Not very long ago, Nadeem Javed was content with his 9am to 5pm job.
Working in a travel and tourism company for a monthly salary of RO650, the Pakistani expat managed a decent life in a one-bedroom flat in Hamriya. His children’s education was his top priority. He was also helping a friend with his startup.
But then disaster struck. First came the COVID-19 pandemic and then the layoffs. Soon Javed found himself with no means of income.
At a time when thousands of expatriates, mainly from the Indian subcontinent who faced a similar predicament and decided to leave Oman, many others opted to stay on in the hope that they would find employment yet again in the sultanate which most of them consider as ‘home away from home’.
Javed is one of them.
“I have no hard feelings for anyone for what happened to me,” Javed said.
“We have to understand; this is a global crisis and no one must feel victimised. We should act wisely and act with patience.”
He said he has been in Oman for the last 11 years.
“I find life here comfortable. Most of my family and friends are here. I am confident that I’ll manage to get new employment soon.”
Most of the people feel it is almost impossible in the current situation to land a job back in their home countries. Having been in the sultanate for a considerable period of time, they think they can use their professional contacts here to find fresh employment, not soon though.
One such person is Armanuddin Abdul, a Bangladeshi national.
He said, “I have worked for long in Oman in the auditing field and I know clients from a number of reputed companies. There are friends and well-wishers too and I have made good contacts with them over the years.”
However, finding employment in the present condition is not easy, he said.
“There are no recruitments as there is no money flow and businesses around the world are almost at a standstill. But this is not the end of life or the world. People need to survive and the world needs to move on. I am sure recruitments will start once again. We need to be patient.”
Most people have come to understand that they will not get their dream jobs. And in view of their future jobs, some have started learning new skills and boosting their résumés.
Sanjay Kumar from India, who used to work as a graphic designer, said he is now learning photography.
“I am skilled in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Now I have picked up my son’s DSLR and started to learn the basics of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I am sure these basic skills will help me land a decent job. I’m also learning the basics of video editing.”
However some find it tough to learn new skills.
Samuel from India said, “I used to be a salesman of musical instruments and I played the guitar.
“Now I’m trying to learn other instruments, mainly the piano, as employers are looking for versatile people. At my age it is tough for me to play with keys.”