x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 September 2017

Using Lego to build a career in the UAE

You may think Lego is just child's play. But you would be wrong. Experts say you can learn a great deal about your capabilities by the type of models you make. 

Job hunters build figures with Lego blocks at this week's Careers UAE exhibition to help them discover their strengths. Jaime Puebla / The National
Job hunters build figures with Lego blocks at this week's Careers UAE exhibition to help them discover their strengths. Jaime Puebla / The National

The next time your children play with Lego blocks, you may want to take a closer look at what they create - or better still, have a go yourself.

According to Go Glocal, an educational consultancy based in Dubai, you can learn a great deal about yourself and apparently your ideal job, by the type of model you make.

"Without realising, everyone's personality comes out in what they construct, and when they start talking about it, not only do we learn about them, but they learn about themselves," says the Go Glocal project manager Sabrina Salhi.

Job hunters at this week's Careers UAE exhibition were given a chance to test the theory and discover their strengths before approaching companies.

No two models are the same, but people who dislike conflict or are shy and reserved tend to build flat structures with trees and plants, while more confident people build towering models with themselves at the top, Ms Salhi said.

The exercise is ideal for people seeking work as some do not have a clear understanding of their capabilities. That means they can struggle to explain why an employer should hire them, says Tarifa Al Zaabi, the chief executive of Go Glocal and a certified facilitator of Lego Serious Play.

One IT graduate who attended the show this week built a Lego car with wheels, a flag and a smiling face on it.

Asked to explain her reasoning, she said the car represented her ability to be mobile and succeed in any position in which she was placed, while the flag showed that she meets deadlines. She also "always had a smile on her face".

"That was a real package. I would just hire her immediately if she told me that. But when she walked in and we asked her [why an employer should hire her] she said 'because I am an IT graduate'," adds Ms Al Zaabi.

The job hunters may not remember everything they say during the workshop. But they will be able to visualise their models, which helps them recall their strengths more easily.

AS, an Emirati job hunter who did not wish to give his full name and who has been out of work for five months but wants to be an educational trainer, built a structure with a wide base with a cup on top and ladders leaning against the side.

"This cup [represents] my goal. And there are three ladders to show there are different routes to reach the target. Beside it I collected some flexible tools to help me and some small building tools just in case for the rainy day," he said.

"The ladders represent that I never give up. If I fall I have different options," he added.

It seems Lego can be so much more than child's play.

gduncan@thenational.ae

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