep following up with them. Second, use online business directories such as dubainternetcity.com to find the contact information of companies in the Dubai Internet City Free-Zone. These companies are high-tech companies that constantly require IT professionals. Once you have located their contact information, call them up and ask to speak to a manager.
Many IT professionals have the tendency to be confined to their specific technical field without much exposure to business problems. They also do not utilize business networking. Do not be one of those. Position yourself as an IT expert with comprehensive awareness of business problems. Be open, confident and communicative. Do NOT undervalue yourself, and you’ll be surprised by the great opportunities that open up for you.