Job culture in Pakistan versus outside pakistan

ICAP Gold Medalist talks about Jobs in UAE

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Every single step of one’s life should be driven by the ultimate aim in life

  • So Hassaan tell us a bit more about yourself?

Though it may sound surprising but I was a pre-engineering student, in fact, I got the first position in Karachi in my Intermediate exam. After that, I switched over to Commerce. Not all only did I pass all my CA exams but I got 4 gold medals as well.

(Wow! That’s quite impressive!)

As far as professional life is concerned, I started my training at A.F. Ferguson & Co. (AFF) in December 2009. It was a roller coaster experience with highs and lows and some pleasant memories. I was lucky in the sense that in addition to assurance, I was also able to obtain experience of sustainability reporting. After leaving AFF, I joined Engro Fertilizers in June 2013 as Accounting Officer. Engro was an experience that really prepared me for the corporate life. Managing various stakeholders, team members and living up to the competition required a great deal of effort and planning. Early in your professional life, this type of experience you really need.

In November 2015, I left Engro and joined ACWA Power in Dubai, as Finance Manager. Now am looking after the finance and accounting of one of ACWA’s subsidiary, Shuaa Energy which is a solar power plant.

  • Looks like you had been hired by one of the finest company’s of Pakistan and you were learning a great deal too, what then made you want to go abroad?

I was never looking to go abroad in the first place. I was open to the idea of switching from Engro, however, there are very few companies in Pakistan where you can enjoy working once you have had a flavor of Engro. Luckily, I came across an oppurtunity for a job in UAE, at ACWA Power which looked like a competitive as well as an opportunity for growth. Besides, the portfolio I was offered at ACWA was too good so I decided to switch.

  • That’s good. But if we were to speak generally, what are the factors that a person should consider when deciding to work within Pakistan or move abroad especially when opting for a jobs in UAE or in the Middle East to be more general?

Every single step of one’s life should be driven by the ultimate aim in life. If someone wishes to grow very quickly to the highest positions, Middle East may not be the best place for that. Here the growth is usually a bit slow. If quick money is the objective, one shouldn’t hesitate to move to the Middle East. In addition to all this, some small factors which should be borne in mind include your family, job offer, ability to live alone (which is tougher than it sounds) and stability of the sector you are joining.

(Wise words Hassaan)

  • Are you happy with the decision you made?

Yes. Pretty satisfied. I like the life here as well as my job. So far so good!

  • What are the 3 things you miss about working in Pakistan?

The relationships/friendships you make has to be the number 1. Then where I came from, we used to have frequent picnics and outings, that is also a thing to remember. I had started teaching there so that is also something I miss.

  • How different is the working culture in UAE as compared to that in Pakistan?

It is from the other world! Just as the city, the work culture here is very welcoming. No protocol, open doors policy in its essence. No peons whom you can just call and ask for a cup of tea. you have to go and do it yourself. Then there is no time-wasting like we have in Pakistan where colleagues engage in long discussions during work hours. this eventually leads to better work-life balance. Reporting lines are not very rigid as well as small. So it makes you feel more powerful and in a decision-making position.

(You are right about this Hassaan! This is something I have noticed too at my workplace in New Zealand. As soon as you step outside Pakistan, it is a whole new world)

  • If you were offered a good job at a well-known company in Pakistan would you consider taking it and why?

This is too early for this. I am not going anywhere for the next 2-3 years. Once I have gained good experience of Project Financing in my current role, I might consider a switch. But nothing can be said as of now. 

  • Would you like to share a little advice with our readers?

Those entering into professional life should know that success depends on a lot more than just a good qualification. You have to be careful about your appearance, how you brand yourself, how you engage yourself with others and a lot of other things. You need to be a man with solutions, a problem-solver, a go-getter with all the initiative. Having a good education and being a good worker will not necessarily make you successful. You have to go the extra mile!

(Thanks Hassaan!)

Please note:

  • All questions have been answered by Hassaan in his personal capacity and will have no impact on the organisation he works for;
  • Please do not spam Hassaan with personal questions. If you have any questions for Hassaan or me, feel free to comment below and we will try and answer them. 

Up next:

Interview with Troy Florence, Partner at PwC New Zealand

When: 21 May 2016

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