Job hunting has been interesting in a different culture with an unknown set of rules. Before I came over, I was able to do a little research and apply for some jobs online. I found out, for example, that they use a CV format, which requires a photo and your personal information such as age, nationality and marital status. After working in HR for so long, it was a bit weird to include all that on my CV. Another difference is that it's not at all uncommon for the employer to specify exactly the kind of candidate they'll consider based on race or gender (haven't seen any references to age yet). For example, I've seen job postings specifically asking for males, western educated, UAE National only ...
The paper lately has been full of articles on the job market for UAE Nationals and how high the unemployment is. There is a big push in UAE right now to hire Emirati nationals, which make up only 15-20% of the population in Abu Dhabi - imagine being a minority in your own country! Many positions are also looking for English and Arabic speaking candidates, so that continues to narrow the field. Even so, I see 1-3 training positions each week, so there is definitely hope. I've applied to a few online, but have yet to hear anything back.
I also have an in with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi thanks to the project with Epic and Brian's lobbying on my behalf. They actually have a Director of Training & Development posted and I've applied online as well as sent my CV along to some contacts Brian was able to find for me. The latest on that front is that the HR person wants to bring me in for an interview after she gets my CV processed. I'm not holding my breath, but will keep my fingers crossed. We joke that it would be really funny if I were offered that position and then had to go to Verona for training! :)
Today, I attended a Recruiting Fair sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council. The fair ran for 3 days and I went down to the Exhibition Center on Tuesday the day it started only to find out that Tuesday and Wednesday were for UAE nationals only. So, I went again today and made a few contacts. I've never been to a recruiting fair, so had no idea what to expect. Basically, the businesses were set up in booths - some basic and some elaborate. My first stop was du Telecom and was very encouraging as the woman I talked to asked me to wait so I could speak with the head of HR. I spoke with him very briefly, but he gave me his card and asked me to send him my CV. A few other potential leads and I did run into the head of L&D for the Jumierah group, which is a huge hotel/entertainment group, and he took my CV. Unfortunately, I have no idea whatsoever whether it was productive or if the companies were just going through the motions. Time will tell I guess.
I have to keep reminding my impatient self that I've only been here 11 days! I would say that things are off to a decent start. I'll continue to scour the papers and websites and if I'm lucky, I'll get the interview with CCAD and a call back from a few recruiters. I'll keep you posted!