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Sunday, December 14, 2008

just a job? no! a career, if you don't mind...

if i had a 100 riyal for every time i've been advised this, i would be retiring and going back home for good!
if i actually heeded the advice, i would have far more money than i can care for.

why don't you apply for a job* in Q-Comp-1/2/3...**

*=secretary/pr executive/teaching assistant/school ayah/accounts assistant
(all respectable jobs, if that is what you are qualified to do or want to do)

**=the top Qatari employers that pay obscene amounts as salaries, and compensate by assuring little or no job satisfaction.

there are some who give me this advice out of nothing but goodwill.
i can forgive them.

but there are some over the last 9 years who are pig headed in believing that what i do (after nearly 15 years in this line) is just a job, not a career. most of these are women. housewives who take up temp jobs or women who have no concept of 'careers'.

i asked one of them if she would ask her husband to give up his job as a professional accountant, and take up a job as a sales executive because it pays better. she was offended, yet could not understand why i was uppity about her suggestion to take up a 36-hour a week, teaching assistant job.

why is my claim to a career not taken seriously? i know it's not merely a case of gender bias. a female physician wouldn't be asked to take up a job as a school nurse would she? (or would she?)

it is also the mentality we grow up with -- the only careers worth pursuing are that of a doctor, engineer or chartered accountant.

so if you are a journalist or a teacher or a social worker etc, then you can't really be serious about a career!!!!!!!

and out here, if you have no qualifications to speak of, and no focus in life, then teach. take up the immense responsibility of moulding the young and educating them, because you don't stand a chance in the job market. how pathetic, sad and scary!

i used to get ballistic when people suggested this to me in the past. now i try and explain to them rather patiently why it wouldn't work for me to give up my 'career'. and when i realise that i am talking to someone who is not interested in what i have to say, deafened and blinded by their own reasoning, i just ignore them.

but i seethe inside. just as i'm seething now.


Shyam said...

Yep, I'm pretty sure that the number of indifferent or downright awful teachers I've seen over the years owes itself entirely to the fact that they couldnt get other jobs. Teaching is a vocation, dont you think? You have to want to do it to be any good at it.

PS. Nice to see some new posts from you after so long!

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

I think you are in some seriously bad company. Poor you. In Chennai as far as I can see (which may not be much), it's not so bad. You need to brush such people off. Like irksome bugs.

umm oviya said...

no, teesu, it's not all that bad. just that, people come here for the singular reason to make money. including us. so they can't understand this career/wareer thing from a woman!

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