x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Government job 'gives me time to study'

Ahmed Al Hashemi explains the advantages of working for the Government.

Government worker Ahmed A Hashemi is studying for a Bachelor's degree in HR online. Sammy Dallal / The National
Government worker Ahmed A Hashemi is studying for a Bachelor's degree in HR online. Sammy Dallal / The National

DUBAI // Working in the public sector has allowed Ahmed Al Hashemi to continue his education and improve his knowledge in the field of human resources.

The 28-year-old Emirati works in recruitment at a federal government office in Abu Dhabi.

He had always wanted to complete his education but found it difficult when he was working full-time in the private sector.

"The shorter working hours [from 7.30am until 2.30pm] gave me an opportunity to enrol myself in a well-known professional certification course related to human resources," said Mr Al Hashemi. "Since the classes are in the evening, I have time to go home, relax and spend time with my family before leaving again to attend the classes." He is also finishing an online bachelor's degree in HR management.

"I'm lucky to have a supportive department and my colleagues have always offered their help and advice with anything regarding my studies," he said. "The guaranteed holidays and two-day weekends give me time to focus on my university work, making it is easier to balance work responsibilities as well."

Mr Al Hashemi completed his high school diploma at the age of 20 because he struggled to adapt to the UAE education system after returning from the United States.

"I spent a large part of my life growing up in the US and was used to a completely different educational system," he said.

"We didn't have so many subjects to study at one time and we were expected to understand what was being taught to us.

"In the UAE, they give you about 14 subjects to study throughout the year and all we had to do was memorise. I became disenchanted with this system and decided to find an alternative way of finishing high school."

Over the past eight years, he worked for a semi-government body and two private companies before his career took off two years ago with his current employer.

Mr Al Hashemi believes working in the public sector is incorrectly perceived as an easy option.

"I've had the opportunity of being exposed to different trade shows and different aspects of the field that I haven't even heard of before," he said. "Contrary to what is always being said about the government sector, it can be very challenging and there are always very good opportunities."