What To Expect During Ramadan And The Summer Months?
Ramadan, is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and falls between the 18th June and 17th July in the Gregorian calendar (Western calendar) in 2015. Not only is Ramadan an extremely important and popular annual observance in Islamic countries, but those months are also very popular holiday months worldwide and may lead you to believe that you can take a holiday with your job hunt too.
However, if you’re dedicated to finding a job in these markets, it’s important you continue to give your job hunt 100% and be aware of what to expect during these special times of year.
What to expect during Ramadan and the Summer months?
If you’re actively looking for a new job in the Middle East, you will be likely to find that the volume of new job openings that you’re used to may start to decrease during Ramadan. During this month working hours are reduced and decisions and meetings can often be postponed to a time after Ramadan.
This, however, is not any reason for your own job hunt to slow down. In fact, you need to utilise this time to carry out further research and take the opportunity to form relationships with those people who may have more time to connect with you. Many people also take vacations during this time and over Eid, so take advantage of the fact that many people will leave the country which could give you the edge in what is still a very competitive job market.
Use your time wisely during these quieter months in two simple ways and ensure you stay ahead of the jobs market.
Foster Strong Connections
As the work environment may be at a slower pace during Ramadan, recognise the opportunity to develop key relationships. Normally in such a fast-paced environment as Dubai for example, key individuals and decision makers vital to your career move may simply be too busy to make contact with you, or such contact may be very brief. However, as workload may become less pressurised for these individuals, take the time to make connections and form relationships when their time may be at a luxury.
Also, as many of your fellow job seekers seize the opportunity to take vacations during this time, you can really cut through the competition and ensure recruiters and headhunters know you’re still available and actively looking. Actual decisions about hiring candidates may be put off until after Ramadan, but interviews and discussions will still be taking place during this holy month. Make sure your name is still top of mind for these decision makers and that you don’t miss that perfect opportunity.
Get ready for the surge!
Comparable to the UK jobs market in January, the period immediately after Ramadan sees a resurgence in terms of job opportunities. Use your time before to make sure you’re ready for it and use your time wisely.
A good plan-of-action and valuable use of your time during the month of Ramadan would be to look at your job hunt and your approach to it. Are you looking in the right areas? Have you researched the locations and countries in which you’re currently looking – would the lifestyle on offer suit you and your family and could you afford to live there on your expected salary? What is your online profile and visibility currently like – have you created and optimised your LinkedIn profile, connecting with your colleagues and any recruiters that you may know? How well have you tailored your CV to each of the jobs you’re looking to apply for?
By running through a list of things that you need to do to get a job and make the career move that you’ve been planning you are likely to find areas that need improving, and the month of Ramadan is the perfect time to do this, a month when you have some time to invest in these areas and focus on your own brand and professional image.
Preparation is key, and just as you have prepared your cover letter, tailored your CV and even your job interview pitch, you must be ready for the surge that awaits you at the end of the Ramadan month. Whilst the key decision makers in these Islamic countries will be back looking for new talent for their companies, so will the job hunters, all looking for their next career move, so it is essential that you’re ready and waiting for the right time to jump straight back onto the job hunt wagon.
Be inspired to continue the effort you put into your job hunt during Ramadan and the quieter summer months. Use this time as an opportunity to really perfect your job applications and forge deeper connections with recruiters and HR professionals.
Remember to take the time to prepare your applications and tailor your responses in time for a surge in the jobs market in August. Continue to work and develop relationships with recruiters and HR managers who will now have more time to respond to you and learn more about your experience and career history.
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