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Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

Old May 25th 2024, 5:46 am
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Question Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

I want to hear from expats who have returned to the UK workforce as employees after several years in the ME. Did you find that it was harder to get a job at the same seniority level or better WITHOUT leveraging your social network? Did you find that your career took a hit?

I am considering a senior job in Qatar for the next few years in Supply Chain Management. It will be a step up for me in terms of title. But I am concerned that it will be hard to get back to the UK as my career aspirations are for the UK/EU/US markets. Any advice and experience will be helpful.

Thanks!
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Old May 26th 2024, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

Originally Posted by sapiopath
Did you find that it was harder to get a job at the same seniority level or better WITHOUT leveraging your social network?
Did you find that your career took a hit?
I worked in KSA for a number of years then returned to the UK without issue. The salaries however are lower in the UK and of course you are paying tax. I don't mind paying tax (I'd rather not but don't begrudge it) but I do think what is on offer money-wise in the UK is paltry, often offensive and when compared to elsewhere, including Saudi, grossly unfair. The old excuses for UK salaries being lower than those in the US no longer wash to my mind. It is just greedy companies paying peanuts in the main, especially in London.

One issue some folks here have faced, if you work in defence or plan to, a significant break in your home country residency (the UK as an example) will effectively mean you cannot obtain a security clearance. If you have moved around Saudi and then decide to go back to the UK, you will struggle to obtain a role in defence unless you have held a UK security clearance here.
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Old May 27th 2024, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

Originally Posted by clownshow
I worked in KSA for a number of years then returned to the UK without issue. The salaries however are lower in the UK and of course you are paying tax. I don't mind paying tax (I'd rather not but don't begrudge it) but I do think what is on offer money-wise in the UK is paltry, often offensive and when compared to elsewhere, including Saudi, grossly unfair. The old excuses for UK salaries being lower than those in the US no longer wash to my mind. It is just greedy companies paying peanuts in the main, especially in London.

One issue some folks here have faced, if you work in defence or plan to, a significant break in your home country residency (the UK as an example) will effectively mean you cannot obtain a security clearance. If you have moved around Saudi and then decide to go back to the UK, you will struggle to obtain a role in defence unless you have held a UK security clearance here.
Thank you for the insight. I do not work in the defense sector so that’s one worry less.

i agree with you on salaries in the UK. Ideally I’d like to go back to the US but in a very senior role. Otherwise it doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of work life balance.
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Old Jun 16th 2024, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

I personally feel there is a bit of de-skilling, and not sure how relevant experience gained in the ME will be back in the UK. I'd love to call it personal growth, but my networks in the UK are probably wilting and projects are so gigantic I wouldn't even know where to begin looking in the UK for something similar. I'm not sure when I'll return home, but have discussed this with several of my colleagues who have been in the ME for a number of years and have been home for a period only to return. Not strictly UK experience, but several reported struggling to find their feet back home again. Some left simply due to never managing to keep their lifestyles, and some even left as they couldn't handle the UK work environment. One instance specifically I was told he'd come back as he couldn't tolerate being questioned by junior staff. Another even admitted to possibly (35 years in the middle east) not being suited to work in a 'woke' office environment anymore and feared he would be sacked for his socially conservative views with no issue voicing his opinion on them.

Its a funny old world out there.
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Old Jun 20th 2024, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: Career impact when coming back to the UK after years in ME?

We're in the process of going back. UAE for the last 13 years and I always had a similar worry, but I'm transferring with my organisation and have never worked for a local business, specifically for this reason.

Keep it big, multinational where you can and there'll at least be a conversation to have.
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