It is obvious that the gap between jobseekers and employers in Oman have been increasing since 2011 when the expat population rose from 29% to nearly 46%. Nationals find it difficult to land jobs in the private sector while companies claim that there are fewer employable Omani citizens. Our experience in the job market in Oman in the past six years reveals that unemployment among Omani jobseekers can be greatly minimized if freshers make some efforts to develop certain skills.
While education is not really an obstacle as more and more Omani graduates fill up the market and the majority of them have decent education it seems that there is a gap in what employers expect and what jobseekers offer. This gap mostly lies in the skill set. Here are a few skills that jobseekers in Oman should aim to develop:
Common Job Hunting Skills
It is really saddening to see poorly written resumes with no effort to improve them. Develop and create killer resume and do not count on the fact that employers will consider the fact that you are a fresher and tolerate a poorly written resume. Avoid silly mistakes like typo and grammatical ones. A professional resume should be in either word or PDF format. Stop taking a picture of your resume and sending it as an image. Write a simple cover letter that is flawless. Try to avoid competition and apply for jobs that others do not know about. At this stage you might be better off in a job that very few people want. Your aim is to build up experience and get a salary that will support you in your quest for a better life. Do not wait for companies to post ad to apply but ask around for potential opportunities. You will be surprised by the amount of jobs that are not advertised for or made public due to various reasons.
Learn to speak both in Arabic and English if you could. Seek to learn a third language even at the basic level. Some Omani tour guides make up to RO200 per weekend just to accompany European tourists on their trips to various parts of Oman. Become an excellent communicator by listening more than talking. Observe how others behave and learn to read body language. Keep the smile on your face no matter what. Do not be shy to look people in the eyes and learn common business etiquette. Encourage people to like you and want to have you around.
Abilities to Learn
Graduating from school or college is not the end of your education but it is rather the very beginning. If your major is accounting seek to learn new things in the world of accounts. The same applies to IT, Engineering and any other sector. Familiarize yourself with common software used in your industry. Learn about new tools and methods used. Read at least two books a month on your field and on any other field. Appear knowledgeable and well-informed but do not brag about it. Let others see that you are hungry for knowledge and are willing to learn. Ask field experts about their profession and show sincere interest in what they do. Again, minimize talking and maximizing listening. Learn about companies you wish to work for by looking at their websites and knowing the inside out. We have seen candidates fail interviews simply because they never bothered to learn about the potential employer.
Create a clear vision of your career and plan ahead what you want to become in one year, five years, ten years and twenty years. Then draft your career path and do whatever takes you there. If you want to work for a bank see what top bankers have made it there. Follow their career path, education, skills, knowledge and even attitude. If you want to become finance manager of a large corporation inspect what existing finance managers did since graduation all the way. Do not be driven by circumstances but seek to create your own. If your objective is to get a job that pays a decent salary you might end up getting it but with little growth potential. Plan ahead and do not worry if your plans are not being precisely met. Success is both a destination and a journey.
For any plan or objective to be met time and patience are the main ingredients. If you lack the virtue of patience you are likely to be taken to wherever others direct you. If you have a vision and a plan give it some time and do not be distracted by obstacles. If you are offered a small salary consider it an opportunity to learn with some money as a bonus. Your objective has by now become very clear. You definitely have seen millions of people who started small and made it all the way. If it was not for their patience and dedication they would never have reached the top. Patience should not only be practiced with low pay but also with terrible bosses, extreme working conditions, extra workload and the low opinions in what you have accepted as a job.
Learn to become punctual even with your daily routines. Never be late for interview or, even worse, ditch interviews because someone told you that the job you are applying for has no future. If anyone can predict the future he or she will not be wasting time talking to you. Make it a habit to produce nothing but quality work. If you start taking classes or attending training to develop in your profession never let anything stops you from completing what you started. Avoid distraction and focus on attaining your goals all the time.
Life is tough and if you expect anything otherwise you are set for a great disappointment. If you expect that you will be given a job because of your nationality you are simply “wrong”. Moreover, if you are one of or sympathize with those who are all over social media complaining about not receiving their rights for employment you have certainly obtained yourself a ticket to the world of failure and misery. This is an open market where employers seek to hire the best calibers no matter where they come from. Take action by making a promise to yourself that you will be the master of your life and destiny. Let others grief about lack of employment opportunities and go out and claim what is yours. Do not listen to chronic complainers and underachievers. You will be surprised to know that most of them have been given the opportunity but they below it of. Do not follow the crowd and orchestrate your own path to glory.