Saudi Arabia: There are Jobs Which Need to be Filled

The influx of recent graduates in Saudi Arabia has created a challenge – finding jobs.  It’s easy to understand that a new graduate wants a job related to his or her field of study.  Most Saudis want to work in an office environment.  Unfortunately there are only so many office jobs which can be filled by recent graduates.  Yet on the other hand there are numerous opportunities in the food sector at grocery stores or restaurants but most Saudis do not like this type of work feeling it is beneath them.

Ironically in America where there is also a shortage of jobs, most job seekers share the same perspective as the Saudi graduate.  However a primary difference is that the typical American job seek these days has had experience working.  He or she may have been a victim of downsizing and laid off from their place of employment.

There are job opportunities available for Americans to bring in a regular paycheck.  Yet, like the Saudi, the average American does not want to accept what is viewed as a menial job.  And yes, these jobs have generally been filled by Hispanic immigrants.

Is it a coincidence or not that the menial jobs are viewed as too good for the citizen of respective countries?  Perhaps as one continues to dig more examples will surface which illustrate that Saudi Arabia and the United States are not always that different.


11 Responses

  1. ‘There are job opportunities available for Americans to bring in a regular paycheck. Yet, like the Saudi, the average American does not want to accept what is viewed as a menial job.’

    I have to disagree there. Those jobs that the ‘hispanics’ are ‘willing to take’ are never even OFFERED to the ‘Average American’.

  2. I think your description of the American situation is simplistic even with regard to college graduates. Many young Americans work in low level jobs of all sorts while going to high school and college. (When I was working at a major telecom company I knew a physics student who worked as a telephone operator in the summer.) I was a busboy in college and most of my family member had similar entry level jobs.

    When I was younger I knew a lot of men in the construction business, most started out as laborers for someone else but when I knew them most ran their own businesses. Are Saudis ready to learn a business at the bottom like that?

  3. Culturally speaking it’s preferable to remain jobless than take a job that’s below the social standards (which get to label what’s below one’s level). Pathetic, no? Such mentality has been chaining the youth from seeking the means to earn decently without the fear of being a victim of these social labels. I think it’s time for us to break these chains and participate in making this land an ideal place to reach one’s potential. That’s not an easy task, but maybe when the youth start believing in themselves, they would not mind working in any position espcially that one has to climb the ladder of success step by step.

  4. I have been working for 2 years in a convenience store…the pay sucked and the hours were long (night shift)…not to mention dangerous at times. All the while attending a full course in college for the past 4 semesters. It was a menial job and I did it anyhow because I have children and responsibilities. I think you are painting a bleak picture of what Americans are willing to do to earn a living. I recently started a new job, which improves my situation somewhat, but considering my lack of experience etc during my 23 years overseas…Im well aware I have to start from the bottom and work up…so I am. Im sure not all Saudis are lazy bums…just as all Americans aren’t either.

    Sorry Carol but your posts are becoming rather generalized and without focus.

  5. @Jerry M,
    My 19 y/o cousin worked as an overnight telephone operator, a good friend of mine took a break from college years ago, and worked at a coffee shop. There’s no shame in working. I’m Saudi and I used to work construction when I was 18.

  6. Hello jc
    The picture painted in the media is that Saudi youth don’t do those jobs. Good to see that at least some do.

  7. @Jerry M – If by ‘media’ you mean ‘blogs’ then the picture would be that ‘Saudis’ don’t do those jobs, not just the youth. Also we hear that it would bring shame to their families if they were caught in a in lowly positions. How many Saudi teenagers would work in their neighbors yards like we see teenagers here mowing lawns etc? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything about the work habits of Saudis anywhere else but blogs. Unless it was perhaps brought up when we had those Saudis in the US that had been busted for mistreating their ‘slaves’ that they had brought with them.

  8. I think it all depends on your upbringing. If you were taught that some jobs are beneath you then you will have a hard time accepting ‘lesser’ jobs. I think the North American/European picture of working at menial jobs is not a bad as in KSA. I do believe that you would not see too many Saudis cleaning toilets in shopping malls, clearing dishes in shopping malls, digging ditches, harvestings crops, etc. etc. etc.. You WILL see Joe and Susie Canada/America doing those jobs because they need to make money. Another part of this story is that the majority of Canadians and Americans will not ‘look down’ on their fellow countrymen who are doing ‘menial’ jobs. I don’t think we can say the same for the majority of KSA citizens. Let me tell you that I absolutely adore the person who cleans bathrooms, picks up garbage, etc. etc. etc..

  9. Certainly the OWS crowd gives the impression that America’s educated classes won’t take “menial” jobs, but OWS does not represent the majority (and certainly not the 99%!). I know of many college graduates and laid-off professionals who are doing whatever they can to make ends meet, which may include work at restaurants or grocery stores or whatever else may be available. My guess is that when the economy recovers, the first to be hired will be those who were willing to do the “dirty work”, and not those who felt that certain jobs are “beneath” them.

  10. I don’t know about in KSA but here in the US we have the problem with employers not willing to GIVE a job to someone who is what they consider ‘over qualified’.

  11. @ A saudi woman

    It indeed is good to be employed than to be unemployed yes and such cultural trend i guess doesnt exist in west they do any kinda job for a living .

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