Hajj 2019

Hajj 2019

Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia made by hundreds of thousands of Muslims every year, takes place between Thursday, July 25 and Sunday, August 18 this year. The annual occurrence is marked by performing rituals based on those conducted by the Prophet Muhammad during his last visit to the city.

Performing these rituals is the fifth pillar of Islam and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity. Adult Muslims are required to perform hajj at least once in lifetime if they have the physical and financial ability. The emphasis on financial ability is meant to ensure that a Muslim takes care of his or her family first. The requirement that a Muslim be healthy and physically capable of undertaking the pilgrimage is intended to exempt those who cannot endure the rigors of extended travel.

In it, pilgrims follow the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim and his family. For many pilgrims, Hajj is perceived to be a journey of the body and the soul at the same time. The holy journey requires the pilgrim to perform ten rituals before and during Hajj.

Throughout the Hajj, the largest annual gathering of people on Earth, the pilgrimage is marked by a total absence of any disagreements or altercations among the pilgrims and at the conclusion of the Hajj, the pilgrim is said to have a profound feeling of having gone through a life-transforming spiritual experience.

Eid al Adha 2019

Eid al Adha 2019

Eid al-Adha, also called the “Festival of Sacrifice,” is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two, as it commemorates the story of the Muslim Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith.

The festival also coincides with the final rites of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia which is a series of rituals meant to cleanse the soul of sins and instill a sense of equality and brotherhood among Muslims.

Eid al-Adha, is marked with the sacrifice of an animal, usually a goat, sheep, or cow, and the distribution of the meat among neighbors, family members and the poor. This year, Eid al-Adha will begin Sunday, August 11 and ends four days later on Thursday, August 15.

Healthcare Jobs Abroad (United Arab Emirates)

Healthcare Jobs Abroad (United Arab Emirates)

Teaching, non-profit and volunteer work are all popular reasons to leave home and work in a foreign country, but what about traveling for high-paying healthcare jobs abroad? If you are an experienced nurse, healthcare assistant or doctor, would you consider working abroad?
A job posting landed in my inbox for an interesting opportunity in the United Arab Emirates – one of the richest (per capita GDP is ranked 14th) and most exciting countries in the world, with a large expatriate population – a call for doctor, healthcare and nursing jobs abroad. Through a UK-based placement organization, healthcare professionals with more than four years of experience are placed in hospitals and hotels that cater to English-speaking expats, business travelers and tourists.

Nursing and doctors jobs abroad (outside of the non-profit sector) are not exactly at the foremost of popularity, presumably because nurses and doctors (and other healthcare) workers are in such high demand here in the United States and Canada, and can therefore take in high rates of pay. Nursing jobs regularly have some of the highest per hour rates, not to mention weekend hours and overtime. The jobs listed in the UAE are just about on par with United States rates, but are offered tax-free for foreign citizens living in the UAE. Given the economic concerns in many Western countries, it seems reasonable that healthcare workers might be looking to find more lucrative (and stable) work in the Middle East.

Of course, the benefits of living and working in the United Arab Emirates are plentiful, and extend far beyond pay rates. With emirates (there are seven that make up the UAE) like Abu Dhabi and Dubai providing a dazzling urban landscape, the high-salaries and oil wealth in the Persian Gulf country make culture and nightlife a priority. While western influence is apparent – unlike many countries in the area, Western dress is accepted, along with more traditional clothing worn by Emiratis – the country is rich with Arab culture, in food, art, and music. It’s important to remember that the UAE lifestyle comes at a price – Abu Dhabi and Dubai are some of the most expensive places to live in the Middle East.

The job description (which is among many similar postings, and could be found by searching for healthcare jobs UAE – I won’t link to the exact post here, because I don’t know enough about it to provide an endorsement) was specifically targeting English-speakers – American, British, Canadian, Kiwi, South Africa, and Australian. The jobs entail fairly straight-forward medical responsibilities. Specialty nurse (like endoscopy nurses) are in particularly demand, and are paid accordingly.

If you are an experienced nurse, healthcare assistant or doctor, would you consider working abroad?

Working Abroad in a Changing Economy: Tips for Working Overseas in Tough Economic Times

Working Abroad in a Changing Economy: Tips for Working Overseas in Tough Economic Times

Just beginning to search for an overseas job can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of resources to help you find the perfect job abroad. You should think very carefully about all of the possibilities and issues that could arise in the country or position that you choose in economic terms – both your own personal economics, and those of the world.
It is impossible to turn on the news or open a newspaper without seeing warning signs about trouble in the world economy. We receive word from countries like Spain and Greece about austerity measures and near financial collapse. But the truth is that an uncertain economy should not keep you from looking for work opportunities in foreign countries.

1) Choose a country carefully:

If you are looking for adventure, you might have a few places in mind. These could be cities, countries or even continents on which you’d like to focus your job search. If you are relatively open about where you want to work (and location matters more than the job itself), it might be a good idea to focus on some countries that are being hit as hard by the global financial crunch. While there aren’t any places that are completely immune to economic challenges, some are certainly stable than others. Consider Australia for far away lands and beach living – jobs in Australia can vary from esort staffing to farm work in the outback. Canada may not seem exotic, but working on your French conversation skills while working at a corner café could be the job abroad that you have been looking for.

2) Be aware of exchange rates:

Many people who work abroad are paid in the local currency, while others are paid in US dollars (either because they are working for an American country abroad or for tax reasons). A fluctuating economy can have dramatic effects on the exchange rates – $500 US dollars may not go as far in the United Kingdom one month as it will the next. Unfortunately, changing the exchange rate probably isn’t something that is in your job description, but paying close attention to the financial news and planning accordingly can help you make the most of your budget while working abroad.

3) Don’t forget the logistics:

Often times it’s the little things that get passed over when you are working abroad – things like renewing visas, buying airlines tickets and keeping track of your passports. While we’d like to keep an open mind and remain optimistic about working abroad, we also need to be realistic: in an uncertain economy, things can change very quickly. If for some reason you need to leave the country in which you are working, you should be prepared. Keep some emergency cash on hand, make sure that you always know where your passport is, and don’t let visas expire. That way you are ready for anything, should you need to hop on a plane, train or bus at the last minute.

4) Use the opportunity to learn:

Anyone who is living in a foreign country should try to stay on top of the news – both local and international. Awareness of local politics and issues can enrich not only your cultural experience, but your work abroad experience as well. Economic news can be very helpful as you are planning, for many of the reasons stated above. Often, financial and economic reporting contains great historical information that can give you some context about the country in which you are working. And don’t limit yourself to newspapers and typical online sources; check out blogs and twitter feeds written by locals…or go straight to the source! Engage some locals in friendly political conversation for a real taste of what’s going on in your country.

Changing economic conditions can be overwhelming, whether you are at home or abroad. The news that we see everyday can be confusing, but remember that whether you are interested in finding a job abroad, or already working abroad and looking for resources, the best thing that you can do is stay informed. You are on the right track here at JobMonkey, so stay tuned for more blog posts about work and volunteering abroad.

Best Opportunities in Healthcare for Women

Best Opportunities in Healthcare for Women

Yesterday, Forbes posted an interesting study by the author of Best Jobs for the 21st Century, Laurence Shatkin. The career expert analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics reports to find the fastest-growing jobs for female workers. These are all fields where 70 percent or more of the workforce is comprised of women.

What topped his list?

  • Home Health Aids
  • Skin Care Specialists
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Physical Therapist Aides
  • Dental Hygienists

As you can see, fields relating to health are growing especially quickly, and female workers are dominating many of these industries. Other health-related career options in the top twenty list include dental assistants (#7), medical assistants (#8), physical therapist assistants (#9), occupational therapist aides (#10), pharmacy technicians (#11), medical secretaries (#13), occupational therapists (#14), surgical technologists (#15), cardiovascular technologists/technicians (#17), and medical/public health social workers (#20). With the national unemployment rate hovering at about 9.5 percent, getting into the health field could be a great way to find a job, especially if you’re female.
Working in the healthcare industry does require some education, but you can actually get started with just an associate’s degree or diploma. There are even online healthcare degree options for students who want a more flexible education program.
Why is finding a healthcare job, especially in the above-listed fields, so easy in today’s job market, even when other industries continue laying off workers? A number of factors have come into play:

In order to cut costs, hospitals and other facilities are hiring more assistants and aids to complete tasks once done by higher-paid workers, like doctors.

Medical advances make it possible for people to live longer, so there is a larger senior citizen population. Generally, senior citizens need more medical care than younger patients.

The obesity problem in the United States means that more patients need help controlling diabetes, heart disease, and related problems.

Even when people are spending less money in other places, healthcare is a necessity that people can’t just give up in order to cut a household budget.

In the next several years, the healthcare industry is going to continue to need more workers of both genders. Going back to school to get a degree in one of these fields is a great way to get started in a new career with a high demand for workers.