Staying or Moving On?


This is no breakup post… or at least not in matters of the heart. This post is generally about my current job and some viewpoints here and there.

It was almost 5 years since I’ve been employed in a dental clinic here in Qatar (this is no publicity post so I’m not going to mention the name of our clinic). Working as a dental assistant was a total shift from my previous job in the Philippines. I was a BSN graduate and have 3 years of working experience as a nurse in different institutions in my country. It would have been easy to find a job and acquire a license as a nurse, except some of my experience were labelled as “nurse trainee” instead of “staff nurse”. This makes it doubtful if I could acquire a license as a General Scope Nurse since “nurse trainee may not be counted as employment even if my job as a trainee was no different from the staffs of the hospital I’ve worked for.

I still did try to apply as a nurse here in Qatar, preferably in a hospital, but it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of requirements I must accomplish and papers to process – and the salary offers in hospitals were too low. The only hospital paying good salary was Hamad Medical, but it was no easy task getting in. I almost want to give up and just go home, until someone offered me job as a dental assistant.

I wasn’t interested – at least not at first. In my mind I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to continue doing what I’ve sacrificed years of studying for. I don’t want my degree to go to waste, but then I realized time was running out. My visa will expire in a month and here I was being offered a job that pays higher than the offers I’ve received thus far. Not only that, it was a new clinic, making me a pioneer if I were to accept. And I did… 5 years ago.

So everything I said above is just the preface part of this slightly long post. This is where I start telling the whole gist of this whole thing. So read on if you feel you must…

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A year ago, a few changes in Qatar’s Labour Law was announced; putting emphasis in the End of the KAFALA System (sponsorship system). I won’t dive into a detailed account on the number of changes made, but I will mention what they meant when they say “End of the KAFALA System”:

“Expatriate workers with fixed job contracts can change their work and sign new contracts if they wish so at the end of the contract period. For this they don’t need approval from their current employer. However, an approval is needed from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.

If the job contract is open-ended, a worker can change job after five years with approval from both ministries”

This meant one thing – NO MORE NOC (no objection certificate) for expat workers who want to leave their current employment in exchange for a better one. Imagine the number of workers wanting to take this chance to find greener pastures. Something I myself have thought of many times after realizing there’s been no financial fulfillment in my almost 5 years of service. But no –  I did not hand in my resignation. I probably won’t just yet. I’m one of those employees who have this “loyal streak” ingrained in them. Or maybe I just don’t hate my job as much as I thought I did… Or maybe I just don’t feel like it was the right time… Whatever the case was, I guess I’ll be stuck here in while.

Anyway, I’m doing a shout out to one of my colleagues and also a friend who have already taken full advantage of this law (to find greener pastures); and which she was lucky enough to have found one that she really wants. She’s probably the reason why I’m doing this rare and long reflective post. The notion of one day deciding; just like her, to finally move on…

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Thanks Janelly for the years of friendship. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still a memorable one. We’ll still get to bond from time to time right? God bless you on your new job!

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