Tips & Tricks for interns and new employees in Dubai UAE , behind the scenes of work life in united arab emirates

Often I’m asked questions like, how do I manage everything, how have I reached this stage? And rather frequently my personality & life is judged solely based on my picture perfect Instagram profile. Seizing Perfection is a word mostly used in interviews by all candidates when asked the almighty question ‘What is your weakness?’

So why am I writing this today? To give me and all my reader a reality check, neither life is perfect nor the people in it, even if you get freebies.  The story what my blog tells you is that part of my private life I carefully picked out to show, overshadowing the harsh, soul-sucking realities. Behind the colourful Tumblr inspired picture lays a restless, hardworking personality I constantly hide at my office, atleast try to.

So Who am I? In psychological terms, I consider myself an Ambivert, a baffling fusion between a sociable extrovert & anxious Introvert, which makes taking on decisions way more throbbing. The former got me into this beautiful blogging world & speaking my heart out, while the latter makes me want to crawl myself in my bed when I miss a deadline at my Dubai-based job. It’s the nervous, disconnected introvert in me aching to go home after my  9 to 5 lifestyle. Communicating with strangers & adapting new changes is downright nerve-wracking for me, yet I am challenging myself every day.

Born & brought in this Arab country called UAE, this place is was my whole life; a world outside Dubai didn’t exist for a person like me.  Being an Indian was merely just what my Passport stated. But reality hit me like a burning fire truck on my graduation ceremony and up till then, my plans were to get buried on these grounds.
In my three years of college, all my professors constantly reminded us one major aspect ’Corporate World is Different’, and I like any other student chose to ignore it drastically. Being the youngest one in my graduating class & my family, people always tend to pamper  me. Raised in a protective nutshell from everything bad, I wasn’t ready for the corporate life, particularly not the traumatic office hours & brown nosing part.

The world out here in the corporate life looks for end results, and rather not considers the hard work & efforts put in; SMART WORK is the real game changer in this century.


I wouldn’t go ahead and say corporate life is the worst, getting that first pay cheque got me all teary & not depending on your family for paying your own bills has its own sweet pleasure. But a 9 to 5 job if not handled correctly, does come with self-destructing rage (You end up asking yourself what & where is my actual life) & bewildering negativity in the initial stage. When you are a newbie in the corporate world full of energy and new ideas, your supervisors incline towards testing & questioning your ways. Believe me, frustration level dances at the peak and learning to turn off your emotions (and mobile phones) the moment you step out of your office door is crucial for your wellness.

I started off blogging few months before my full-time job kicked in; it was just a random panel where I pinned down my thoughts. Soon it became my source of self-appreciation, seeing your blog grow solely because of the hard work you put in is truly satisfying. Blogging is that part of my life which I am truly proud of, which I can call mine. I make my own schedule, my deadlines & write about what I love – I am the Boss of me at Rt Hijab Styles.  Just like I found blogging, to de-stress ourselves we all need something to look forward to when we get back home, a lazy cat, a caring boyfriend or a just fun TV show.

From far-off glass sparkles like a diamond, so I can’t really judge how corporate life is in Western countries or back in my homeland. So here are few things you need to understand & remind yourself  constantly when working here, in UAE are:


  1. Traffic is your worst enemy, though your job finishes off at 5pm & you rush off to the car, right around the corner is waiting that 2-hour traffic jam which will drive you insane.


  1. Taking time out for yourself has never been so tough. Selecting between meet ups with friends, catching up on your favourite Tv shows or taking that much-needed nap during weekdays eventually becomes really HARD and planning for Thursday nights your favourite pass time.


  1. So I was the night owl during my college days, I use to wake up the entire night, finish off my presentations & carry on the next day with a smile without any sleep. Jobs are complex; a night owl needs caffeine so seize your morning coffee or tea like your best friend and never look back. Going through 4 cups to keep you awake is not a big deal, everyone understands your urge, at least I do.


  1. If you don’t have a driving license, make it a priority as the moment you get a car, your opportunities double in size instantly. Yes, getting a license is not easy for some, as it could take up to a few months and your bank balance will not be happy at all. But it can surely solve many problems, no more carpooling, waiting for bus & especially moving up & down the Union & Rashidiya Metro Stations. Plus, even if you consider shifting to another country, getting an international license is just a matter of a few more bucks.


  1. Understanding the work culture is important, people working in your office for years know exactly how the companies works, learn from them what is frowned upon and what is strictly forbidden. Particularly gain insights of your direct manager, as he/she will be the one making or breaking your career.


  1. Furthermore, you will find employees who are alarmingly fed up of the company and filled with negativity, steer clear from that lot, do not make judgments based on their perceptions. All you will be left with will be the 3 A’s anxious, agitated and animosity. Also, taking upon your weak sad peer’s workplace battles is the stupidest thing you can do. There is always a reason when someone might not reply back or simply overlook the friction.


  1. And you may experience racism or sexism, in the slightest manner or the worst possible ways. Trying to chnagethe entire culture & mindset of a company in the first few months is not a Smart move. 


  1. If you want to survive this cultural fight, learn when to ignore & stick to your work. Being a youngster, most of us are looking for money in this country, loyalty comes second to us, as per statistics initially jumping every 2 to 3 years is considered healthy progress.



Put forward your opinion & ideas in a humble manner.


  1. While the young happening co-workers may be your initial choice to be friends with, communicating & learning from the older, different nationality ones too, may be a better choice for your career development. And before revealing all cards up your sleeve, your main aim should be to grasp as much knowledge as possible from them.


  1. Get use to asking permissions, after 3 years of care free life at college, you are highly expected by your manager to inform him about everything single thing. Whether it is taking an off, leaving work in middle of the day or adding your personal flair at the work tasks, not asking your heads approval before making the slightest chance is considered disrespectful, some even see it as a challenge to their authority though it may be an honest mistake.


  1. Engage in SMART WORK, NOT HARD WORK! If you are an introvert like me chances are you would prefer not to talk or ask questions to your head, (anxiety takes the better of you) I cannot highlight how important it is to make a good rapo with the manager. Do not let anyone else ever take credit for your work, at all times ensure it is submitted to your head with your own hands.


  1. Correctly understanding what is significant when, can be a pivotal moment in your career. After few trial and errors, you will get a hang of it & realise accurately prioritizing your tasks in hand from the very start is the key to SMART WORK. If you fall into the category of people who prefer completing up ALL our projects days ahead of its deadline, submitting your work TOGETHER doesn’t mean free time, it’s an indicator for your boss to pile on more work on you. Discuss your deadlines carefully and submit perfect work may be a day or two earlier.


  1. Try recalling the HR classes you took in college and correctly judge your manager’s leadership style, change your approach accordingly. For instance, when working with an autocratic manager with minimum creative aspect, rather than focusing all your energy & giving your best shot on the first draft; reduce your work load by initially presenting a rough draft and ask for his thoughts on your idea.


  1. One mistake many of us continue years after graduating, is not taking notes. Pay attention to what and how your boss gives instructions, jot down detailed points for you to refer back upon. Also, a great way to organize yourself is sticky notes, placed right on your desktop.


  1. Last and final advice, pay extra attention & care on how much money you are saving. Instead of spending money on small mediocre products, capitalize lump sum money in healthy investments. It is the perfect time to save up for your future or a rainy day.


It’s high time me learn to appreciate and love ourselves. Compare your life with people below you & count your blessings daily, however, aim to reach the position of people above you. Keeping your emotions outside the office window can be the most powerful survial tool. Don’t get me wrong my office is not the most depressing thing and my manager doesn’t scare me to death , but carefully analysing & adjusting to the culture & enivornment can be your first step to a sane healthy life & successful career.

Until Next Time, Much Love

Rahma Talwar