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Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Old Apr 28th 2020, 6:11 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

And you need to have some sort of answer to this question - "What will I do when i leave ?"

I saw so many floundering expats in Saudi who had no escape plan. Often trapped in Saudi with demons on their back
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Old Apr 29th 2020, 5:33 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

On the face of it, AED 23k is a decent salary for a Data Analyst with 3 years experience.

However, if you want to maintain a decent lifestyle that compensates for your living environment somewhat, you're best getting a few more years of experience in UK, getting a Management job title then moving to Middle East (assuming that's what you want). The package will be far higher and you'll be able to save more.

Plus it's not much fun working in this region with several layers of management above you, shit rolls downhill far quicker and in far larger volumes than Europe.
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Old Apr 29th 2020, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
I can only speak to a single UK perspective though I have observed similarities in other European nationalities and Mericans so maybe there is a common thread and at first I had trouble with it and had to try in my own mind to figure out what was going on. I started traveling for work at around age 26, 2 weeks in Karachi gets the culture shock over and done with, then 10 days in Athens, then 3 weeks in Trinidad, and on and on for the next 30 years or so. I think a lot of people go to the Middle East right from a half life spent just in the UK barring 2 week pseudo millionaire holiday lifestyles wherever. I think that's a bad experience for a Middle East life in general, not that some don't adapt but adaptation is required. Maybe for some its any port in a storm, but that suggests a whole different set of issues.

In no particular order my list of essentials would be:

1. Double my UK gross salary, it might sound ridiculous but it soon becomes a minimum. You need to live as normal a life as reasonable to stay sane.
2. There are no guarantees but I want to get a warm fuzzy feeling that this is a contract that will realistically last for say 2 years minimum. Anything less would seem pointless for the hassle involved. That 2 years will zip by.
3. Loading the contract as heavily as possible to basic salary. I don't know about all the various possibilities but from my own experience only basic salary is used to calculate gratuity. That 20,000 housing allowance might sound sweet but will not count for much when the end of service payout is half what you might otherwise expect.
4. Know where you are going. I took my first Qatar contract having previously spent several 1 and 2 week visits there. These were working trips so devoid of the rose tinted specs in the main.
5. Realise that no matter how highfalutin the job title sounds foreigners in the Middle East, no matter their ethnicity are all essentially indentured servants,just some more so than others.
6. Be sure that when the hammer does fall you have enough to kick back for 12-18-24 months back home without a great concern.
7. Be wary as anything if you have even the slightest concerns for your own mental well being. Any history of depression should just tell you to stay away, you really need to be quite the reverse.
8. Leave often (see number 1)
All excellent points.
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Old Apr 30th 2020, 9:51 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Great points all.

We all have our individual coping strategies for working in the Gulf. For me it is head-down-arse-up, keep it simple and count your cash at the end of your stint. Don't get drawn too far (mental health needs apart) into the pricey plastic delights laid on for Westerners. If you want good asado, ignore the overpriced steakhouse in the Marriott (etc) and get on QR/EK to Buenos Aires when you get a break.
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Old May 1st 2020, 6:12 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by Standanista View Post
Great points all.

We all have our individual coping strategies for working in the Gulf. For me it is head-down-arse-up, keep it simple and count your cash at the end of your stint. Don't get drawn too far (mental health needs apart) into the pricey plastic delights laid on for Westerners. If you want good asado, ignore the overpriced steakhouse in the Marriott (etc) and get on QR/EK to Buenos Aires when you get a break.
Do they fly there?
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Old May 1st 2020, 6:26 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
All excellent points.
Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
Do they fly there?
Yes, both do it direct with a stop in GRU. Usually around $1700 to upgrade at check-in to/from Doha, long old trip. The Argies have closed their border to non-nationals till September though, that said.
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Old May 1st 2020, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by Standanista View Post
Yes, both do it direct with a stop in GRU. Usually around $1700 to upgrade at check-in to/from Doha, long old trip. The Argies have closed their border to non-nationals till September though, that said.
That is good to know. I never knew that
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Old May 1st 2020, 1:17 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

GRU ? I had to check. IATA code for Sao Paulo.
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Old May 2nd 2020, 4:30 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
I can only speak to a single UK perspective though I have observed similarities in other European nationalities and Mericans so maybe there is a common thread and at first I had trouble with it and had to try in my own mind to figure out what was going on. I started traveling for work at around age 26, 2 weeks in Karachi gets the culture shock over and done with, then 10 days in Athens, then 3 weeks in Trinidad, and on and on for the next 30 years or so. I think a lot of people go to the Middle East right from a half life spent just in the UK barring 2 week pseudo millionaire holiday lifestyles wherever. I think that's a bad experience for a Middle East life in general, not that some don't adapt but adaptation is required. Maybe for some its any port in a storm, but that suggests a whole different set of issues.
The problem for the half-a-life in the UKers is that term, "adapt."

When you tell them before they arrive that they will have to "adapt," they think sure - I can do that easily. 15 years ago I went backpacking across Southeast Asia for two months! I know how to culturally adapt! They think "adapt" means that when they are doing "blue," they will have to get used to "sky blue," "periwinkle," "navy blue" and "midnight blue." Sure no problem I can handle that.

As Middle East veterans, when we say "adapt" we know that means instead of "blue," you will have to get used to "red." Or tolerate other people doing "red." If you can maneuver things to "yellow," you are doing a great and commendable job.

But "yellow" would probably get you immediately fired for incompetence in the UK.

So when you speak to a newbie and about having to "adapt" and start talking about red, and yellow, they can't process that. The most they can stretch their comprehension to is powder blue or indigo. You might as well be speaking Martian to them.

I learned very quickly that I couldn't really tell people "back home" what work was like because it was so different from their lived experiences, that they thought either I was making it all up, or that I had somehow become massively incompetent. Actually I learned that before I even left, just describing the Saudi visa process to people. No, it really can't be like that - you must be doing something wrong.

When I was still in the Middle East, I pushed for our big orientations for fresh new hires to a few weeks after arrival, not immediately on arrival, for this reason. After they had seen and experienced a few things for a few weeks, then you could start to talk to them about red, and yellow, and why some things happen the way they do, and have some flickers of recognition and understanding. When they first arrived they were still in light blue/dark blue mode and that was no good.

Some - many - never make the leap and leave. Some thought they made the leap but really didn't (and also leave). Some made the leap but thought they hadn't (and also leave). There were plenty who fretted that, having adapted to yellow, they might not get back to "blue" in the UK. I tell them - don't worry, you do.

Then we had some people who came, because they couldn't fit in anywhere else . . . which meant they weren't going to fit in, in the Middle East either. Some managed to fall through the cracks for a few years but many of that category imploded rather dramatically in a few months.

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Old May 2nd 2020, 6:01 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
The problem for the half-a-life in the UKers is that term, "adapt."

When you tell them before they arrive that they will have to "adapt," they think sure - I can do that easily. 15 years ago I went backpacking across Southeast Asia for two months! I know how to culturally adapt! They think "adapt" means that when they are doing "blue," they will have to get used to "sky blue," "periwinkle," "navy blue" and "midnight blue." Sure no problem I can handle that.

As Middle East veterans, when we say "adapt" we know that means instead of "blue," you will have to get used to "red." Or tolerate other people doing "red." If you can maneuver things to "yellow," you are doing a great and commendable job.

But "yellow" would probably get you immediately fired for incompetence in the UK.

So when you speak to a newbie and about having to "adapt" and start talking about red, and yellow, they can't process that. The most they can stretch their comprehension to is powder blue or indigo. You might as well be speaking Martian to them.

I learned very quickly that I couldn't really tell people "back home" what work was like because it was so different from their lived experiences, that they thought either I was making it all up, or that I had somehow become massively incompetent. Actually I learned that before I even left, just describing the Saudi visa process to people. No, it really can't be like that - you must be doing something wrong.

When I was still in the Middle East, I pushed for our big orientations for fresh new hires to a few weeks after arrival, not immediately on arrival, for this reason. After they had seen and experienced a few things for a few weeks, then you could start to talk to them about red, and yellow, and why some things happen the way they do, and have some flickers of recognition and understanding. When they first arrived they were still in light blue/dark blue mode and that was no good.

Some - many - never make the leap and leave. Some thought they made the leap but really didn't (and also leave). Some made the leap but thought they hadn't (and also leave). There were plenty who fretted that, having adapted to yellow, they might not get back to "blue" in the UK. I tell them - don't worry, you do.

Then we had some people who came, because they couldn't fit in anywhere else . . . which meant they weren't going to fit in, in the Middle East either. Some managed to fall through the cracks for a few years but many of that category imploded rather dramatically in a few months.
It is particularly important being able to adapt to beige and sky blue. 🙂
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Old May 2nd 2020, 6:10 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
The problem for the half-a-life in the UKers is that term, "adapt."

When you tell them before they arrive that they will have to "adapt," they think sure - I can do that easily. 15 years ago I went backpacking across Southeast Asia for two months! I know how to culturally adapt! They think "adapt" means that when they are doing "blue," they will have to get used to "sky blue," "periwinkle," "navy blue" and "midnight blue." Sure no problem I can handle that.

As Middle East veterans, when we say "adapt" we know that means instead of "blue," you will have to get used to "red." Or tolerate other people doing "red." If you can maneuver things to "yellow," you are doing a great and commendable job.

But "yellow" would probably get you immediately fired for incompetence in the UK.

So when you speak to a newbie and about having to "adapt" and start talking about red, and yellow, they can't process that. The most they can stretch their comprehension to is powder blue or indigo. You might as well be speaking Martian to them.

I learned very quickly that I couldn't really tell people "back home" what work was like because it was so different from their lived experiences, that they thought either I was making it all up, or that I had somehow become massively incompetent. Actually I learned that before I even left, just describing the Saudi visa process to people. No, it really can't be like that - you must be doing something wrong.

When I was still in the Middle East, I pushed for our big orientations for fresh new hires to a few weeks after arrival, not immediately on arrival, for this reason. After they had seen and experienced a few things for a few weeks, then you could start to talk to them about red, and yellow, and why some things happen the way they do, and have some flickers of recognition and understanding. When they first arrived they were still in light blue/dark blue mode and that was no good.

Some - many - never make the leap and leave. Some thought they made the leap but really didn't (and also leave). Some made the leap but thought they hadn't (and also leave). There were plenty who fretted that, having adapted to yellow, they might not get back to "blue" in the UK. I tell them - don't worry, you do.

Then we had some people who came, because they couldn't fit in anywhere else . . . which meant they weren't going to fit in, in the Middle East either. Some managed to fall through the cracks for a few years but many of that category imploded rather dramatically in a few months.
You forgot green.
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Old May 2nd 2020, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

And also those who do not recognise that there is such a thing as "colour"
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Old May 3rd 2020, 10:03 am
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

And I think we all suffer from some degree of partial, or temporary, colour blindness, the times the frustration makes us feel like we would happily do real damage. Anyone who has not experienced those times is either totally blind or smoking some pretty good stuff.

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Old May 4th 2020, 9:53 am
  #44  
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
The problem for the half-a-life in the UKers is that term, "adapt."

When you tell them before they arrive that they will have to "adapt," they think sure - I can do that easily. 15 years ago I went backpacking across Southeast Asia for two months! I know how to culturally adapt! They think "adapt" means that when they are doing "blue," they will have to get used to "sky blue," "periwinkle," "navy blue" and "midnight blue." Sure no problem I can handle that.

As Middle East veterans, when we say "adapt" we know that means instead of "blue," you will have to get used to "red." Or tolerate other people doing "red." If you can maneuver things to "yellow," you are doing a great and commendable job.

But "yellow" would probably get you immediately fired for incompetence in the UK.

So when you speak to a newbie and about having to "adapt" and start talking about red, and yellow, they can't process that. The most they can stretch their comprehension to is powder blue or indigo. You might as well be speaking Martian to them.

I learned very quickly that I couldn't really tell people "back home" what work was like because it was so different from their lived experiences, that they thought either I was making it all up, or that I had somehow become massively incompetent. Actually I learned that before I even left, just describing the Saudi visa process to people. No, it really can't be like that - you must be doing something wrong.

When I was still in the Middle East, I pushed for our big orientations for fresh new hires to a few weeks after arrival, not immediately on arrival, for this reason. After they had seen and experienced a few things for a few weeks, then you could start to talk to them about red, and yellow, and why some things happen the way they do, and have some flickers of recognition and understanding. When they first arrived they were still in light blue/dark blue mode and that was no good.

Some - many - never make the leap and leave. Some thought they made the leap but really didn't (and also leave). Some made the leap but thought they hadn't (and also leave). There were plenty who fretted that, having adapted to yellow, they might not get back to "blue" in the UK. I tell them - don't worry, you do.

Then we had some people who came, because they couldn't fit in anywhere else . . . which meant they weren't going to fit in, in the Middle East either. Some managed to fall through the cracks for a few years but many of that category imploded rather dramatically in a few months.
This is a fantastic post, and I think it was yourself that said - there is a difference between being good at your job, and being able to work in the Middle East.

In my brief time here I seen everything from Indians having secret societies where they organised plots and strategy to enforce their dominance of the work place, to witnessing engineering things being done in a way that (in 15yrs of experience) I knew were quite obviously not going to work, raising this and being told that we have to give it a try and only then can we say it doesn't work, or to pray to Allah and it will be ok.

As an example - I work in highly regulated industry, part of my remit was to get the site operational and compliant. So I audited them against their compliance with the regulations and highlighted many areas where they were not compliant - and within a few days the desi passport lower management wanted me replaced.
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Old Jun 26th 2020, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Qatar, should I renegotiate my salary package?

I think you should renegotiate. I came here in 2017 and within a week realized I had been sold short honestly I wished I had negotiated an extra 10K Riyals that would have me comfortable. Nearly 3 years later over worked and underpaid and I am a women so no promotions either 🙃. Ideally your rent, car payment and bills (Wait till you get your wifi and phone bill) should still leave with you with around 15K riyals to play with you can save half of that and live comfortably.
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