Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Career Advice

"...So my second piece of career advice echoes the political advice offered by Benjamin Franklin: whenever you are faced with a choice between liberty and security, choose liberty. Otherwise you will end up with neither. People who sell their souls for the promise of a secure job and a secure salary are spat out as soon as they become dispensable. The more loyal to an institution you are, the more exploitable, and ultimately expendable, you become. " Monbiot: Choose Life

The above quote, although from a left-wing Guardian journalist, always rings a certain amount of truth for me, one of my basic philisophies was always to avoid being another 'tog in the wheel' or selling my soul to a capitalist corporation, for which my only incentive is the money. Thus I chose to delay this decision as much as possible, but inevitably, like every twenty-something graduate (including Homer), I will also have to face the unavoidable decision of which career path to take, and to be honest it looks like i'll probably throw that philosophy out of the window when faced with harsh reality.

Previous generations of Bahrainis, upon graduating from foreign universities, immedietly returned to Bahrain, and because of a skills shortage were instantly employed in the main corporate or ministerial organisations. Nowadays, graduate Bahrainis are not in such high demand, and hence not so keen on returning home on the first plane back. In addition, the labour market is failing to lure new graduates, as ambitions are quickly dampened when attempting to grapple with the reality of bureucracy, shitty pay, and ass-lickinging they're way to the top. The trend now is to gain experience abroad, make a bit of money, build a good CV in an international organisation and return to Bahrain one day in the hope of fast-tracking to higher ranking positions. An increasing brain-drain. The fear is that many Bahrainis will settle and not come back to Bahrain for a long long time either.

Many of my peers are now working in London, US, Dubai and even Qatar, enjoying a challenging work environment and a fat salary to top off. The fact that they manage to secure these jobs and overcome strict immigration restrictions in itself is an indication of the calibre of graduates that are shunning away from the Bahraini labour market.

The only thing one can hope for, is that the economic situation improves under proposed labour market reforms, and that this brain-drain will be reversed so that Bahrainis can return back to serve they're country and improve the situation, having gained valuable experience abroad, and with enough cash maybe to start they're own businesses or investments.

According to Monbiot however, "How many times have I heard students about to start work for a corporation claim that they will spend just two or three years earning the money they need, then leave and pursue the career of their choice? How many times have I caught up with those people several years later, to discover that they have acquired a lifestyle, a car and a mortgage to match their salary, and that their initial ideals have faded to the haziest of memories, which they now dismiss as a post-adolescent fantasy? How many times have I watched free people give up their freedom? "

Posted by BB @ 1/19/2005 04:59:00 AM

Read or Post a Comment

Once you have established that a soul exists in you - then it becomes pretty much impossible to sell it.

Good luck with your career. 

Posted by HawkEyes

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/19/2005 03:41:00 PM #

Thanks HawkEyes..where you been?

Right now, my career ambition is to become a housewife with 2 maids, a driver and a cook, but first step is finding a nice well-endowed husband prepared to make a good offer with a permanent contract. 

Posted by Bahrania

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/19/2005 09:01:00 PM #

All this talk of soul selling is nonsense, its not just the money, theres the buzz that comes from knowing that you do what many people would love to but cant, cos they aint good enough :-) As for this brain drain story it may be a shame, but countries suffer it because of their own carelessness in setting up infrastructure and failing to recognise and harness talent. Do the best you can for yourself, no one will help you if youre down, so make sure it never comes to that. As for your ambition, can you make do with one part time maid :-)My only condition would be - yup u guessed it - buy that cookbook.

Posted by Anonymous

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/19/2005 09:32:00 PM #

Do I hear you calling me again Bahrania? Oh shucks, the comment will be deleted after its posted, but nevertheless, I am willing, available and suite all the requirements you've posted...

So, Vegas, or Bani Jamra, take your pick and I'll be there!


Eid Mubarak my (future wife) friend (for now)! 

Posted by Mahmood Al-Yousif

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/19/2005 09:48:00 PM #

Changaiz: u sold out a loooooong time ago...hows the 14 hour working day going, i heard they're putting a buddhist monastry in every investment bank?

Mahmood: y do i always get offers from middle-aged men on the verge of a mid-life crisis already?

but just in case ur for real...بيتنا في فريق المخارقة و حلفت لامي ما بعرس الا في مأتم مدن.. 

Posted by Bahrania

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/20/2005 04:40:00 AM #

Ouch! Deserved that one! :)

غاليه و الطلب رخيص! مع إني أفضل ماتم الحساوية بس لأن إحني جيران إذن وين المشكلة؟

As for the midlife crisis bit, change that to crises and you'll be on the mark. Technically as I already have a fast car for several years now, the only thing missing is a mistress, I'm sure I can russle up a love-nest somewhere... and there are medical pills now that would help with the other bits and pieces!

(hey, take this lightly!)


Posted by Mahmood Al-Yousif

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/20/2005 06:19:00 AM #

Happy Eid, Bahrania. Don't you know that before long, you'll end up BEING the driver, the maid and the cook? Make sure you get that in writing!


Posted by Sume

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/20/2005 10:13:00 AM #

Bahrania, I wouldnt exactly call it "selling out", and these days its 16 hours if im lucky. I dont know about monastries but they have put in a bed for me :-)
Hey you deserve more than someone who needs medical help, just get that cook-book.
Happy Eid,

Posted by Anonymous

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/20/2005 05:07:00 PM #

I love the crass materialism of this site: the way success is judged in terms of how many third world servants you can employ.  

Posted by Anonymous

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1/20/2005 08:54:00 PM #

Mahmood: laa ya 3antar... gool alhamdila 3la kil 7aal... خلها مستوره احسن :)
i think ur just taking the wrong colour pill at the wrong time of day :)

Sume: he'll just have to put up with dangerous driving, bad cooking and messy house then, at the risk of the whole family.

Changaiz: whats the plan? when are you going to quit being a highly-paid slave and retire to a home in the mountain?

Anonymous: good point, how can I judge success by the number of maids?! thats ludicrous, I should have added- a villa with swimming pool, SL55 in the driveway, apartment in Marbella, and all the worldy pleasure money can buy. 

Posted by Bahrania

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