Employers need to realise that it's one thing to hire Emiratis, but we need to be given work to do as well.
Doing nothing at work is not fulfilling for anyone
A popular topic of discussion among my friends has been job-related issues.
One of my best friends is not pleased at work. She joined her company nine months ago and she still does not know what she is expected to do. Her mentor does not give her much to do because he is busy with his own tasks.
She gets Dh31,000 monthly, but “what have I done to deserve it”? she asked. When she begs for work, she gets a sheet of paper to double-check name spellings, which takes her less than fives minutes to verify.
She goes to work early in the morning and sits in the office like a statue. She also is uncomfortable in her work environment and feels like someone is always watching her. Whenever she has been out of her office, someone invariably asks, “Where did you go?”
She was telling me that many times, she refrains from going to the bathroom because she does not want to put herself in an embarrassing situation where someone notices her absence and questions her.
She has been trying to find another job, but finding a proper job has become more challenging than ever.
The Emiratisation initiative, which aims to employ Emiratis in public and private sectors, should not be “just employ Emiratis in your company”. Instead, it should be about fitting citizens into environments where they are assigned to do some work by employers.
It seems as though some organisations have missed the message. Not everyone enjoys doing “nothing” at work.
This incident is not exclusive to my friend. I have come across many Emiratis who have less to do at work.
Companies need to make sure that their employees are enjoying their work because success is not the key to happiness. Rather, happiness is the key to success for many individuals. If you love what you are doing, you will have a relaxed feeling at work.
It is sad that many people spend half their day doing nothing and go home feeling tense almost every day due to a bad job.
A wise man once said: “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings.”
Similarly, Emiratis should stand up and demand work because they are no different than other people who can complete their tasks as expected.
Asmaa Al Hameli and Ayesha Al Khoori co-write the blog My Year at the National, where this piece was originally published
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