Asmaa Al Hameli | April 18, 2013
If salary is all that matters to some Emiratis, then they are not helping build this country.
Our eyes fill with tears upon hearing about the former ruler Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, his legacy and his achievement. We know Sheikh Zayed overcame a lot of obstacles to make this country reach the highest level of development. Was he thinking about his monthly salary before he planned anything? Or was he thinking about the future generation and how to best serve them? As one nation, are we following his footsteps? The answer is clear.
Yesterday, my colleague Ayesha Al Khoori and I were asked to give a talk about our traineeship at Zayed University. One of the students told us her family wants her to major in business because they believe it will give her higher earning potential. The student seemed torn between her family demands and her passion.
Many of us brag about the countless facilities our government has provided us with, but what have we done in return? Little enough that it will be easy to determine. Some people refuse to work in the private sector because too often, they say, the salary is less than Dh30,000 a month.
Without doing empirical research, I can say that the unemployment rate is increasing in the UAE. It is not that there are no jobs, but no jobs that Emiratis want to take. When I navigated through some well-known companies here, I noticed that many vacancies were reserved for UAE nationals. Some job positions have been open since last year because companies are waiting for Emiratis to knock on their doors. We should feel grateful that these opportunities exist for us.
Many families pressure their children to take lower-paying jobs. Is money more important than experience? In such cases, many young people stay home because they are waiting for prestigious companies to call them one day and offer them their expected salary. Some men have waited so long that by 27 they have still not found a suitable job and are unable to get married. How in the world can a human being tolerate such oppression? (Yes, that was sarcasm)
We need to make our families understand the importance of having a good job and not just a good salary. Isn’t it better to have a job you love rather than a job you hate that pays well? Certainly, our families have some say, but it does not mean we should not make the effort to remind them of the difference between passion and greed.
Salary is important, but it shouldn’t be the priority. I am aware that some people have more responsibilities than others. We can’t achieve our dreams in the blink of an eye. Time and patience are needed.
Accepting a job even with a relatively low salary does not make any Emirati less than his friend who takes a higher salary. The worth of every man is in his attainment.